Audi RS3 and A3 e-tron

Audi S3
24 Oct, 2012 6:12pm Mat Watson

Audi will expand the new A3 line-up in 2014, with the addition of hot RS3 and plug-in e-tron models

The Audi A3 range is set to grow in 2014, with the addition of an extreme RS3 model and a plug-in hybrid e-tron version, Auto Express has learned.

The RS3 will be four-wheel drive and is expected to be powered by a five-cylinder turbocharged engine, just like the outgoing RS3. Expect to see a lower kerbweight, though, and power that surpasses the 335bhp figure on offer in the current model.

Even the all-new S3 (pictured above) produces 296bhp from a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, so it's reasonable to expect nearer to 400bhp from the new RS3.

Around the same time the RS3 is released, Audi will also release a plug-in hybrid e-tron variant. Although exact details of the powertrain have yet to be revealed, it’s likely to be similar to that featured in the Audi A3 e-tron concept unveiled at the 2011 Shanghai Motor Show.

That car used a 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine and an electric motor for a total of 234bhp. The production A3 e-tron is likely to offer a little less performance but, like the concept, the road car should be able to run on electric power alone for around 30 miles, thanks to its lithium ion batteries.