Audi’s AMG A45 fighter promises to be a feisty one

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Audi launched the new A3 a while ago, which was soon followed by the S3. Obviously, the S3 is here to bridge the gap between the pedestrian A3 and the out-and-out hot hatch that is the RS3. Here is all we know up to this point about Ingolstadt’s incoming compact rocket.

A new set of spy pictures proves that Audi is hard at work perfecting the RS3 recipe before the premium hot hatch is finally out of the oven. When that happens, the RS3 is expected to hit the market with a tweaked version of Audi’s 2.5-liter, five-cylinder turbo gasoline mill that powers the current RS3 and RS Q3, meaner looks, and an even higher-quality interior.

2022 Audi RS3 - Exterior

2022 Audi RS3 Sedan Exterior Spyshots
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As per the spy shots sent in by our carparazzi, the new Audi RS3 is getting the traditional RS treatment. That includes the two oval exhausts, beefier front and rear fenders as well as more muscular wheel arches. Also expect the RS3 to flaunt a trunk lid-integrated spoiler and unique-design wheels.

Generally, the visual drama will take a hike compared to the current S3. After all, the RS3 sits at the top of the A3 range and it must show that on all levels.

2022 Audi RS3 - Interior

There are no pictures of the upcoming RS3’s interior but the S3 is a good starting point a far as sporty touches go. As a side note, Audi’s interiors of late have been oozing quality and a sense of tight-knit assembly courtesy of plushy materials and a theme that reflects not only the car’s exterior design but especially the character dictated by what hides under the hood.

That said, expect the likes of a sporty steering wheel, bucket seats, maybe a couple of carbon fiber inserts here and there, maybe even some aluminum, as well as Audi’s slick Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster and MMI (Multi Media Interface) 10.1-inch infotainment setup.

2022 Audi RS3 - Engine and drivetrain

2022 Audi RS3 Sedan Exterior Spyshots
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There has been a lot of talk about the new RS3’s firepower. One hint came from Audi Sport’s sales and marketing chief, Frank Michl, who spoke with AutoExpress and might have suggested that the new RS3 will retain the 2.5-liter, five-cylinder mill of the current car:

“I think [the RS3] is one of the most emotional Audi Sport cars and is a major part of the brand’s DNA, even going back to the original quattro. You can be sure that for every future RS model we will always take forward the good aspects and characteristics.”

2022 Audi RS3 Sedan Exterior Spyshots
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Well, to us, it sounds like the acclaimed mill is here to stay. What we do not know, however, is just how potent will it be. An increase over the current RS3 is on the cards, so north of 400 horsepower would be the best guess at this point.

For the sake of the argument, the 2020 Audi RS3 is good for 394 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque, enough to help it blast from zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and on to a top (track) speed of 155 mph. On demand, Audi can remove the limiter to unlock a Vmax of 174 mph.

If Audi keeps the engine and the power output goes up, then we could expect a figure that is closer to Mercedes-AMG’s A45. The pocket-rocket from Affalterbach is fitted with a 2-liter turbo-four good for 382 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. In the A45 S, the mill produces 416 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, and we believe that this is where Audi will be aiming for with the new RS3.

Elsewhere, the RS3 will also keep the quattro all-wheel-drive setup and the engine is likely to be bolted to a seven-speed S-tronic automatic transmission.

2022 Audi RS3 - Price and availability

2022 Audi RS3 Sedan Exterior Spyshots
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Expected to debut in the second half of 2021, the Audi RS3 will be offered in both sedan and Sportback (i.e., hatchback) guise. The U.S. will only get the sedan, most likely for the 2022 model year.

As far as pricing goes, in the absence of official info from Audi, all we can add is that the current RS3 has a starting MSRP of $56,200, so the new one might get a price bump to about $58,000-$60,000. We will know more once the 2022 RS3 is properly announced.

Tudor Rus
Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert -
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read full bio
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