New Audi RS 3 Saloon spied ahead of late 2020 reveal

400bhp-plus Audi RS 3 Saloon spotted winter testing in four-door guise; predicted to hit showrooms before the end of 2020 

We’ve already spotted prototypes of the next 400bhp-plus Audi RS 3 Sportback testing, but this new development mule spied by our photographers reveals that a four door saloon variant will join the range, too. 

Spotted winter and cold weather testing ahead of its late 2020 launch, the images show that the RS 3 saloon should gain the same high performance tweaks as its hatchback counterpart to help set it apart from lesser models in the all-new A3 range

At the front, that means there’s a deep bumper with extra ventilation around the existing singleframe grille; necessary to improve cooling for the engine and brakes in a hot hatch. We can tell this is a full-fat RS 3 most obviously at the back, where the rear diffuser is bookending by two huge oval tailpipes - a signature of Audi’s RS division.

Like the hatch, the overall proportions of the next RS 3 saloon won’t change much from its predecessor. That’s because the car rides on an updated version of the previous model’s MQB platform.

That gives Audi access to the same engine as before: a 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder petrol engine. Expect the new model to blow past the 400bhp mark this time, in order to help it keep pace with the latest Mercedes-AMG CLA 45. With drive sent to all four wheels, that should give the RS 3 saloon a sub-four second 0-62mph time.

We’re yet to see the interior of the next RS 3, but the cabin should feature the usual RS upgrades: RS-specific seats, smatterings of carbon fibre trim, and specific performance menus and graphics for both the 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit driver’s display and 10.1-inch infotainment screen. Prices will start from around £50,000 when it goes on sale.

Would pick this over a Mercedes-AMG CLA 45? Let us know in the comments below...

Chief reviewer

Alex joined Auto Express as staff writer in early 2018, helping out with news, drives, features, and the occasional sports report. His current role of Chief reviewer sees him head up our road test team, which gives readers the full lowdown on our comparison tests.

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