New Audi RS3 Sedan Has Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 In Its Sights

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Winter testing for America's hot Audi RS3 has begun.

Audi has been on a roll with new RS models lately with the recent launches of the RS7, RS6 Avant, and RS Q8, but we're still waiting for the all-new RS3 to break cover. Fortunately, it looks like we won't have to wait much longer.

Last month, Audi was caught testing the new RS3 hatchback in cold conditions, and now its sedan sibling has been spotted being put through its paces in the snow. While the hatchback will be forbidden fruit outside of Europe, the high-performance sedan version will be sold in the US, where it will take on the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45.

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This is hopefully a sign the production version is nearly ready because it's been nearly a year since the regular next-generation A3 debuted. Audi has tried to disguise the RS3's performance parts, but the wider production fenders are clearly visible under the camo. Elsewhere, the front bumper features larger air intakes than the regular A3, the side sills are wider, and large oval tailpipes are integrated into a more aggressive rear diffuser. The RS3 also rides lower to the ground and sports a subtle rear trunk spoiler.

Under the hood, the new RS3 is expected to retain its predecessor's 2.5 liter, five-cylinder turbo engine, and seven-speed automatic transmission.

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Power will be sent to a Quattro all-wheel-drive system, which will have provided the prototype with improved traction in the treacherous snow conditions. We're expecting the new RS3 to gain a small power increase over the current model, which generates 394 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque.

Since this isn't the first time a prototype has been spotted in the wild, there's a good chance the new Audi RS3 will break cover early this year, but we'll have to wait and see if Audi shows off the hatchback and America's sedan variant at the same time.

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