2022 Audi RS 3 Sportback spy shots: Hot hatch coming soon with 400-plus-hp

There’s a new generation of the Audi A3 coming to showrooms soon (the car has actually been on sale elsewhere for almost a year), and once again it will spawn sporty S3 and high-performance RS 3 variants.

A prototype for the RS 3 in Sportback hatchback guise has been spotted again, revealing many clues about the new performance compact. An RS 3 sedan is also out testing and will likely end up the sole RS 3 body style offered in the United States, just like with the current generation.

The new A3 represents more of a major update of the current generation than a true redesign, and this will very much be the case for the RS 3 variant.

Expect the model to continue with a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-5, though we could see output exceed the current model’s 400 hp now that Mercedes-AMG’s latest compacts are delivering as much as 416 hp. A dual-clutch transmission and rear-biased all-wheel-drive system should also form part of the package.

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2022 Audi RS 3 Sportback spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2022 Audi RS 3 Sportback spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

We know this prototype is for the RS 3 because of the enlarged intakes at the front, the flared wheel arches, massive wheel and tire combo, and the signature pair of oval exhausts at the rear.

The final design should resemble the RS 6 Avant that went on sale last fall, but on a smaller scale.

2022 Audi A3

2022 Audi A3

The new A3 is due to reach local showrooms late this year as a 2022 model. The RS 3 should around about the same time.

Potential rivals for the RS 3 include AMG’s new 45 series, as well as the BMW M2 and CT4-V Blackwing from Cadillac.

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