We expect the new RS3 sedan to arrive next year as a 2022 model year. But while the 2.5 TFSI is a given, we don't yet know what kind of power this makes. The European rumors that started last year said a 420 horsepower output is to be expected, thanks in small part to a mild-hybrid system.
But we now believe Audi and VW aren't going to fit the 48V architecture unless it's absolutely necessary since it adds weight to what's already a pretty heavy compact. On top of this, new reports talk of an RS3 Performance eventually coming out with 450 hp (444 hp in America), which is exactly the same output as the current RS4 and RS5 models.
Honestly, we don't believe any of this right now. While the Mercedes-AMG A 45 S has become the most powerful car in this segment, there are ways to make the RS3 just as quick with old power levels. For example, the launch control system they currently use isn't the best.
Also, Audi just launched the RS Q3 and it didn't get more power than the RS3. However, it's still possible to see a power increase further down the line. Regardless, our run-in with the RS3 sedan reveals an aesthetically pleasing machine that wouldn't have any trouble competing with the CLA 45 four-door coupe in the looks department.
The test prototype sports a new front bumper with enlarged air intakes and a protruding chin. Performance enhancements include sports wheels with wider tires, bigger brakes (these are the standard steel ones) and huge exhausts.