Currently reading: 2020 Audi S3: hot hatch and saloon spotted undisguised
New spy shots show 306bhp S3 hatchback and saloon in production form ahead of a reveal later this year

Following the unveiling of the overhauled A3 in March, Audi is gearing up to launch the hot S3 variant – and our snappers have caught it undisguised in saloon and hatchback forms. 

Prototypes spotted testing at the Nürburgring appear to be production-ready and bear a similar evolutionary look to the standard car. We've driven a heavily camouflaged S3 prototype, but these new images show off the model's subtle, performance-oriented styling tweaks. 

As with the outgoing car, the S3 will adopt a set of quad exhaust pipes housed in a diffuser-style rear bumper, bespoke performance alloy wheels, larger brake discs and slightly extended wheel arches for a sportier stance. Bespoke badging at the front and rear, not featured on these prototypes, will also likely feature. 


The S3, which is set to get more power and a significant technology upgrade, will be part of an 11-strong Audi A3 model line-up due before 2022. 

Revealed in five-door hatchback form, using the current car's MQB platform, the A3 will also offer Audi four-door saloon and, eventually, five-door liftback variants. The liftback is expected to take the Sportback name as the three-door A3 was discontinued in 2017.

The other variants will also gain S3- and RS3-badged models. With competition from the new BMW M135i and Mercedes-AMG A35 in the 300-335bhp bracket, the S3 will pack 306bhp and 295lb ft by using the Volkswagen Golf R's 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Performance figures are likely to improve over the current car's but remain under wraps for now.

The outgoing car's quattro four-wheel drive and progressive steering are carried over, but a new damper system and central dynamic control function bring subtle changes to the S3's dynamic character.  

The RS3, meanwhile, will increase in power in the face of 400bhp-plus opposition from the Mercedes-AMG A45. It'll keep the 2.5-litre five-cylinder unit from the current car, updated to meet the latest emissions regulations, but should share its 394bhp output with the recently launched RS Q3. 


Read our review

Car review

Third-gen Audi A3 gets a mild facelift, more equipment, some new engines and a new hot model - but is it the cream of the premium hatch crop?

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This 11-car line-up will span all the bases covered by the Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchback and saloon and Mercedes-Benz CLA coupé ranges, including the 35- and 45-badged AMG variants.

The styling of the new A3 follows the rest of the Audi range with a more geometric front-end treatment and sharper tail-lights. Audi's Virtual Cockpit features as standard, with a choice of two infotainment screen sizes, advanced voice control and a migration away from physical switchgear. 

Read more

First drive: 2020 Audi S3 prototype​

Mercedes-AMG A35 review

New Audi A3 revealed with styling overhaul and new interior

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XTX 24 June 2020

Same Same

I've a 2018 S3 Sportback and externally this looks exactly the same other than a new bumper and lights.. and more of these dashboard screens 

Its a nice car that goes fast but its so dull to drive, Id rather have a Golf Mk7 GTI with a manual gearbox. At least then there is some real driving interaction to be had.

Bimfan 24 June 2020

I have never driven an Audi

I have never driven an Audi that wasn't entirely competent and always fast enough to match or beat the competition in a straight line. Unfortunately, they don't ever seem very exciting or satisfying to drive though.

Peter Cavellini 30 January 2020

Not sure.

 Yes, it'll be fast, agile even, but, I was only saying yesterday to the Wife that I though the rear was not nice to look at, especially in White.