This pocket rocket version of the otherwise sensible four-door sedan boasts over 500 horsepower and a top speed of nearly 200mph and will be Audi's showcar at this year's Wörthersee festival.
Held in Germany each May, the Wörthersee is where Volkswagen's most hardcore of hardcore fans congregate to celebrate everything wonderful about the marque.
And each year, as a big thank you, VW lets its engineers and designers go mad and build concepts and special editions just for the fun of it.
As the festival has grown in size and prominence, VW has extended the ‘go wild' invitation across the other brands it owns and, with the A3 Clubsport Quattro concept, Audi has clearly taken the invitation's terms literally. And why not? -- the theme of this year's event is Audi Sport.
So, when the festival officially starts on May 28 in Reifnitz, the crowd will be dazzled by a family sedan capable of embarrassing a Ferrari.
Crowbarring a huge engine into a small car isn't exactly an engineering feat -- it is, after all, the recipe that most supercar makers follow. What makes the A3 so remarkable is that its creators have taken the standard, 2.5-liter, five-cylinder, turbocharged unit used in a host of the company's existing cars, and somehow managed to up the horsepower from 335bhp to 518bhp without welding on more cylinders or turning to the occult.
This means the car has a 0-62mph (0-100km/h) time of 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 192mph (309km/h) which is only limited by the fact that the car is a four-door sedan rather than a wedge-shaped extremely aerodynamic 2-seater coupé.
"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," says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development about the achievement.
And to ensure that all of this extra power can be used and used frequently, it is channeled through a revised, three-shaft seven-speed paddle-shift gearbox and the Quattro all-wheel-drive system that the transmission powers is also of the more heavy-duty variety.
Thankfully, with so much more power on tap, Audi has also added an air brake. The boot-lid spoiler flips up to increase drag (like dropping an anchor) so it should stop as quickly as it accelerates.
And, while this is just a concept designed to whip up the crowds, Audi has conceded that the Clubsport could indeed be a sign of what to expect when the RS3 -- the no-nonsense sports flagship version of the A3 -- launches in 2015.
Be that as it may, don't expect it to be quite as fast or as powerful as the Clubsport concept. As well as a Ferrari or Porsche, its performance figures are far too close to those of the R8 V10, Audi's range-topping out-and-out supercar.