Having launched the all-new A3 and S3 in sedan, convertible, as well as five- and three-door hatchback forms, Audi is turning its attention to the high-performance flagship of the A3 family — the RS3.
The high-performance compact was recently caught undergoing testing in Sportback (five-door hatchback) form at the famed Nürburgring race track in Germany. The reason for the car wearing very little camo is likely due to the fact that the most important upgrades to the vehicle will be beneath its skin.
Speaking of the prototype’s body, it’s noticeably wider and lower than the A3 and S3, with a front fascia reminiscent of Audi’s other RS-level models while the rear sporting a quad-tipped exhaust. The engine and exhaust notes of the prototype in the video lead us to believe that the prototype is powered by an upgraded version of the five-cylinder 2.5-liter TFSI motor found in the last-gen RS3.
It’s also worth noting that the vehicle seen in the video, which will undoubtedly have a version of Audi’s high-performance quattro AWD system, seems to rotate upon turning into a corner, a characteristic that’s uncommon of vehicles with a transverse engine orientation — such as the entire A3/S3/RS3 model line.
Expect Audi to reveal the new RS3 by the end of 2014, and launch it in 2015. A five-door hatchback body style is a given, while a four-door sedan is a possibility. If an RS3 Sedan does become reality, it would be the first time that an RS3 badge would grace a vehicle with a trunk.