Range-topping hatchback and saloon will be among the most powerful models in their segments
Felix Page Autocar writer
24 March 2020

Following the recent unveiling of the new Audi A3 hatchback, our spy photographers have snapped the hardcore RS3 variant in saloon form. 

The range-topping model is set to take its power from the same turbocharged five-cylinder 2.5-litre petrol engine as the new RS Q3 performance SUV. The 394bhp output of this unit will make the RS3 one of the most powerful cars in its segment, just below the 416bhp Mercedes-AMG A45 S.

The RS3 is likely to improve on the larger RS Q3’s 4.5sec 0-62mph time, potentially taking it below 4.0sec. It could also be capable of beating its 174mph top speed, although RS models are traditionally electronically limited to 155mph as standard.

The prototype in these images wears extensive camouflage, but we can see the RS3 Saloon will feature a number of unique design elements aimed at differentiating itself from the standard model, which is due to arrive in dealerships in May. 

Our Verdict

Audi RS3

Audi Sport reaches for more power, and a new bodystyle, for the facelifted RS3


Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

Its alloy wheels are considerably larger than those of the standard car and are wrapped in much lower-profile tyres. The RS3’s potential is further hinted at by large, ventilated brake discs and a pair of classic RS-style large-bore tailpipes.

The front end features the latest iteration of Audi’s corporate grille design, with the aggressive lower air intake styling aping those of the new RS6 Avant flagship and recently facelifted RS4 Avant

Audi has yet to confirm a launch date for the RS3, but it can be expected to follow some way behind the regular A3 Saloon, which is set to enter production in September. 

Audi Sport’s line of RS performance models is as varied as it has ever been, with performance variants of the TT, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, Q3 and Q3 Sportback currently on offer. The range is now headed up by the new RS Q8, which packs 592bhp from a twin-turbocharged mild-hybrid 4.0-litre petrol V8. 

Read more

2020 Audi RS Q8 arrives with mild hybrid V8

New Audi Sport RS Q3 boosted to 394bhp

Audi updates RS4 Avant with more aggressive styling for 2020​

Join the debate


24 October 2019

...to be cut-up by someone driving one of these with more money than driving skill.

24 October 2019
Another hatch to be ragged around a ring road near you.

24 March 2020

To be stolen to order soon from someones driveway for county lines running...

24 March 2020

Its not a hyper or supercar, which themselves are barely justifiable as unique scarce (and sometimes) beautiful examples of the extremes of motor design and performance. Its a dull slab based on a dreary junior exec car with a ridiculous engine providing performance beyond the capabilities of pretty much anyone who owns one. To make matters worse it will likely be set up along the lines of other fast audi hatches and saloons with a heavy dose of understeer so that Tristan doesn't end up in a hedge, or worse. It also underlines the car's credentials as a straight line car. I just dont get the ownership proposition at all. 

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week