Audi A3 TDI Clubsport Quattro Concept

From Audi press: A TDI from Audi is more than just another diesel – it is, in fact, a dynamic power unit and a rich source of driving pleasure. At the 27th annual Lake Wörther Tour being held in the Austria province of Carinthia from May 21-25, Audi is demonstrating the potential of TDI technology with a very special concept study: the Audi A3 TDI clubsport quattro is powered by an engine delivering a whole 165 kW (224 hp) from its displacement of two liters. And with a torque of 450 Nm (331.90 lb-ft), it endows the premium compact model with the pulling power of a sports car.

The Audi A3 TDI clubsport quattro qualifies as an uncompromising sports machine in all other technical respects too. A six-speed transmission channels the engine's power to the quattro all-wheel drive. 20-inch wheels keep the drive force glued to the road; behind the wheels at the front can be found brake disks made from carbon-fiber-reinforced ceramic. Using the Audi drive select driving dynamics system the driver is able to adjust the throttle response and exhaust sound characteristics, the steering's power assistance, the ESP control and the damper characteristics as desired.

The dynamic image presented by the scintillating A3 study is rounded off by spectacular body styling and a high-class, sporty interior. Parts such as bolt-on wheel arch extensions and a large rear spoiler lend lasting impact to the exterior's looks; the interior is dominated by the racing bucket seats in the front and the open aluminum gear lever gate.

The design team has kitted out the Audi A3 TDI clubsport quattro with a whole array of new exterior parts to give it an extremely sharp and dynamic look – almost like a racing car. The paint finish is also a picture of vibrancy: the engine hood, tailgate and roof are Ibis White and the flanks Brilliant Red, while a large white figure "8" is emblazoned across each door in reference to the year 2008. The color scheme is an allusion to the colors of the Austrian national flag.

The single-frame grille has grown slightly in width, which also entailed modifications to the engine hood. The grille's bars – including pronounced vertical sections – have a high-gloss black finish. The bi-xenon headlamp assemblies are embellished by LED daytime running lights and wings. The front bumper incorporates large, square-edged air intakes, together with a blade section that juts a long way forwards and is slightly raised in the centre.

The modified front fenders feature bolt-on wheel arch extensions. The doors and the rear side sections – again with muscular wheel arch paneling – have been given a new, boldly contoured flare at the bottom. This blends together harmoniously with the door sills, which have themselves been restyled. The exterior mirror housings, with their arms that look to have been crafted by the wind, are likewise new. The tinted glass used for the rear windows gives the model yet greater visual presence.

The tail of the Audi A3 TDI clubsport quattro sports a dark grey diffuser. It is a variant on the design of the front blade, and incorporates the two large circular tailpipes of the separate exhaust branches. Modifications have also been carried out to the tail light assemblies. The most striking impression, however, is made by the spoiler atop the rear window that bears a close resemblance to the part featured on the new A4 race car from the German Touring Car Masters (DTM).

The high-performance TDI under the bonnet of the Audi A3 TDI clubsport quattro is like nothing that has gone before it. From its displacement of just 1,968 cc, it summons up an output of 165 kW (224 hp). Torque – the true measure of effortless motoring ability – peaks at an exhilarating 450 Nm (331.90 lb-ft), which is on tap from just 1,750 rpm; in other words, the very bottom of the rev range. As for in-gear flexibility, the diesel model leaves its gasoline-powered rivals standing.

The mighty TDI bestows the Audi A3 TDI clubsport quattro – which tips the scales at just 1,475 kilograms (3251.82 lb) – with pulling power befitting of a sports car. The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) is over in a fleeting 6.6 seconds and the speedometer needle keeps rising all the way to 240 km/h (149.13 mph).

The ultra-efficient two-liter engine attains a power-to-displacement ratio of 83.8 kW (113.8 hp) per liter, and torque-to-displacement ratio of 228.7 Nm (168.68 lb-ft) per liter – figures which comparable gasoline engines are simply unable to match.

The Audi A3 TDI clubsport quattro has been designed strictly in accordance with the principle of maximum efficiency. Power is transferred by a compact, transverse-mounted six-speed transmission whose casing is made from lightweight magnesium. The short-throw gear lever can be moved swiftly and precisely through a classic open gate made of aluminum. The transmission ratios have been adjusted and the components reinforced to make allowance for the TDI engine's extremely high performance.

Gallery: Audi A3 TDI Clubsport Quattro Concept