Audi’s hottest hatch, the RS3, has been spied again ahead of its reveal.

    Its less powerful A3 and S3 counterparts have already been revealed, with both set to launch in Australia in the second half of next year.

    The RS3 is set to be revealed early next year and go on sale later in 2021, though odds are a local launch will be late in 2021 or early in 2022.

    We also expect it to continue to use a turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

    The current RS3 produces 294kW of power and 480Nm of torque and the new car is likely to offer similar outputs, with perhaps a modest increase. The engine offers those same outputs in the latest RSQ3.

    Any bump in power and torque would bring it closer to the Mercedes-AMG A45 S, which produces 310kW of power and 500Nm of torque from its turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine.

    Inside, the next-generation RS3 will have the same significant interior overhaul as the latest A3 and S3 with a 10.1-inch touchscreen running the latest version of Audi’s MIB3 infotainment system.

    A 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster will also feature.

    Its exterior design, like that of the A3 and S3, is more evolutionary than revolutionary. Nevertheless, it has a more dynamic look overall with a more aggressive front end and more sculpted sides.

    There looks to be a more aggressive bodykit, plus dual oval exhaust outlets at the rear, bigger brakes, and unique alloy wheels.

    Expect model-specific optional features too like carbon fibre trims for the exterior and interior and carbon-ceramic brakes.

    A local launch is too far away for pricing to be available, but the current RS3 starts at $83,436 for the five-door Sportback and $86,136 for the Sedan – both before on-road costs.

    Audi reintroduced the RS3 to Australia this year after 18 months off the market.

    While Audi has the option to import some of its performance cars without a petrol particulate filter, the RS3 was only available with the filter fitted.

    Given the RS3 has previously accounted for around a quarter of local A3 sales, Audi has chosen to run with the PPF and warn owners of the risks of under-fuelling. A PPF will almost certainly appear on the next RS3, too.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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