Performance fans get those grins ready. Audi is expected to introduce a RS3 model to its U.S. lineup. It’s doing everything short of confirming it outright, but the company says it’s confident the RS3 will end up alongside the current A3 and S3 models.
Audi’s five-door RS3 Sportback arrives in Europe this Spring, but it won’t be the same model we see here in America. While hatchback lovers won’t be happy about that, Audi of America CEO Scott Keogh says he believes a sedan is a better match for U.S. drivers.
“We really, really want the RS3,” Keogh tells Automotive News. He predicts that the sedan is “going to be a great positioning car, a great halo car. I’m very confident we’ll see that car on the market. That’s as far as I’m going to go.”
America’s RS3 is likely to be a four-door compact sedan that should share the hatchback’s turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine, seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission and Quattro AWD system. As for power, like the hatchback, it should also pack 367 hp and 343 pound-feet of torque that will send it from 0-60 in 4.3 seconds. So a lot of power packed into this package.
Audi isn’t saying when the RS3 could potentially go on sale, but sometime within the next year is a good bet. It could reportedly head stateside either later this year as a 2016 model or early next year as a 2017 model. Once it’s here, it could conceivably compete with the likes of the Mercedes CLA45 AMG and the BMW M235i Coupe.
Keogh also confirmed that Audi is making plans to send over the Q8. It is a large coupe-type SUV that will be a more sporty, premium, and expensive version of the newly redesigned Q7. Audi’s built this type of step-up model before with the A6 to the fancier A7.
According to Keogh, “The Q8 looks to be a home run product for the U.S., if you look at its size and where it’s going to be positioned. That’s absolutely a car that we will see in the United States.”
The Q8 is a likely contender to the Mercedes GLE-Class Coupe and BMW X6. But it’s arrival date is a bit further down the road. It will launch first in Europe and that’s not until 2017. But that one can wait, it’s the RS3 we’d like to see on U.S. soil sooner rather than later.