German performance sedans aren’t exactly a steal of a deal, but Audi’s RS3 is coming to AmericaÂ with aÂ price well-above its chief rival from the Fatherland.Â The RS3 sedan, available for the first time in the North America, will start at $55,875 when it begins appearing in showrooms later this year.
That’s $5,000Â more than a Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMGÂ â€” which starts atÂ $50,875. It’s also a couple grand more than BMW’s M2, even thoughÂ the Bavarian coupe is a less direct comparison.
Audi isn’t trying to pull a fast one on us; just the opposite, in fact. Audi designed theÂ new RS3 with the United States in mind and isÂ giving Americans what weÂ covet most â€”Â horsepower.Â
With 400 horsepowerÂ and 354 lb-ft of torque running throughÂ a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the RS3’s 2.5-liter inline-5 boasts a 3.9 second 0 to 60 time. Those are class-leading numbers for anything even tangentially related to the premium compact segment.
Audi promises maximum torque available at engine speeds as low as 1,700 rpm, and it’ll remain constant up to 5,850 rpm. It also says standard features will include LED lighting, blind-spot monitoring and pre sense basicÂ â€” in case your spirited driving gets you into a crash. Available options will includeÂ Audi’s virtual cockpit, aÂ Bang Olufsen sound system, carbon fiber trim, special 19-inch wheels, painted calipers, and gobs of other electronic or mechanical nicetiesÂ the company plans to announce later.
The all-wheel drive RS3 will make its North American debut next week in New York City. AudiÂ should announce a concrete sales date at that time. However, we already know the company willÂ produce aÂ small numberÂ of specialty RS3s for later this year.