By: Jason Woosey

Paris Motor Show - Few would argue that the four-door sedan format is the best-looking body style in the Audi A3 family and now it's available with the most powerful engine in the range.

Yet not only has Audi's performance division RS-ified the sedan, it has also made the world's most powerful five-cylinder engine even more ferocious.

The 2.5-litre unit's outputs have been bumped up from 270kW and 465Nm to 294kW and 480Nm, with 0-100km/h happening in 4.1 seconds according to claims. Ask them nicely and they'll also instruct the top speed nanny to allow 280km/h, rather than the standard 250km/h restriction.

Drivers can vary the five-cylinder soundtrack through the Drive Select system, along with the throttle mapping, steering and suspension - the latter set 25mm lower than normal and featuring adaptive dampers. True to the performance Audi standard, a seven-speed dual-clutch S Tronic gearbox feeds power to all four wheels through a Quattro all-wheel drive system.

The new sedan comes with all the design perks that you'd expect with the RS badge, highlights being the bolder bumpers, widened wheel arches, 19-inch wheels and rear lip spoiler. Matrix LED headlights are an option and buyers can opt for RS-exclusive paint colours in the form of Catalunya red and Nardo grey.

The theme inside is appropriately dark and sinister, with Black fine Nappa sports seats as well as RS-specific inlays, a flat-bottomed steering wheel and unique instrument cluster with lap timer and g-force reader. Buyers will have to fork out extra for the race-style RS sport seats that you see in the pictures, featuring integrated headrests and diamond-patterning, and Audi's 'Virtual Cockpit' digital instrument cluster is now available too.

According to Audi South Africa, the RS3 sedan is coming to our shores, but exact timing has yet to be confirmed.

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