The Nürburgring remains the quintessential track for setting new lap records whenever a new performance car comes out, which is exactly what Audi did with the RS3. Using the sedan version of the five-cylinder machine, the Four Rings managed to set a new record in the compact class with a lap time of 7 minutes and 40.748 seconds.
If you're wondering why the car is camouflaged, the record-breaking attempt took place in June, so a month before the RS3 was officially unveiled without the Audi Sport wrap showing the firing order of the five cylinders. Behind the wheel of the small super saloon was Audi Sport racing and development driver Frank Stippler, who managed to shave off 4.64 seconds from the previous record in this class.
Just to clarify, Audi is referring to the full 20.8-kilometre layout of the track. Renault held the previous record with its front-wheel-drive Megane RS Trophy-R, which lapped the course in 7 minutes and 45.389 seconds, hence the 4.64-second improvement mentioned by the folks from Ingolstadt.
Gallery: Audi RS3 Sedan sets Nürburgring lap record for compact cars
The RS3 Saloon was equipped with the optional Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R semi-slicks, which had a specific tyre pressure suitable for the speedy run around the Green Hell. The body-hugging front seats and roll cage in the back are what practically all automakers use when attempting a lap record, along with a multitude of cameras plastered inside and out to grab all the action.
The video attached at the top shows Frank Stippler putting the 2.5-litre TFSI engine to work, an inline-five that delivers 394 bhp (294 kilowatts) in the Euro version and a slightly more potent 401 hp in the US-spec RS3. With 369 pound-feet (500 Newton-metres) and a torque-vectoring Quattro all-wheel drive, Audi Sport's compact RS goes like stink around the challenging corners of the Nordschleife.
The RS3 needs a mere 3.8 seconds to hit 62 mph (100 km/h) from a standstill and will top out at 155 mph (250 km/h) in standard form. Throw in the optional performance package and Audi will loosen up the limiter to unlock a maximum velocity of 180 mph (290 km/h).
It's already available in the UK where Audi is asking £50,900 for the RS3 Sportback and an extra £1,000 for the RS3 Saloon.