Here's your best look yet at the 2021 Audi RS3.
The 2021 Audi A3 made its world debut last month, but it's only been shown in Sportback guise so far. And so the wait begins for the next-generation Audi RS3 to arrive. While we've already seen test mules of Audi's new hardcore hatchback, this latest prototype looks nearly production-ready as the German automaker prepares to take on the Mercedes-AMG A45 S.
This latest Audi RS3 prototype spied flexing its muscles at the Nurburgring is wearing less camouflage than before, giving us a clearer look at the hot hatchback's sporty body kit. Wider fenders give it an aggressive appearance and we can also now see an air outlet hidden under camouflage located behind the front wheel.
Elsewhere, the 2021 Audi RS3 prototype sports wider side sills, a rear spoiler, a redesigned front grille, and a new rear bumper incorporating Audi Sport's oval exhaust pipes. Specifically, this RS3 prototype is the Sportback version, which isn't expected to go on sale in the US. Instead, American enthusiasts will only be able to get behind the wheel of the sedan version.
As for powertrain options, the current Audi RS3 packs a 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbo with 394 horsepower and 354 lb-ft on tap, but it's safe to assume the new version will get a power bump of around 15 ponies to increase the output to over 400 horsepower.
Officially, 0-62 mph takes 3.9 seconds in the current RS3, but independent tests have shown Audi's performance estimate is rather conservative. Expect the new version to be slightly quicker off the line. Other upgrades should carry over from the regular 2021 Audi A3, including a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.1-inch touc screen. Audi hasn't announced when the new RS3 will break cover. Logically, Audi will show off the hot S3 first before revealing the range-topping RS3, which could happen later this year.