The Audi RS3 uses a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine that makes 394 horsepower in Europe and a slightly higher 401 hp in the United States. However, folks from the Old Continent were given the opportunity to have those seven extra ponies late last year when Audi introduced the RS3 Performance Edition. Torque remained unchanged, at 500 Nm (369 lb-ft). Those with an insatiable thirst for power should know there might be a more potent version on the way.
Speaking with Autocar, Audi Sport boss Sebastian Grams suggested the inline-five could be further boosted. When asked whether the engine could pack a greater punch without resorting to electrification, the head honcho answered with a simple "yes." During the same interview, the top brass went on to mention: "We will increase the five-cylinder for the next step. We will improve that."
2022 Audi RS3: Review
"There's still a way to go. We have done the RS3 Performance Edition, which is faster, which has more performance, which has bucket seats, and another calibration. You can see that we will really sharpen our products in the future."
It remains to be seen whether the Four Rings are aiming to outpunch AMG's "45"-badged compact cars, which have a slightly higher output of 416 hp. A beefier iteration of the inline-five is likely to go into the RS3 since the TT is being discontinued. It'll be interesting to see whether a meaner RS Q3/RS Q3 Sportback crossover is planned, although it would make the most sense to offer the uprated engine in the RS3 Sportback and/or RS3 Sedan.
The glorious TFSI engine has already been taken to 493 hp in a non-Audi application for Donkervoort's hardcore D8 GTO F22. It would likely be too much of a jump for the RS3 but it goes to show the five-cylinder mill has a lot of untapped potential. When can we expect to see it? It's coming within the next three years as the German luxury brand has made it crystal clear it will launch only EVs from 2026.