2021 Audi RS3 spy photos show 5-cylinder prototypes in winter testing

Byron Hurd


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The Audi RS3 will return for the new generation of the German subcompact. As these spy shots reveal, Audi is well into development of the turbocharged five-cylinder hatchback and sedan, so if you think the best Audis are those with an odd cylinder count, you're in luck.

These shots depict both the hatch and sedan variants of the RS3 undergoing cold-weather validation. The camouflage on both is still fairly extensive, but we can spot a couple of details poking out from under all of that vinyl. 

For starters, these prototypes are both riding pretty low, signaling their sporty nature. That alone isn't a huge differentiator, but their beefy brakes clearly set them apart from their S-branded siblings. The red calipers are clearly visible on the hatch, as are the cross-drilled rotors. 

In the angles where the front and rear of the prototypes can be seen most clearly, we can just make out the beginnings of their flared fenders. We expect the final bodywork isn't too far behind. 

It's still early for real details, but we expect the new RS3 to be powered by a revised 2.5-liter turbo-five making north of 400 horsepower. The final output will probably be somewhere in line with the 450-horsepower package that tuner APR offers current owners with a dealer-backed warranty

We called this a 2021 model, but given Audi's global release cadence, we may not actually see it here in time for the 2021 model year. It's likely not that far off, though, so we shouldn't have to wait too long to hear what Audi has in store for American buyers. Stay tuned.

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