Audi’s next-generation five-cylinder hyper hatch and sedan are one step closer to production.

New images from the famed Nurburgring race track show the new 2021 Audi RS3 Sedan doing the rounds, sporting less camouflage than previously and a bright green exterior paint finish.

We have a pretty good idea of what the new RS3 is going to look like, given the all-new A3 and S3 have been public for a while, but in usual Audi RS fashion the RS3 will turn the dial up to 11.

Like the current model, the RS3 will be unique in the new-generation A3 range, exclusively offering a five-cylinder turbo petrol engine with an S tronic dual-clutch automatic and quattro all-wheel drive.

The engine is expected to be an updated version of the current 2.5-litre five-pot, which at the moment delivers 294kW and 480Nm.

Overseas reports speculate the five-cylinder engine could get a small power bump to better challenge the Mercedes-AMG A45 S – perhaps around the 300kW/500Nm mark – but this is unconfirmed at this stage.

It’s also worth noting the new S3 doesn’t receive much of a power bump, offering the same 228kW and 400Nm as the original tune of the outgoing post-facelift S3, before WLTP testing forced Audi to detune it and add exhaust treatment systems in Europe.

Beyond the powertrain, the new RS3 will distinguish itself from other members of the A3 family with a more aggressive bodykit, dual oval exhaust pipes at the rear, bigger brakes, unique alloy wheels, and bespoke interior trimmings as well.

Expect model-specific optional features too like carbon fibre trims for the exterior and interior, carbon-ceramic brakes, and the ability to raise the speed limiter (usually 250km/h) to around 270 or 280km/h.

As for tech, the RS3 will pick up all the new features offered in the A3 and S3, meaning Audi’s latest MMI infotainment system with 10.1-inch touchscreen will be standard, as will the latest iteration of the 12.3-inch virtual cockpit digital instrument cluster.

The company’s newest semi-autonomous driver assistance features will be offered as well.

The new Audi RS3 will debut either very late this year or early next – perhaps around the usual time of the Geneva motor show in March 2021 – before a global sales launch starting around mid next year.

Pricing and specification will obviously have to wait until release, but the current RS3 starts at $83,800 for the five-door Sportback, and $86,500 for the Sedan – both before on-road costs.

Stay tuned to CarExpert for all the latest, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

James Wong

James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert based in Melbourne, Australia. With experience on both media and manufacturer sides of the industry, James has a specialty for product knowledge which stems from a life-long obsession with cars. James is a Monash University journalism graduate, an avid tennis player, and the proud charity ambassador for Drive Against Depression – an organisation that supports mental wellness through the freedom of driving and the love of cars. He's also the proud father of Freddy, a 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI .

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