Audi is presenting the A3 clubsport quattro concept at this year’s Wörthersee Meeting in Reifnitz (Kärnten) from May 28–31. The concept study is based on the S3 Sedan* and has a five-cylinder TFSI engine under the hood producing 525 hp. Visitors can also see the Audi TT quattro sport concept show car, which debuted at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, and ten production models.
“The Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept shows our car and tuning fans at the Wörthersee just how much sporty potential there is in the A3 family* and in our top‑of‑the‑line engines such as the 2.5 TFSI. We have pushed the limits in every respect with this show car: power, dynamics, sound, design,” says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development.
Based on the S3 Sedan*, the show car is equipped with a powerful five‑cylinder TFSI engine. The turbocharged engine with direct injection in the show car boasts an impressive success story. Since 2010, an expert jury has already voted it “International Engine of the Year” in its category four times in succession. The 2.5 TFSI powers the production Audi RS Q3*. In the show car, the 2,480 cc five‑cylinder produces 525 hp for a specific output of 211.7 hp per liter. With a total weight of 1,527 kilograms, this corresponds to a power-to-weight ratio of 2.9 kilograms/hp. Maximum torque of 600 Nm is available between 2,300 and 6,000 rpm. The Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds and reaches a top speed of 310 km/h.
Extensive modifications make this extreme performance possible. These include a large turbocharger with up to 1.5 bar of relative boost pressure and a modified intercooler.
The basic concept behind the five‑cylinder already makes it a special engine. The 1‑2‑4‑5‑3 ignition sequence gives it its own unique rhythm, which in the A3 clubsport quattro concept is reinforced by an intake and exhaust system designed for maximum throughput. The characteristic sound of this TFSI engine is a throaty snarl. In addition to earning top marks for sound and technology, the 2.5 TFSI is also visually stunning. The engine in the show car is only covered by a hood made of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP).
The Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept features a seven‑speed S tronic with a compact three‑shaft layout. Its tall seventh gear reduces fuel consumption, and the final gear ratio has been modified accordingly. The driver can allow the dual‑clutch transmission to work fully automatically in modes D and S or choose to change gears manually using the paddles on the steering wheel or the shift lever. A launch control function manages starts with maximum power and controlled wheel slip.
The heart of the quattro all‑wheel drive system is a hydraulically activated, multi‑plate clutch on the rear axle that has been specially designed for the high torque of the powerful five‑cylinder. Like the engine management system, its electronic controller is integrated into the Audi drive select driving dynamics system and takes the combination of “fun to drive” and safety to a whole new level.
The clutch can direct a portion of the torque from the front to the rear axle if the driver turns sportily into a corner.
Its advanced chassis enables the Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept to deliver its tremendous power to the asphalt dynamically and safely. Aluminum components in the front McPherson suspension reduce the weight of the unsprung masses. The four‑link rear suspension can process the longitudinal and transverse forces separately. The steering rack of the progressive steering system is designed so that the steering ratio becomes more direct with increasing steering input. In addition, steering boost decreases as speed increases.
Compared to the production Audi S3 Sedan*, the body has been lowered 10 millimeters (0.4 in) and both the springs and dampers are very taut. All three parameters can be adjusted via the struts of the coilover suspension so that the show car can be perfectly adapted to the task at hand, be it on the road or the race track.
The Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept rolls on 9.5 J x 21 wheels shod with size 275/25 R21 tires. The internally vented front brake discs measure 370 millimeters (14.6 in) in diameter. All four discs are made of carbon fiber‑ceramic, making them extremely lightweight and abrasion-resistant.
The ESC electronic stabilization control, which can be partly or completely deactivated, supports the show car’s dynamic handling with lightning-fast reactions. At the cornering limit, torque vectoring via brief applications of the brakes of the inside wheels ensures that the Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept turns easily into the corner. It provides maximum control and reliability for drifts, with the front axle straightening the show car out again as it exits the corner.
The Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept is based on the modular transverse matrix (MQB). This enables a low center of gravity and a finely balanced distribution of axle loads, which is a prerequisite for the car’s dynamic handling. Hot‑shaped steel components in the floor of the passenger cell form a strong structure. The extreme strength of the steel allows for thin walls and thus very low weights.
The lightweight body lays the foundation for the show car’s low curb weight (without driver) of just 1,527 kilograms. The result is a race car‑like power-to-weight ratio of just 2.9 kilograms per hp. The Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept is 4,490 millimeters long, 1,856 millimeters wide and 1,382 millimeters tall. Its wheelbase measures 2,631 millimeters.
The spectacular appearance of the Magnetic Blue body immediately reveals the dynamics of the Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept. The Singleframe grille up front is framed in matt aluminum. A quattro badge adorns the grille’s high-gloss black honeycomb insert, which has been optimized for high flow. The engine hood, whose front edge extends slightly over the grille and the LED headlights, sports the four rings.
A distinctive element at the front of the show car is the continuous blade of exposed CFRP below the Singleframe grille. Like the winglets on a model airplane, its ends are bent upward to structure the large air inlets framed in massive edges. As with a race car, a splitter at the bottom of the front skirt increases the downforce on the front axle.
The side view of the sedan has also gained some sharp accents. Two straight edges above the wheels that end in the doors contour the fender and the rear sidewall. The “blisters” give the body broad shoulders while also evoking the classic quattro models from Audi and the current RS 4 Avant*. The round fuel cover in the C‑pillars and the reduced side mirrors are further typical Audi sports car elements. The side sill trims are made entirely of CFRP (carbon fiber-reinforced polymer).
At the rear, a large diffuser that extends upward in the middle makes a bold statement. Three fins divide its high-gloss black honeycomb insert; two additional grilles joined by a blade conceal the tailpipes of the exhaust system.
When the driver of the Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept applies the brakes at high speed, the air brake is activated. Electronically actuated, the rear segment of the trunk goes from the spoiler position to nearly vertical in the blink of an eye. At 250 km/h, the air brake reduces the stopping distance by around twelve meters (39.4 ft), in part because the ESC can allocate more braking power to the rear axle thanks to the increased downforce.
The cabin of the Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept seats four persons comfortably. Racing seats with high side bolsters await the driver and front passenger. The backrests are open-worked below the integrated head restraints and CFRP shells cover the backs – a visual expression of Audi’s lightweight construction concept.
Black faces, red needles and white numbers define the look of the instrument cluster. A shift light in the tachometer indicates when the rev limit of 6,900 rpm is reached, and the seven‑inch monitor of the MMI navigation plus system displays a special graphic when the engine is started. Two large, separate buttons on the three‑spoke, multifunction sport steering wheel are used to start and stop the engine as well as to choose Audi drive select modes.
Black is the dominant color in the show car’s interior. The seat covers feature light gray piping and contrast stitching in Sepang Blue. The headlining and the pillars are covered in black Alcantara, and the decorative inlays are brushed aluminum.
Fine details underscore the sportiness of the Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept. The footrest and pedals are made of stainless steel; two open-worked bars form the handles for the door openers. The selector lever of the seven‑speed S tronic sports a red ring, a CFRP badge and a Clubsport logo. The badge with the name of the show car can also be found on the instrument cluster and on the door sill trims.
This year’s motto is “Audi Sport,” and the Audi stand has been transformed into the Audi Pit Lane. In keeping with this, the A3 clubsport quattro concept is joined by a familiar sports car from the line of show cars and ten additional high-performance models from various vehicle classes, some of which feature attractive Audi Genuine Accessories.