We’ve been spying on the new Audi RS3 for more than a year as the first production-bodied prototypes were caught back in late October 2019. It’s January 2021 and the hot hatch/sedan duo has yet to show its production face, but a new report from Auto Bild claims to shed light on the performance car’s juicy technical specifications.
Rather than maintaining the same output available in the RS Q3 / RS Q3 Sportback, Audi Sport is allegedly working on the inline-five 2.5-liter turbo engine to extract more power. We’re hearing it will be bumped to 420 hp and a nice round figure of 500 Nm (369 pound-feet) for the torque. If these numbers are to be believed, the new RS3 Sportback / Sedan will have an extra 20 hp and 20 Nm (15 lb-ft) over the current RS-badged compact cars carrying the Four Rings.
Gallery: New Audi RS3 Sedan spy photos
But wait, there’s more. Auto Bild has heard the engineers are looking to give the new RS3 the same newly developed all-wheel-drive introduced last year by Volkswagen for the Golf R 8 and the first-ever Tiguan R. The AWD’s highlight is the ability to distribute torque not just between the front and rear axles, but also between the two rear wheels.
VW calls it the 4Motion with R-Performance Torque Vectoring, but it goes without saying Audi would rebrand it as Quattro for the RS3 models. When the Golf R was unveiled, VW bragged about how the clever AWD system was engineered to work harmoniously “with other running gear systems such the electronic differential locks (XDS) and adaptive chassis control DCC,” calling it a “world first.”
The fact Audi could “borrow” hardware that originally debuted in a VW model is a bit funny seeing as how reports say the VW core brand originally intended to grab Audi’s award-winning 2.5 TFSI engine for the Golf R 8, but the peeps from Ingolstadt allegedly refused.
Auto Bild mentions the RS3 will be revealed sometime this fall and should reach European dealers before the end of 2021. At home in Germany, it’s expected to cost just under €60,000.