Spy Shots: 2011 Audi RS 3

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We've seen spy shots of the Audi RS3--in test mule form, at least--since last year, but today's new shots confirm Audi is indeed still working on it. The hottest A3-based model had been rumored for a debut at last year's Frankfurt show, but when Audi didn't deliver, some thought the project might be on ice.

It's alive and well, however, as these shots of an all black prototype reveal. Huge mesh airdams in place of the usual foglight location, series of holes drilled under the grill, and a mismatched set of wheels all hint that there's more going on here than a revised S3.

We expect the extra breathing room in the front bumper is there to feed and cool the turbocharged five-cylinder borrowed from the TT-RS, which should be rated at about 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque in the RS3. A more focused suspension treatment and unique front, side and rear aero look will also be part of the package.

Zero-to-sixty acceleration should nip just under five seconds in the RS3, with a top speed of 155 mph (limited) or up to 174 mph with no limiter if Audi follows the same path it did with the TT-RS.

Unfortunately we don't know yet if the car will be sold in the U.S. It's not going to be a volume model, and pricing in the U.S. would be steep, so Audi may reserve the car for Europe and a few other markets where car prices will more easily support a reasonable margin.

Look out for a world debut at the 2010 Paris Auto Show this October.


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Comments (7)
  1. I know we will never see one in America but I wish we could get this, because of the power, and the fact that it can haul things.

  2. This could easily be the hottest little wagon in the US, since it's relatively about the same size as a TT. If Audi really wants to out gun BMW and Lexus, they can't keep holding back on any of their offerings. I want an A6 but a car this light and boasting that much power, I'd spend a little more for it.

  3. This thing would be an awesome GTI killer... exactly why VAG will never allow it to come here. It's sad that so many performance Audis don't make it here to their largest market.

  4. ^ The GTI and the RS3 are nowhere near the same price range so they do not compete. I don't think they'll bring it to the states because the A3 isn't a big seller last I saw. You can't even get an S3 here, no way we'll get the RS3.

  5. Maybe the interest in the A3 will pick in the States when the rumored sedan version shows up, then they can do the RS3 as a sedan

  6. "....they can do the RS3 as a sedan...."
    Not sure what would be the point. Who would want it if it had the less attractive sedan body? Audi has a tradition of making their hottest versions as avants-this would be a perfect additon.

  7. Yeah NC2000, that explains the RS4 sedan, the RS5 and such, so yes there is a point if Americans show they would buy it.

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