There is mad and then, there is the obnoxious. The Audi RS 3 is most definitely the obnoxious. Trust Audi to shove a 2.5-litre, 5-cylinder turbocharged engine that belts out a massive 395bhp of peak power and 480Nm of peak torque, into a compact sedan. Now that is surely a recipe for sheer fun. Also, this is the first time in Audi's history that one of its sedans to use a transverse layout for an engine. The power to the wheels is transferred via a S-tronic 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. Audi makes use of a light alloy crank case, bringing the weight of the engine down by 26kg. This is the first time a compact Audi sedan gets the RS badging.
The Audi RS 3 can do the 0-100 km/h sprint in just 4.1 seconds and can hit a maximum speed of 250 km/h. If that doesn't satiate your need for speed, then upon request, Audi can increase the maximum speed to a scary 280 km/h. Apart from the engine, there are other technologies which are hard at work to give a solid performance such as Audi Drive Select, Dynamic handling and the optional RS sport suspension with adaptive damper control.
Coming to the design, the RS 3 retains the single frame grille with the honeycomb design. The headlamps are LED and Audi will also offer matrix LED headlamps as option. Another subtle difference between the regular A3 and the RS 3 is that the latter is wider by 20mm and the wheels are spaced 14mm further apart. The wheel arches carry more flare and are wider on the RS 3 than the regular A3.
The interior has a dark tone and the door sills have illuminated RS 3 logos. The sport seats too get RS 3 logos on the backrest as standard. The infotainment is taken care of with an electrically extending 7-inch MMI screen which can be operated with the help of the rotary button on the console. The RS 3 also gets a touchpad for controls. Audi will also be offering the virtual cockpit as an option on the RS 3 and it has three display modes of which one is a special RS screen mode, which brings the tachometer to the centre of the 12.3-inch screen. The other information shown are the tyre pressure, g-forces and the torque.
The Audi RS 3 will go on sale in the first few months of 2017 and there remains an outside possibility that it might come to India as well.
For an exhaustive coverage of the 2016 Paris Motor Show, click here.