Audi has provided the first official glimpse of the all-new RS3 Sportback and Sedan ahead of their reported unveilings in September.
Last mentioned towards the end of last year, Ingolstadt’s rival for the Mercedes-AMG A45 S, BMW M135 xDrive and sister brand Volkswagen’s new Golf R will keep hold of the five-cylinder 2.5 TFSI engine, albeit with a more power than the current 294 kW.
Teased as part of Audi Sport’s media reveal of all of its current models ranging from the RS5 to the all-electric e-tron RS, the step-up from the S3 received no official mentioning in the supplied press release, but its placing right at the front between the e-tron and the TT RS Roadster in addition to being the only models wearing camouflage, has all but confirmed an intentional staging to catch attention despite noting being said outright.
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Likely to also be the final versions solely equipped with an internal combustion engine, the easily identifiable changes consist of a black honeycomb pattern Singleframe grille, pronounced air inlets on the flanks of the front bumper, a new diffuser presented by the sedan, red S branded brake calipers, wider door sills and fat Audi Sport alloy wheels.
Set to ride on a revised version of the MQB Evo platform used by the standard A3 Sportback and sedan, the S3 and the Golf, the biggest mystery surrounds the final output reports have claimed will rival the 310 kW produced by the A45 S.
Initially alleged to be 331 kW, the same as the bi-turbo 2.9 TFSI V6 used in the RS4 Avant, RS5 and S6, a more recent estimate from Britain’s Auto Express has put the figure at 309 kW, one less than the A45 S and the exact same as the 4.2-litre V8 used in the iconic B7 RS4 and the first generation R8.
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Meanwhile, motor1.com has claimed that the “fanfare” lacking teaser points to a potentially earlier reveal than September after it published images of both models as early as March this year undergoing testing at the Nürburgring wearing a combination of disguised and production bodywork.
Once revealed, expect sales to commence towards the end of this year with availability for South Africa likely in 2022 given that the normal A3 has not yet been launched.