It’s been just over a year since Audi revealed the latest iteration of its RS3 hot hatch and sedan, but a facelifted version appears to already be in the works.

    Our spy photographers have captured what’s understood to be a prototype mid-life updated Audi RS3 sedan with camouflage wrap covering portions of the car.

    Although this spied RS3 prototype looks very similar to the current model that only launched locally in August this year, keen-eyed viewers will be able to see there are a couple of minor exterior design changes.

    At the front the Audi Rings badge has been moved slightly up and is now no longer completely inside the hexagonal mesh grille. The corner air vents seem to be reworked as well.

    The only other notable change is the slightly different rear diffuser that’s covered in a lot of camouflage. There could be other minor changes at the back too that are hidden by this camouflage.

    We’ll most likely get a better look at these exterior changes in a future prototype.

    It’s unclear if Audi is planning to make any changes to the RS3’s powertrain as part of the update.

    The current model is powered by a 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine that produces 294kW of power and 500Nm of torque.

    A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is the only transmission option available.

    Both the sedan and hatch versions of the RS3 can do the 0-100km/h sprint in just 3.8 seconds.

    Under the skin, the current RS3 ditched the Haldex all-wheel drive system the previous model had for Audi’s new RS Torque Splitter.

    The system allows for active and fully variable torque vectoring between the rear wheels. It features an electronically-controlled multiple-disc clutch on each drive shaft, with each clutch having its own control unit.

    Audi says the torque splitter cuts understeer, allowing earlier and faster acceleration coming out of corners, and more precise and agile handling.

    This facelifted Audi RS3 could be the end of the fire-breathing turbocharged five-cylinder era as the company has said it’ll go all-electric by 2033 in all markets, except for China.

    Autocar reported in July this year that the next A3 hatch and sedan will arrive in 2027, offering electric power only and riding the new Scalable Systems Platform electric vehicle architecture.

    The next A3 will reportedly offer a choice of single-motor rear- or dual-motor all-wheel drive, with a hot RS3 flagship continuing atop the range.

    This electric RS3 will reportedly offer quicker straight-line performance than the current turbocharged five-cylinder model.

    Click an image to view the full gallery.

    MORE: Everything Audi RS3

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

    Buy and Lease
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers