Audi isn’t the only automaker in the business to sell vehicles equipped with a five-cylinder engine, but it certainly makes the most exciting inline-five of them all. Not only because of the ample horsepower and torque it delivers, but also thanks to the excellent soundtrack it produces under full throttle. A new spy video shot at the Nürburgring shows a couple of RS3 prototypes undergoing final testing, and one of them caught our attention.
We’re talking about the fully camouflaged prototype captured on camera by Automotive Mike, the one with a license plate ending in “441.” It seemed to have a more aggressive engine noise, leading us to believe it was equipped with the optional RS sport exhaust. On European cars equipped with a gasoline particulate filter, this RS exhaust will be a must-have as the standard setup is probably going to sound a little bit muted.
That’s the problem the RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback have in Euro flavor, and there’s a pretty good chance it will be a similar story with the new RS3 Sportback and RS3 Sedan. Outside of the Old Continent where emissions regulations are not as stringent, that shouldn’t be an issue as the vehicles built in a non-European specification won’t have the GPF installed.
Audi has promised to unveil the hotly anticipated RS3 in a few months, so the wait is nearly over. The 2.5 TFSI is said to gain a few Ingolstadt-bred ponies and up the power ante to around 415 hp. Further down the line, an RS3 Performance could dethrone the Mercedes-AMG A45 S in terms of power in the compact class by taking the turbocharged inline-five to as much as 450 hp. However, it’s only a rumor at this point, so take that output number with the proverbial pinch of salt.
Meanwhile, the next few weeks should be quite exciting as the wraps will come off the S3 Sportback and Sedan. That should ease the wait until Audi will come out with the big guns – the RS3.