Making its global debut in Paris, the new Audi RS3 Sedan promises to set the little luxo 4-door arena on its ear courtesy of a 400-horsepower 5-cylinder turbocharged engine and all the proper go-faster RS goodies. This brazen newcomer will be the first compact Audi to wear an RS badge and be sold under the Audi Sport banner, which is the new name for the former Audi Quattro GmbH operation. Best of all, it will finally be coming to America.

400 horsepower, 354 lb-ft of torque and attitude to burn

Audi is touting the new 2.5-liter T-charged engine in the RS3 Sedan as the most powerful 5-cylinder in the world. Made from light-alloy and featuring both direct and port-type injection along with variable valve control, the engine is 57 pounds lighter than the engine in the previous RS3 but makes 33 more horses. Equally impressive is its 354 lb-ft of torque, which is on hand in full measure from 1,700 to 5,850 rpm. To put that kind of prodigious motivational force to best use, the RS3 Sedan also is fitted with a super-quick 7-speed S Tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission and a specially tuned version of Audi’s Quattro permanent AWD. The system’s electro-hydraulic multi-plate clutch apportions appropriate drive torque to each wheel while the wheel-selective torque control function interfaces with the RS-spec stability control to allow for even more aggressive operations. Audi says the new RS3 Sedan will streak from 0-62 mph in 4.1 seconds and hit an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph in base form, a number that Audi can raise to 174 mph when the owner requests. 

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To look the part of a proper road warrior, the new RS3 boasts a more aggressive exterior which is most apparent in its edgier fascia treatments set off by a bolder grille and deeper front splitter, along with a fixed rear spoiler lip and a bespoke diffuser insert with upsized dual exhaust outlets. It also rolls on meatier 235/35 performance tires wrapped around 19-inch light-alloy wheels. Track dimensions have been widened at both axles and bigger brakes are included in the mix to swiftly and safely bring this Audi to a halt. Whether fitted with the standard mechanical suspension or optional RS sport suspension plus with adaptive damping, the RS3 Sedan also has a 1-inch lower ride height than a standard A3. 

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The RS3’s cabin builds on the best of the A3’s already impressive design touches and adds things like sport seats covered in black Nappa leather – more torso-hugging RS Sport Seats are optional – as well as an RS flat-bottom steering wheel and a 7.0-inch electrically extending MMI screen. Other feature highlights include the trick Audi Virtual Cockpit, Navigation/Navigation Plus, LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and 705-watt Bang & Olufsen Sound System. Pricing and specific details relating to the U.S. version of the 2018 Audi RS3 Sedan will be released closer to its official on-sale date.

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