Since 1981, Volkswagen Golf GTI owners have been gathering in Worthersee, Austria, once a year. The event has grown to the extent that, today, it’s open to all VAG marques, and Volkswagen and Audi (and other VAG family members) have a established a tradition of presenting concept cars as gifts to their fans. Not that those fans get to drive them home… nor, quite often, even buy them from the showroom. This year’s teaser from Audi is the 518bhp A3 Clubsport Quattro concept… and it may go into production, or at least hint at next year’s RS3, according to Audi development chief Ulrich Hackenberg.
You did read that power figure correctly – this is a Ford Focus sized car with over 500bhp. It uses Audi’s 2.5-litre turbocharged 5-cylinder, and its huge 183bhp increase over the standard spec engine is a result of a bigger turbo, revised intake and exhaust manifolds and a more efficient intercooler. It also has 112lb ft more torque than usual, with a peak figure of 443lb ft. All of that is available from 2300 to 6000rpm. Given the car’s 1527kg kerb weight, it has the same power to weight ratio as the R8 V10 Plus. It gives this school-run hot rod a 0-62mph time of 3.6sec and a top speed of 193mph.
To complete the spec, brakes are carbon ceramic discs all round with an additional air brake, and the transmission is a 7-speed S-tronic with dual clutch gearbox.
Typically for an Audi, aesthetics are a key appeal. The A3 saloon’s businesslike lines are bulked up with wide arches, an even bigger-than-usual grille and some carbon fibre detailing. Oh, and those alloys are an almost ridiculous 21in in diameter. You weren’t expecting ride quality from a fast Audi, were you? It combines for an aggressive look; this may be a Quattro, but a Q-car it is not. So come on Audi, stick an RS3 badge on it and send to showrooms as it is. It’s what all those Worthersee visitors would want you to do.