Audi had several reveals this week at the Paris Motor Show, but nothing was more batty than the new RS3 LMS race car. Audi’s latest hot homologation car starts with the all-new RS3 sedan, removes all of the unnecessary bits and adds all the racing-spec equipment you could want. The result is a full-prepped, relatively affordable factory race car.
That relatively affordable part is very important. Audi Sport, the division behind the R8 LMS as well as the R and RS road cars, designed the RS3 LMS for the still-new TCR FIA-spec racing series. The cars will cost about $112,000 USD for the club sport version and $145,000 with the six-speed sequential transmission. Not bad for a fully FIA-friendly factory machine. The new TCR series races follow other FIA series like Formula 1 and WEC.
All that cash get’s nets you a pretty badass looking car, especially in Audi’s black and red paint scheme. As you can see in the photos, the RS3 LMS is far wider than the standard sedan, which is fairly compact by modern standards. The requisite giant rear wing is present, as is the big front splitter. The RS3 LMS ditches the new road car’s dual exhaust for a cool looking single, center-exit pipe. Inside, it’s all bare metal and plastic, ditching any semblance of road-going civility.
Under the hood, the RS3 LMS loses the new 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-five and replaces it with Volkswagen’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four. In this application, the engine pumps out a healthy 330 horsepower. Audi claims a 0 to 60 mph time of 4.5 seconds.
Audi says customer deliveries will start in December, so look for the new car on track starting in 2017.