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.