2011 Audi RS3 spy shots
A U.K. buyer claiming to have pre-ordered the 2012 Audi RS3 says the car will make its public debut at the 2010 Paris auto show. We can't say it's a surprise, as we called the Paris show as the debut spot for the RS3 back in June when we brought you the latest spy shots of the car in testing.
The report allegedly confirming the Paris debut goes on to state that only 2,700 examples of the RS3 will be built--a number identical to recent reports about the BMW 1-Series M car. Beyond that, we're left with what we already knew about the RS3: it will be powered by a version of the same engine inside the TT-RS, which in U.S. trim will be rated for 340 horsepower and capable of slingshotting the tiny coupe to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds.
Given that the TT-RS is approved for U.S. sale, we expect the RS3 to be available in limited numbers as well, as that would help Audi get more out of the expense of certifying the brawny turbo five-cylinder for America's roads. On the other hand, our affinity for coupes is notably stronger than our love of hatches (at least in terms of sales strength), while Europe is still in the throes of passion with the five-door layout. With only 2,700 on the menu worldwide, Audi won't likely have a problem selling them all even without the U.S. involved.
Pricing would also likely be rather steep for U.S. tastes, particularly in the hatchback segment. But we can always hope--after all, Ford is bringing the 2012 Focus ST to our shores.