Nürburgring test car confirms the five-cylinder engine and running gear of RS3 Sportback will be offered in a saloon body

An Audi RS3 Saloon has been spotted testing at the Nürburgring, confirming that Audi will offer the RS3’s five-cylinder engine and running gear in a four-door body.

Audi RS3 saloon and RS3 LMS racer revealed in Paris 

The spotted test car's exterior is nearly identical to that of the S3 Saloon, aside from RS3 bumpers, wider front wheel arches and a large-bore twin-pipe exhaust system.

The saloon will use the same turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine of the Sportback, producing 362bhp and 343lb ft of torque. Due to the larger body shape’s extra 15kg in weight, the RS3 saloon's 0-62mph time should be about a tenth of a second slower than the RS3 Sportback’s time of 4.3sec.

The Sportback's dual-clutch seven-speed gearbox and four-wheel drive system will be carried over, meaning the handling and character of the saloon should be near identical to the Sportback.

Audi's other hot compact saloon model, the S3 Saloon, is sold in the UK, but in far smaller numbers than the S3 hatch. A similar story is expected for the RS3 Saloon, which our sources believe will be offered in Britain but will be most successful in continental Europe.

Despite the test car sighting, Audi still hasn't confirmed that the RS3 Saloon is coming. Nevertheless, insiders point to an arrival time of early next year.

The RS3 Saloon will likely be about £2600 more expensive than the Sportback model, so it should cost from around £43,400.

A key rival for the RS3 Saloon will be the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45. The four-door coupé model is closely aligned with the Audi as it produces 376bhp from its turbocharged four-cylinder engine and costs £42,550.

Join the debate

Comments
3

16 July 2016
How do you know it will have the same engine as the pre-facelift Sportback model and not the newer aluminium version from the forthcoming TT-RS? Doesn't make a lot of sense to make two versions of the same motor to me...

16 July 2016
I can't imagine how tedious it must be to have to write about this. Even worse than reading about it.

17 July 2016
Neither as tedious as comments like yours, though...

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals
  • Hyundai Kona
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Hyundai's funky-looking Kona crossover with a peppy three-cylinder engine makes all the right noises for the car to be a success in a crowded segment
  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    The Citroen C3 Aircross has got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer