This is the Audi A3 Clubsport Quattro Concept, revealed online by the German manufacturer ahead of a public debut at the upcoming Worthersee tuning event at the end of May.
Power comes from Audi’s 2.5-litre five-cylinder TFSI engine – currently found in the RS Q3 – and heavily revised for the concept to produce 518bhp, with torque rising to 600Nm. A larger turbocharger, revised intake and exhaust system and reworked intercooler are just some of the modifications helping boost the A3 Clubsport Quattro’s output.
While it’s fairly unlikely we’ll see the engine make it’s way over to the new RS3 in this exact form, according to Audi board of management member Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, the concept shows “how much sporty potential there is in the A3 family” and in “top-of-the-line engines such as the 2.5 TFSI.”
In the A3 Clubsport Quattro, this power will be put down via a seven-speed dual clutch S-tronic gearbox and permanent quattro all-wheel system. All in, Audi claims accelerating from 0-62mph will take a measly 3.6 seconds, with the display car topping out just shy of 193mph.
Helping keep things on the straight and narrow is an aluminium-infused McPherson front suspension system and four-link set-up at the rear, as well as carbon ceramic brakes and an electric air brake to aid stopping at high speeds.
Underpinned by the popular MQB architecture, the 1,527kg A3 Clubsport Quattro also benefits a 10mm reduction in ride-height, which creates a “low centre of gravity” according to Audi and so ensures “dynamic handling.”
Although we can’t confirm this without driving the concept, it clearly benefits the concept’s low-slung, aggressive appearance. Finished in ‘Magnetic Blue’, the trademark six-point grille is framed in matt aluminium, and encircles the black-gloss honeycomb intake – itself adorned by a stylised quattro badge.
The bonnet itself overhangs the front fascia slightly, slightly shadowing the LED headlights in the process, as well as the exposed CFRP front blade, large air inlets and splitter.
Twin oval exhausts, partially concealed by a connecting grille, and a large diffuser that bulges in the centre, dominate the rear.
Inside, while the four-seater cabin includes front racing seats, an MMI navigation plus system, stainless steel pedals, Clubsport badging a predominantly black trim with grey and ‘Sepang Blue’ details.
How much of the A3 Clubsport Quattro will make it over to production remains to be seen, but expect the RS3 to arrive later this year, priced at around £39,000.