Hot 2021 Audi RS3 Looks Ready To Fight Mercedes-AMG A45

Spy Shots / Comments

Audi's new hot hatch has been caught testing in the cold.

After launching the RS7, the RS6 Avant, and RS Q8 in America this year, Audi is applying the finishing touches to another new member of the RS family: the hot RS3.

It's been a few months since a prototype was spied tearing up the Nurburgring, and now a lightly camouflaged prototype has been spied undergoing cold-weather testing.

While the prototype spied a few months ago was the sedan variant finished in bright green, Audi was caught testing the upcoming RS3 hot hatch that will rival the Mercedes-AMG A45 S in Europe.

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Sadly, this version won't be sold in the US where there's less demand for hatchbacks, resulting in the demise of the Focus ST and Fiesta ST. This is also the first time the production-ready RS3 has been spied being put through its paces in winter conditions.

While the front and rear are covered up, Audi can't hide the wider production fenders and side sills protruding under the camo. Elsewhere, an air intake has been added behind the front wheel to optimize cooling and the rear bumper features Audi Sport's signature large oval tailpipes. Larger brakes and lower suspension also distinguish the RS3 from the regular A3 and S3.

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Like the current model, the new Audi RS3 will be powered by a 2.5 liter, five-cylinder turbocharged engine sending power to all four wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission. This unit generates 394 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque in the current RS3, but we're expecting the new model to get a power bump.

Our spies didn't get a peek inside the cabin, but updates applied to the regular A3 will carry over including a 10.1-inch touchscreen, a 10.3-inch digital display, and an optional head-up display. A reveal date hasn't been confirmed yet, but these latest spy shots suggest the new Audi RS3 will be ready for its debut early next year.

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