"I think [the RS3] is one of the most emotional Audi Sport cars and is a major part of the brand’s DNA, even going back to the original Quattro. You can be sure that for every future RS model we will always take forward the good aspects and characteristics," Audi Sport Sales and Marketing Chief Frank Michl told Auto Express.
Gallery: 2021 Audi RS3 Sedan Nurburgring New Spy Photos
The RS3 will continue to use Audi's 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine. It now allegedly makes 415 bhp (310 kilowatts) and 369 pound-feet (500 Newton-metres) of torque. The power would run through a dual-clutch gearbox, and there's no sign of a manual being available. Naturally, there would be the latest version of the Quattro all-wheel-drive system with features like torque vectoring to make the hot hatch's handling as sharp as possible.
Spy shots tell us that Audi takes a restrained approach for the new RS3's styling. There's a more aggressive front fascia, somewhat broader wings/fenders, and a rear diffsuer. None of these parts are so comically oversized that a layperson would look at the car and realise the vehicle's performance potential.
There's also a rumour of Audi creating an RS3 Performance model that could make upwards of 450 bhp (336 kW). This would give the Four Rings bragging rights over the Mercedes-AMG A45 S with 416 bhp (310 kW) and 369 lb-ft (500 Nm).
The RS3 debuting in September is the European-focused Sportback hatchback variant. There's still a mystery about when the saloon version might arrive, however we don't expect to see the range-topping variant until 2022.