Currently reading: Hot Audi RS3 caught testing
Hot 335bhp RS3 is tipped to go on sale in 2012 - see the best spy pictures yet

These are the best spy pictures yet of new the Audi RS3, the firm’s twin-turbo 335bhp mega-hatch that’s tipped to reach showrooms by 2012.

The Audi A3 will be replaced late next year and the RS3 will become the flagship of the range when it launches a year later.

See the new Audi RS3 spy pics

The test mule has been spied before but it has always sported bodywork from the S3. The mule spied here at the Nurburgring is the first time the RS3 mule has been captured with Audi’s RS front bumper. It features larger wheels with lower profile tyres than the S3 and should also benefit from wider tracks and flared arches. The pictures also reveal a retractable rear spoiler, although its mechanism seems far from conventional.

Audi had been tipped to launch an RS3 as a run-out model for the current range at the Frankfurt motor show last year, but it never materlised and Audi will instead wait until the next generation model arrives for an RS model.

Power will come from the twin-turbo 2.5-litre five-pot engine from the TT-RS, producing 335bhp and 332lb ft of torque. The hatch will be all-wheel drive and should be capable of 0-62mph in 4.5sec and a top speed in excess of 160mph.

A new seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and a torque-vectoring differential are also expected to feature.

The new RS3 will be one of several new variants of the next-generation A3 as Audi aims to broaden the appeal of its premium hatchback, a model that has proven vital to the company’s fortunes since its introduction back in 1996.

The RS3 will rival mega-hatches including the Ford Focus RS500 and the forthcoming BMW 1-series M coupe.

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Pugmeister 23 June 2010

Re: Hot Audi RS3 caught testing

Totally agree with the last post - Audi are in a creative black hole! Its bound to be quick, hard riding and lacking in soul like every fast Audi since the Quattro except the mk2 RS4 and R8...Give me a Scirrocco or Megane RS Cup and a wedge of cash for a fast bike with the change, any day!!

Lee23404 23 June 2010

Re: Hot Audi RS3 caught testing

Jon Hardcastle wrote:
If the RS3 goes into production as seen in the pictures they have been very sublte,

I don't know for sure obviously but thinking about what other RS Audis are like I'll be surprised if it goes in to production looking quite that subtle.

As with all these 'hyper hatches', yes they're nice but jeez that price.

Jon Hardcastle 23 June 2010

Re: Hot Audi RS3 caught testing

disco.stu wrote:

Jon Hardcastle wrote:
Why make it look like an S line when you can make it still resemble an A3 but offer something visually different.... you can hardly call the RS Focus a copy of the ST and when your spending close to 40K why would you want to sit in something that looks exactly like the one that sold for 20K?

I think that exactly their point. It's supposed to be subtle, or at least subtly menacing. If you want, you can have it in bright orange, but a lot of the buyers like the fact it doesn't shout "Look at me, i'm a hot hatch"

Point taken but you don't have to go all bells and whistles styling to be different from a lower cheaper RS3 wannabe, it can be done subtly without coming over chavy lairy colour schemes and big wings.

If the RS3 goes into production as seen in the pictures they have been very sublte, sublty the same, S line witha badge on the front and rear.