Audi is packing some pretty big guns for the 2014 Worthersee Tour, taking a hacksaw to an S3 sedan to create the hardcore 518 hp Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept.
Some pretty serious hardware is required to produce that headline figure, so out goes the S3’s 296 hp 2.0 TFSI four, replaced by a tuned version of the 2.5 TFSI five-pot taken from the RS Q3, the outgoing TT RS and the previous-generation RS 3. This results in a specific output of 209 hp per litre, while peak torque is a massive 600 Nm produced between 2,300 and 6,000 rpm.
This prodigious amount of power and torque is possible thanks to a larger turbocharger providing up to 1.5 bar of boost, as well as a modified intercooler. With a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel drive, 0-100 km/h is done in a supercar-baiting 3.6 seconds, while the top speed is 310 km/h.
To keep all this in check, the A3 clubsport features a revised suspension setup with a 10 mm lower ride height and carbon ceramic brakes. Extensive usage of carbon fibre – including on the bonnet – pares weight down to 1,527 kg, resulting in a power-to-weight ratio of just 2.9 kg per hp.
The level of performance on offer backs up the rather extrovert styling, which consists of a large trapezoidal grille emblazoned with the “quattro” script (the four-ringed logo has been moved to the leading edge of the bonnet) and carbon fibre front splitter, front winglets, side skirts and rear diffuser.
Large dual oval exhausts leave onlookers with no doubt about the car’s performance intent, while the squared-off wheel arch blisters are reminiscent of the RS 4 as well as the original Audi Quattro. The rear spoiler flips up to a vertical position under braking from high speeds, the increase in downforce allowing the ESC to pile on more braking force to the rear, shortening braking distance from 250 km/h by about 12 metres.
Inside, the A3 clubsport is fitted with racing bucket seats with integrated headrests and carbon fibre backrest shells, upholstered in black with grey piping and Sepang Blue contrast stitching. There’s also a new flat-bottomed three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with large start and Audi drive select buttons, as well as a unique gearknob with a red ring, carbon fibre inserts and a Clubsport logo.