Those poor tyres.
The 2021 Audi A3 was unveiled to the world just a couple of days ago as of this article posting. A day prior to that we saw a lightly camouflaged version attacking the Nürburgring in a crisp series of spy photos. It wasn’t a normal A3 however – it was the hot RS3 Sportback.
The clip gives us some added context to the spy photos, which feature the same car wearing the same 882 number plate. Whereas the photos show the prototype leaning into corners, the video shows us the RS3 was being driven on the absolute limit, and in some cases, a bit beyond. Every corner is met with tortured tyres, with the prototype dipping a wheel off the track on occasion.
Near the end of the clip we even see the RS3 skate past the camera in a minor four-wheel drift. If our Nürburgring sighting skills are on-point, that looks like Drei-Fach Rechtes – a tricky section about five miles in on the Nordschleife and not an area you want to be dancing with disaster in. Clearly, this driver has some experience at the ‘Ring.
Gallery: Audi RS3 hatchback spy shots
The RS3 also appears to have some legit track skills, too. Power was never a concern in this hot hatch – it will reportedly use Audi’s 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder, and listening to the telltale I5 growl from this test vehicle that’s all but confirmed at this point. It currently produces 394 bhp (294 kilowatts) in the RS Q3, but it’s possible some RS3-specific tweaks could see that figure rise north of 400 bhp in this application.
Naturally, power will go to all four wheels, and it looks like considerable attention is given to suspension tuning as body roll is minimal. Furthermore, we don’t see any obvious signs of pronounced understeer through this clip. That’s a good thing.
With the new A3 having literally just been revealed, we expect to see the RS3 officially uncovered by the end of this year.