Also for the Paris Motor Show, Audi is showcasing the upbeat version of the A3 model with the introduction of the RS 3 Sedan. The RS 3 is the first compact Audi sedan to bear the RS label.

The new 2.5 TFSI in the RS3 sedan outputs 400 hp and 480 Nm of torque at engine speeds between 1,700 and 5,850 rpm, making it the most powerful five-cylinder engine on the global market. The power-packed compact RS model is now capable of sprinting from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in just 4.1 seconds up to a maximum electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h, with an option to boost it up to 280 km/h.

The driving experience is emotionally charged, but is further intensified with the unique sound of the five-cylinder unit, which comes from having the ignition alternate between directly adjacent cylinders and widely spaced ones. This sound can also be controlled via Audi drive select. With its light-alloy crankcase, the five-cylinder engine is 26 kilograms lighter than its predecessor and now employs a dual injection into the intake manifold and into the combustion chambers, as well as the Audi valvelift system for variable control of the exhaust valves resulting in optimal power development at a reduced consumption level.

With lightning-fast shifting, the S tronic seven-speed dual clutch transmission transmits the power of the 2.5 TFSI to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive, with its electro-hydraulic multi-plate clutch distributing the drive torque variably between the axles. The electronic control also combines superior stability with a high level of driving pleasure; the sportier the driving, the more torque is immediately transferred to the rear axle, resulting in remarkably agile driving characteristics.

quattro management is integrated as a standard feature in the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, as are the steering, S tronic, engine management and the adjustable exhaust flaps. The driver can individually vary the operation of these components between the three modes comfort, auto and dynamic. The same is true for the optional RS sport suspension plus with adaptive damper control.

Wheel-selective torque control, an intelligent software feature of the Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC), rounds off the work of the all-wheel drive. Additionally, from progressive steering to four-link rear axle with a tight setup and a suspension lowered by 25 mm, the chassis of the RS 3 sedan is the perfect partner for the powerful drive system.

The front brake disks have a diameter of 370 mm, while eight-piston calipers with large-area linings provide optimal deceleration. Alternatively, Audi supplies carbon-fiber ceramic disks in front. At the rear axle there are brake disks with a diameter of 310 mm. Standard on the RS 3 sedan are 19-inch wheels and 235/35 tyres (optional 255/30 front tyres).

Audi RS 3 Sedan rear Audi RS 3 Sedan side

Exterior highlights for Audi’s first RS compact sedan comprise of a three-dimensional honeycomb grille with quattro logo, a blade that extends across the entire width of the front into the side air inlets and DRLs (Matrix Technology optional). Compared with a standard A3, the front track of the RS 3 sedan is wider by 20 mm, as do the wheel arches. At the rear axle the wheels are spaced 14 mm further apart compared with the basic model. A fixed spoiler lip on the luggage compartment lid improves the separation of air flow, while a distinctive diffusor insert with vertical struts and the large oval tailpipes of the RS exhaust system complete the rear. Audi exclusively offers the RS-specific paint colors Nardo gray and Catalunya red as options.

Audi RS 3 Sedan interior

Inside, the dark-toned interior welcomes the driver and passengers with illuminated door sills bearing the RS 3 logos. Other highlights include; Black fine Nappa leather sport seats with RS logos (contoured seats with diamond patterned and color-perforated covers, optional); flat-bottom RS sport leather steering; inlays at the instrument panel and doors; rotary/push-button control on the center console; infotainment system MMI navigation plus with MMI touch on a 7-inch diagonal touchscreen; two circular instrument dials in black with red needles and white scales; driver information system with boost pressure indicator and others (digital and virtual cockpit is optional); high-resolution 12.3-inch monitor; and your usual Audi Connect/smartphone/app/phone.

The RS 3 sedan is also the top of its class when it comes to driver assistance systems. They keep the car at the desired distance from the vehicle in front, assist the driver when changing lanes and staying within the given lane, detect traffic signs and help avoid rear-end collisions and pedestrian accidents. New are the traffic jam assist, which briefly takes over the steering in slow-moving traffic up to 65 km/h, the emergency assist, which automatically stops the car if required, and cross traffic assist rear.

The Audi RS 3 Sedan is expected to roll out in China and the U.S. starting second quarter of 2017.