Here's a sneak peek of the hottest ever A3! Known as the RS3, the newcomer is being developed by Audi's Quattro performance arm, and will be powered by the 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged engine found in the TT RS.
This delivers 335bhp and 450Nm of torque – exactly the same as the hot M-badged 1-Series Coupé which BMW will be releasing shortly – to all four wheels through Audi’s S tronic twin-clutch transmission. As a result, engineers are promising class-leading handling.
Acceleration will be equally impressive, with an anticipated 0-62mph sprint time of 4.6 seconds putting the fiery hatch in contention with the current class-leaders the Focus RS and Golf R.
New technology likely to be offered on the RS3 includes the option of Audi’s torque vectoring sport rear differential, which keeps understeer to a minimum. As with the larger RS5, the model is expected to be available with the new Quattro centre differential, which shifts up to 85 per cent of power to the rear wheels. Magnetic ride adjustable dampers will also be on the options list.
With the A3 due to be replaced by a newer model in the middle of next year, it looks as though Audi will wait until the next generation hatchback to unleash the RS3. That means a release date sometime in 2012 is most likely.