Audi’s A3 Clubsport quattro concept doesn’t just punch above its weight, it’s a knockout

Unlike the coverage surrounding most concept cars, Audi opened up its press release for the A3 clubsport quattro talking not about the visual tweaks but rather about the engine. And there’s good reason why.

The 2.5-liter five-cylinder TFSI engine, which Audi brags has a “throaty snarl”, makes 525 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. That represents 211.7 hp per liter. To put that into perspective, the SRT Viper’s 8.4-liter V10 makes 73 hp per liter. So there’s that.

All that monumental power is routed through a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission that routes power to all four wheels. In the rear, the A3 clubsport has been given a specifically designed, hydraulically activated, multi‑plate clutch on the rear axle just to handle the waves of unrelenting torque put out by the five-banger.

The prodigious power output is good for a 0 to 62 mph run of 3.6 seconds and a top speed 192 mph – enough to tear a hole in the space-time continuum … or your lederhosen.

Audi A3 Clubsport Quattro concept

The transformation from standard S3 to A3 clubsport doesn’t end there. The suspension has been stiffened and lowered by 10 mm. And the body has been given a racecar-like aerodynamics treatment, including a blade of carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) just below the single-frame grille. As Audi explains: “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.”

In the back, the A3 clubsport features a rear diffuser that conceals the exhaust system. But that’s not the only rear differentiation. When the driver stomps on the brakes, an air brake spoiler built into the trunk lid electronically lifts “in the blink of an eye.”

On the interior, the driver is surrounded by black leather, accented with red stitching. The seats have been upgraded to racing buckets with huge side bolstering and a CFRP shell. And the S tronic gear selector sports a red ring, a CFRP badge, and a Clubsport logo.

We loved the compact driving dynamics of the standard, 300-hp Audi S3. And we can only imagine how an extra 125 horsepower changes the experience. Sadly, it’s only a concept, and we won’t likely drive it. On the bright side, the clubsport quattro concept shows what Audi is capable of creating with its TFSI engines: Teutonic levels of torque.