Currently reading: New 2020 Audi RS3: 394bhp hot hatch drops disguise
Range-topping hatchback and saloon will be among the most powerful models in their segments
Felix Page Autocar writer
News
2 mins read
20 April 2020

Following the recent unveiling of the new Audi A3 hatchback, our spy photographers have snapped the hardcore RS3 variant in minimal disguise at the Nurburgring. 

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 much less camouflage than we've seen before, previewing how the RS3 will be differentiated from the standard A3, which is due to arrive in dealerships in May. 

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. 

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Comments
9

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. 

21 April 2020
xansamaff wrote:

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. 

 

Well my friend you obviously have not driven any of the latest fast Audi's. The RS3 will understeer but its level of grip means that the point at which it does, is well beyond the point that an M2 will have imprinted itself ouccupants into an oncoming 40 Tonner. 

20 April 2020

 Another superhatch?, you have to call them that with all this power and torque, plus there not that heavy and they're not six figure sums to buy.

21 April 2020

Boy you guys sure talk a lot of BS! You obviously have never driven one and /or can't afford one ! I  have a current RS3 sedan and it is excellent in most ways except rear seat room is bit cramped.it goes like stink, handles well with less understeer than my TTRS+,less oversteer than my C63!!.It beats my friend's 991-2 C4 around our ice track here on the lake.Oh and it stops well too,though the CCB's squeak a bit when cold, like my friend's M4GTS.

21 April 2020

Geeez I was reading the comments here and thinking, you really are on the wrong forum. Then I read your account of ownership and though thank god for a real car person's input.

Your reply is everything any one needs to know why a car like RS3 is relevant. I dont own one I have an A7 but have had use of the RS3 (pre DPF filter) for just over a week.

I took it from South Wales to North Wales and back again on one drive to really get into the bones of the car. Also a trip to London and back as well as a 60 mile commute 3 days.

I found its range of abilities to be remarkable. I was astounded by its level of grip and fluidity through some of the best driving roads in the UK picking up the A470 through Mid Wales all the way to snowdonia. Its a beast when you want it to be and I suggest it will leave many so called supercars for dead on these roads but it can also be refined and quiet on the motorway and around London its manners were impeccable. The car was not too showy or shouty and I never felt self-conscious driving it.

Congratulations on your choice, I know my loan was a Sportback but mostly the same perfomance characteristics apply, Its a great car.

Yes the commentors here could argue any car is irrelevant but if you pick on one pick on all, singling out the RS3 makes no sense as its practicality makes it much more relevant than many one trick ponies. I hope the new car is as good or better than the one I was priviliged to have on my drive for a few days.

21 April 2020

Just a day after FORD said that they couldn't make a Focus RS viable

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