Audi A3 Clubsport TDI

The Audi A3 Clubsport Quattro is the latest barnstorming diesel to be unleashed from Audi's Ingolstadt HQ. Hot on the heels of the R8 V10 TDI and the stripped-out TT Clubsport, Audi has given the Clubsport treatment to a humble A3 2.0 TDI hatchback and turned it into an almost unrecognisable monster. ( AE )

Resplendent in a beefed up body kit and red and white livery, the A3 Clubsport shows yet again that diesel is a serious performance option these days, not just the choice for those with fuel economy and carbon emissions in mind.

The stats speak for themselves - 221bhp and a tyre-shredding 332lb ft of torque mean a 0-62mph time of just 6.6 seconds and a top speed of 149mph. But that only tells half the story, because peak torque comes at a lowly 1750rpm, endowing the TDI Clubsport with astonishing in-gear flexibility and punch.

And to nail the performance message home, the Clubsport A3 is decked with performance upgrades inside and out, from the deep front grill and massive flared wheel arches to the flat-bottomed steering wheel and bucket seats in the cabin.

It isn't just an aesthetic exercise either - the car features multilink suspension at the rear and carbon-ceramic brakes inside the huge 20" alloys for fade-free stopping power. Even the interior door handles are hollowed out to save weight!

Audi is tight-lipped on whether this full-blown Clubsport will make production, but our sources tell us many of the features you see here will appear in a hot S3-rivalling A3 TDI Clubsport, set to be unveiled in late 2009.

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