Audi A3 Clubsport Quattro Concept is a Brawny Blue Look Ahead
Every year in late May or early June, fans of water-cooled Volkswagens (and other VW Group products) from around the world converge on the shores of the Wörthersee, a postcard-pretty lake in southern Austria, for the GTI-Treffen (GTI Meeting). And year after year, many of the VW Group brands use this gathering of the faithful to premiere sweet new concept vehicles. This year’s entry from Audi is officially just a concept, but don’t be shocked to see something similar show up in dealers in a couple years’ time.
Officially dubbed the Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept (Yes, those are all supposed to be lowercase letters.), this Magnetic Blue super sedan is actually based on the A3 sedan’s party animal sibling, the S3 sedan. And while the body has been thoroughly reworked with blistered fenders to house the immense 21” wheels and tires, new front and rear fascias and other revisions, the biggest change is hidden beneath the skin: Instead of the S3’s turbocharged 2.0L inline-four, this smallish super sedan (which is actually pretty much the same size as the first-generation B5-chassis A4/S4) scoots down the road courtesy of the turbocharged 2.5L inline-five found in the outgoing RS3 and TT-RS.
As if the engine swap wasn’t enough, the powertrain boffins at quattro GmbH made the five-pot even more muscular, as output now totals 518 horsepower and 443 lb.-ft of torque. Audi says those numbers should be good enough to blast the A3 clubsport quattro concept to 62 mph in 3.6 seconds and onward to a top speed of 193 mph. That’s mighty strong…about as strong as this car’s chances at reaching production as the new RS3. It’s unlikely that the engine will be as burly in consumer-grade form as it is here, but we’re betting it won’t have any trouble trouncing the Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG (provided those cats don’t cook up a CLA45 AMG Black Series between now and then). And even if they are neck-and-neck as far as the stopwatch is concerned, the Audi will still hold a trump card in the form of a Group B throwback soundtrack.