The RS3 saloon is just better than the Sportback, isn’t it? The five-door version is just another (admittedly very fast) hot hatch, but by switching out the bodyshell, suddenly it becomes a cool ‘junior’ sports saloon.
If you agree, here’s some good news: Audi is making a new one, and it’s been papped undergoing cold-weather testing in Sweden.
Yes, it may look damn near identical to the old one, but it will do - the base A3 revealed at the not-Geneva Motor Show exhibits what you might diplomatically refer to as ‘evolutionary styling’. Look closely, though, and you’ll see what’s new, including redesigned light clusters, a reshaped grille which sits slightly lower, and different vents either side. At the back, there are the trademark RS oval tailpipes.
The person behind the lens of these spy shots didn’t say whether or not the car was emitting a warbly five-pot soundtrack, but the installation of Audi’s 2.5-litre TFSI engine - a unit the company reportedly denied VW use of - is all but certain. After all, the latest, cleaner iteration is viable for a good few years when it comes to emissions regulations, and very recently found its way under the bonnet of the RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback.
Its output is hard to predict, however. Much more than the 395bhp output of the outgoing model and it’d start to tread on the toes of the recently updated RS4, but if kept the same, it wouldn’t enjoy as healthy a power advantage over the new S3 - we’re expecting that to be good for around 330bhp.