With the new A45 S, Mercedes-AMG has upped its hot hatch game. With 416 horsepower on tap, it boasts the most powerful four-cylinder engine ever installed in a production car. People will likely be disappointed with Audi for not squeezing out more than that from a larger engine, but 400 hp is still plenty enough. As the spy video shows, the 2021 RS3 will be seriously quick thanks to its inline-five turbo engine working in harmony with the Quattro all-wheel-drive system.
You know the test driver is pushing the prototype to the maximum when the emergency brake lights kick in at almost every corner of the Nürburgring. Several camouflaged cars were spotted at the Green Hell, with each and every one torturing its tires while tackling the numerous corners of the challenging track in Germany.
The engine note is not that great, either because we’re dealing with work-in-progress cars that don’t have all the final bits or it’s due to the gasoline particulate filter the Euro-spec cars will have. The RS3s shot by cvdzijden are being absolutely trashed around the ‘Ring, with the wheels exiting the tarmac to leave a trail of dust behind at the 1:04 mark.
We’re keeping our fingers crossed the report issues by Auto Motor und Sport concerning an RS3 Performance version will turn out to be true. The reputable German publication said a while back that an amped-up derivative is in the works with 450 horsepower to allow Audi to regain the power crown in the compact segment.
Even if an RS3 Performance is not on the agenda, we’re liking what we’re seeing so far from the regular model. Once again, it appears to be an absolute blast to drive and it should be a real hoot on a twisty road. Factor in the added sophistication brought by the new-generation A3, Audi appears to have another winner on its hands.
When can we expect to see it? Well, it will take a while taking into account the S3 isn’t even out yet. Our money is on a late 2020 / early 2021 premiere.