At a first glance, you may think that this is an ordinary Audi S3 , but you would be wrong. According to our spy photographers, they initially caught this car testing on the Nurburgring and it didn’t sound at all like an S3, but more like a hot five-cylinder engine.
Also, the second day they spotted the mule again, and this time they noticed the massive brakes and the larger air intakes in the front bumper — these intakes are non-functional on the S3. This made it crystal clear that this is, in fact, the upcoming 2014 Audi RS3 .
Under the hood, Audi will place the same turbocharged, 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine found in the TT RS (where it delivers 340 horsepower) and the TT RS Plus (360 horsepower). Taking into consideration that its biggest competitor — the Mercedes A45 AMG — delivers about 360 horsepower, we expect the RS3 to deliver about the same amount.
The Audi RS3 will debut sometime in 2014 in both three- and five-door configurations.
Click past the jump to read more about the Audi RS3.
Gallery Audi RS3
The prototype caught testing today is no more than an S3 mule, so expect the production version RS3 to look a lot hotter.
The model will feature large brakes with six-piston calipers and large cross-drilled discs. Also, when compared to the S3 where the air intakes in the front bumper are non-functional, in the RS3 they are very real and let the engine breathe.
Besides that, the RS3 is expected to feature the usual RS elements, like the grille, front and rear bumpers and of course, dual tailpipes.
Spyshots vs. Top Speed Rendering
For now, the RS3 out on the roads is simply an S3 with a different heart. So, to expect it to match up with our rendering is really a stretch. From the looks of things, however, there may be a few tweaks that we may need to give to our rendering. The key ones being the design of the air intakes on the front bumper and the grille design. We’ll see what happens when we actually catch a real RS3 prototype on the road.
The latest Audi A3 hit the market in the spring of 2012, and featured plenty of pep for an entry-level, lux-hatch. Sure, the base model isn’t anything to write home about, thanks to a 1.4-liter TFSI engine that churns out just 122 horsepower, but its 1.8 TSFI engine is a whole different story. It cranks out 180 ponies and launches the lux-hatchback to 60 mph in the low-seven-second range.
We’re still awaiting the A3’s arrival in the U.S., but as hatchbacks become more accepted over here, we’re sure Audi will eventually give in and ship it over.