The fact that Audi is working on a brand-new RS3 model ever since the third-generation A3 was unveiled in 2012 is no longer a secret, but the details around the high-performance compact are still under wraps. And the same goes for the production version that was spotted testing recently.
The vehicle in question is a Sportback version of the RS3 and, judging by the photos we’ve just received, the five-door has received a more aggressive front bumper with large air intakes and the company’s fresh headlamps and taillights.
Also notable when compared to the previous model are the wider fenders and a dual-exhaust configuration instead of the familiar twin setup. What’s more, the exhaust tips appear to have been embedded in the rear bumper, whereas the preceding RS3 Sportback had them mounted below the piece, in the diffuser-like skirt.
While these exterior tweaks are in line with the updates added to the new A3 and pretty much expected, the RS3 might hide something completely different under the hood.
Click past the jump to read more about the Audi RS3.
According to our paparazzi, the said test vehicle no longer sounds like it’s powered by a five-cylinder engine, which means recent rumors claiming that the new RS3 might get a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine could be accurate.
Most likely, the high-performance compact will benefit from the same engine seen in the Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept at the Beijing Auto Show , meaning the new RS3 could deliver as much as 395 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque.
Why It Matters
With 395 horsepower on tap and new, aggressive looks, the Audi RS3 is set to climb atop its competitors one more time. Making things even better, the RS3 will be offered in at least three body styles, with the hatchback and the sedan joining the Sportback version depicted above.
If the new 2.0-liter four-pot is indeed the unit we’ll be getting under the hood, Volkswagen’s Golf R 400 Concept will also make sense as a production car, which means we could be in for yet another hot hatch.