Paris 2016: Audi Alarms the Compact Segment With the 396 hp RS3 Sedan

Comes as the most powerful offer in the C-segment

Audi introduced the RS3 Sedan to the world at this year's Paris Motor Show, and it makes a powerful statement: it enters the compact car arena with the biggest guns.

The 2.5-liter TFSI unit now pumps out 396 hp (400 PS) and 354 lb-ft (480 Nm) of torque, 33 hp more than in its previous reiterations. Naturally, the five-cylinder turbocharged engine is mated to the seven-speed dual clutch S tronic transmission, which transmits the power to the quattro permanent all-wheel-drive unit.

This mechanical cocktail enables the 0-62 mph sprints in just 4.1 seconds, with a governed top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h). On request, the maximum velocity bar can be upped to 174 mph (280 km/h).

The RS3 sits 25 mm closer to the ground compared to a standard model, showing 19-inch wheels hiding 370-mm brake discs at the front and 310-mm at the rear, so it's safe to say there's enough stopping power, too.

Speaking of safety, the RS3 Sedan comes with adaptive cruise control, blind spot assist, lane departure warning, and forward collision mitigation system. A true novelty would be the traffic jam assist, which will take care of the steering, acceleration, and brake in slow-moving traffic (speeds up to 40 mph or 65 km/h).

Its cabin is cladded with black Nappa leather and features the 7" MMI touch infotainment system, and the 12.3-inch most praised Virtual Cockpit instrument panel. And RS badges, of course.

It's compact and super powerful (for its size) yet it shows polyvalence with its Audi Drive Select handling system through which you can alter the car's parameters from Comfort to Auto to Dynamic – and the steering, gearbox, engine management and exhaust flaps will tune differently, depending on your choice.

No words on the price yet, but we know the RS3 will go on sale summer 2017.