If you are a German automobile enthusiast who tends to be swayed toward the Volkswagen (VLKAY.PK) family variety of vehicles, you may already be familiar with Wörthersee, the annual festival of all things Volkswagen. If not, it’s an event where owners and custom builders can show off their unique rides, admire others, and spend a few days hanging with car owners of their ilk and geek out over the latest VW tech.
It’s also a chance for Volkswagen engineers to let loose, cut the purse strings, and shine a light into the corners of their skunkworks. Each year, Volkswagen brings a concept vehicle that — although it will likely not see production — offers a look into what’s possible.
Last year, the company brought a mental VW Golf built on the MKVII platform that boasted in excess of 500 horsepower and had the aerodynamic chops to match. This year, the entry comes from Audi, and needless to say, it doesn’t disappoint.
Fresh off its release in the U.S., Audi chose to doctor up its entry-level high-octane S3 sedan. Doctored might be an understatement here: it produces a whopping 525 horsepower and can reportedly reach a top speed of 193 miles per hour. The 2.0 liter turbo four has been replaced with the former 2.5 liter inline five (also turbocharged), which routes that power along with 442 pound-feet of torque to all four wheels.
Needless to say, this thing is a bruiser. “The Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept shows our car and tuning fans at the Wörthersee just how much sporty potential there is in the A3 family* and in our top-of-the-line engines such as the 2.5 TFSI. We have pushed the limits in every respect with this show car: power, dynamics, sound, design,” said Ulrich Hackenberg, a member of the Board of Management for Technical Development, in Audi’s press release.
This concept could conceivably form what will become an RS3, the highest level of tuning that Audi offers from the factory. The jury is still out on that though, and whether it comes to the U.S. is another issue entirely. Volkswagen recently debuted its 400-horsepower Golf R-400, which is slightly shy of the previous Wörthersee Golf, meaning that the idea is seeping from the conceptual room onto the production line.
We can’t wait to see the videos of this thing once it fires up at the event this coming weekend, and can only hope it goes over well enough to see production — even if it’s a little tuned down (concepts will be concepts, after all).