Paris show – sport and race models from Audi

RS3 saloon and Mk2 Q5 SUV debut with race car.

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The Audi stand at the Paris Motor Show sees the launch of several new models and the reveal of a new motorsport programme.

A new RS3 model now takes as its basis the saloon A3, rather than the previous estate RS3 Sportback. As such it could find fans in those who previously chose the booted rally-inspired cars such as the Impreza and Evo from Subaru and Mitsubishi.

Power comes from a 2.5-litre five-cylinder TFSI petrol engine, dubbed by Audi the most powerful five cylinder on the market with 400hp on tap (33hp more than its predecessor along with 480Nm of torque.

This potency is put through a seven-speed dual clutch transmission and the signature quattro all-wheel-drive powertrain, providing the RS3 with a 0-62mph time of 4.1 seconds and a potential top speed of 174mph.

   

Visually the RS3 bears all the signature design cues. Its track is 20mm wider than a standard A3, while the shell gains the distinctive front bumper of the previous RS3 Sportback, flared-out wheelarches, a rear diffuser and oval twin exhaust tail pipes.

Audi-RS3-TCR
RS3 TCR racer will be for sale to customer teams.

The new RS3 goes on sale in the summer of 2017, the first of eight new models from the renamed Audi Sport division. The division is also responsible for a new RS3 Touring Car racer, the top model built to the rules of the new TCR formula that as well as boasting a globe-trotting International series is rapidly being adopted by national championships in a growing number of countries.

Audi expects to sell examples of the RS3 racer to customer drivers and teams in Clubsport spec from around €99,000, and as a TCR car from €129,000.

Also on the busy Audi stand in Paris is the second-generation Q5 SUV, on sale next year and targeting the likes of BMW’s X3 and the Mercedes-Benz GLC.

The new Q5 is up to 90kg lighter than its predecessor and described as one of the most aerodynamic models in its class. It will be offered with an engine line-up similar to that available with the A4 range.

Second-generation Q5 will take on BMW's X3.
Second-generation Q5 will take on BMW’s X3.

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is the News and Road Test Editor for The Executivecondominium. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.

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