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ABT Audi S3 Cabriolet Has RS3-Matching 400 HP

Audi RS3 News


Audi wants a lot of money for the privilege of owning the RS3 or the TT RS. And many people are willing to pay because the 2.5-liter engine is just so special. But with a good tuning kit, even the 2.0 TSI can reach 400 horsepower.

Let's stop for a second and think what that means because the A45 has numbed us to the implications of these kinds of numbers. We're dealing with 100 horsepower per cylinder or 200 horsepower per liter. They are racing motorcycle levels of output.

This is by no means the most powerful version of the 2.0 TFSI out there. But the fact that ABT based their project on the S3 Cabriolet deserves extra attention. You see, this body style is going to be discontinued, plus you can't buy an RS3 Cabriolet, only a hatch, and sedan.

So if you want a 400 horsepower Audi convertible, it's either this or the S5. Anyway, we have to look at what they're offering, starting with the power boost. This was achieved through a custom control unit for the turbo engine that's designed to work with a port catalyst in the exhaust and better induction management. If you just want the software, that can still get you 370 horsepower and 480 Nm of torque, which is more than the outgoing RS3 Sportback. But the new 0 to 100 km/h time of 4.6 seconds reveals the limitations of this platform.

To compensate for the A3 Cabriolet's softer body, ABT also installed sport anti-roll bars front and rear. They went easy in the cosmetics department, only adding some 2-inch two-tone wheels and fender vent inserts.

"For the perfect look, all that's missing now is the special door entry lighting, which projects the ABT logo on the floor when getting into the car. And that's the one, and only reason why a proud owner of this attractive convertible would ever put his head down," the one-stop-shop for Audi tuning says in its press release.

RS3 levels of power in a convertible is kind of cool. But ABT has spoiled us with much better project at the Geneva Motor Show. Check out their RS6 and the body kit for the R8, which is our current favorite look for the German supercar.

Read more on Autoevolution.

ost of the top tier liter bikes for the past few years (that's 1.0L) put out 200+hp per liter and that's a street bike. World Superbikes put out around 240-250hp. Moto GP...these days it's around 265 AT LEAST but they ain't talking. So the S3 would have to put out an additional 100hp to match what a racing motorcycle typically puts out.

But I get the point. I remember when the Evo FQ400 was released in the UK and it suffered from a horrible power curve and lag that didn't end until the tach needle swung past the 4K mark. I find it very tempting that 400hp, with no more lag than stock, is achievable out of the S3's engine. The 034 Motorsports turbo upgrade comes to mind and is incredibly tempting.

I applaud the effort but the new RS3/TTRS seem to be putting out more than 400hp at the wheels and with a tune, they're running crazy numbers on stock hardware and at a torque level the 4-cylinder can only dream of. That HAS to make day to day real-world performance driving easier and far more pleasurable. How much work has gone into the transmission and Haldex remains to be seen but the early feedback seems promising. Will the 2017 S3 have the handling feel? Doubtful. Add in the brakes and an intact warranty and an RS3 makes a lot more sense.

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