Mercedes is about to get some stiff competition.
Although they haven't been revealed as of yet, we know Mercedes is working on hardcore versions of the A-Class and CLA-Class with around 400 horsepower. The A45 and CLA45 should be highly competitive in the performance sub-compact luxury car segment, but Audi Sport isn't just going to sit back and let AMG have all the fun. The current Audi RS3 is already a blisteringly fast car, capable of breaking its own 0-60 mph estimates courtesy of an underrated 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine. Many people believe this five-cylinder mill produces more than its rated 400 horsepower because it hits 0-60 mph in only 3.7 seconds - beating Audi's 4.1-second estimate - but a new version could be even more potent.
Despite the RS3 already being a performance bargain, Audi is currently working on an all-new model, which is expected to arrive in the 2020 model year. We've already seen spy shots of what appeared to be a camouflaged A3 or S3 test mule, but now Audi has been spotted testing an all-new RS3. Unlike the car in the previous spy shots, this test mule wears no camouflage because it is testing using a shell of the existing RS3 body. It is clear this is a test mule and not just a standard RS3 because the car has wider fenders in the front and rear, meaning the new RS3 will likely have a wider track than the current car. These spy shots also show the new RS3 wearing a Sportback body, which will likely remain as a European-only model while US buyers get the sedan.
We expect to see a bump in power from the current cars' 400 hp rating, which should make it a match for AMG's upcoming cars. Based on previous A3/S3 spy shots, we should also expect the RS3 to adopt a new touchscreen infotainment layout rather than utilizing the current car's rotating knob and pop-up screen. We'll get a better idea of what the new RS3 will look like when the A3 and S3 are revealed later in 2019.