Audi Sport published a press release to highlight its 2020 results, which were impressive especially considering the context, and to share a little bit of information about what’s next. While the RS3 doesn’t appear anywhere in the text, both variants of the next-generation car make a cameo appearance in the gallery that accompanies the release.
The RS3 Sedan and the RS3 Sportback were positioned front and center in the family portrait taken by Audi Sport. They’re parked in between the RS E-Tron GT and the TT RS roadster, cars that illustrate the brand’s future and past, respectively. Neither 3 took off its camouflage for the photo, but finer design details are beginning to appear.
We can tell the Sportback’s front end wears a specific grille with octagonal inserts and air dams on either side of it. At least one looks functional; we can see a radiator behind it. In contrast, the 310-horsepower S3 (the next model down in the hierarchy) wears a grille with hexagonal inserts, and the two air dam-shaped bits on its front bumper are merely trim pieces. Look closely, and you’ll also notice the RS3’s headlights feature redesigned LED accents.
Even several layers of camouflage can’t hide the RS3’s punched-out fenders, which help create a visual link between the model and some of the emblematic rally cars in Audi’s past. While the Sportback’s rear end isn’t shown, the Sedan’s features a subtle spoiler and oval exhaust tips integrated into a not-so-subtle diffuser. Judging by what we’ve seen so far, it looks like the next RS3 will wear a more muscular design than its predecessor.
Earlier spy shots suggest the RS3 will proudly buck the downsizing trend sweeping across the industry and keep its five-cylinder engine. Nothing is official yet, but we expect popping the hood will reveal a revised version of the turbocharged 2.5-liter that powers the current-generation car. It will be tuned to send over 400 horsepower to the four wheels via Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Audi has already unveiled the track-bound version of the next-generation RS3, so the street model is likely right around the corner. We should learn more about it before the end of 2021, and sales will likely start for 2023.