Audi is making the European RS3 a little more special by launching a limited edition called the Performance Edition. Offered as a sedan and a hatchback, the model features a more powerful engine, a host of specific styling cues and more standard features.
Power for both variants of the Performance Edition comes from the improvement of a 2.5-liter turbocharged, five-cylinder engine that produces 401 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. That’s an increase of about seven horses over the regular production RS3 sold in Europe, and the increase puts the Performance Edition’s output on par with the American model. This largely explains why the Performance Edition won’t be sold in the United States: Many of the features included in the package were already offered on our hot sedan.
The five-cylinder engine sings its song through a standard RS Sports exhaust with a version-specific center silencer, and it turns the four wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. . Audi quotes a 0 to 62 km/h time of 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 184 km/h. Standard RS Sports suspension ensures the RS3 Performance Edition handles well as it accelerates, on and off the track.
In terms of images, the Performance Edition version owns eye-catching 19-inch wheels with a 5-spoke cross-spoke design, semi-smooth Pirelli P Zero tires, blue color. brake calipers and black outer icons, among other design features. The sequence of headlights opening is also unique to this model: Unlock and the driver’s side LED daytime running lights flash the numbers 3, 0 and 0 as a reminder of limited production.
Inside, front passengers sit on standard bucket seats with blue stitching and a mix of leather and Dinamica upholstery. The driver facing the steering wheel has a blue 12 o’clock mark, while the front passenger sits in front of a plate engraved with the vehicle’s serial number.
Audi RS3 Performance Edition is limited to 300 units. Buyer has five color to choose from: Nogaro Blue, Arrow Grey, Daytona Grey, Sebring Glacier Black Crystal and Metallic White Effect. Prices for the RS3 Sportback start at €75,000 (about $73,900 at current conversion rates) while the RS3 Sedan has a base price of €77,000 (about $75,900). Deliveries will begin in 2023.