Specification image modification exterior interior price review 2013 Audi RS3
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Audi will be bringing the new generation A3 hatchback to the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in March, leading the way to the unveiling of the S3 and RS3 versions shortly thereafter. The RS3 will be the last to arrive, but will undoubtedly be the most impressive.

The new RS3, like the entire A3 family, will be built on a new MQB platform that will make the car about 10% lighter when compared to its predecessor. Audi will also adopt an updated exterior language as seen in the A3 Concept unveiled last year at the Geneva Motor Show. There will also be an improved interior and an upgraded infotainment system.

Under the hood, the next RS3 will retain its usual turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine, but its output will be increased from the current 340 HP to 350 HP. Audi will also be working to improve fuel economy.

 Platform: The S3, like the A3 on which it’s based, will ride on an all-new platform. Audi and VW call the architecture MQB, an acronym for German words with several thousand letters apiece. It’s super flexible, and will underpin everything from the next VW Golf to a big three-row VW SUV. (We’ve got a detailed description of MQB and how it works here.) Underpinning the S3, the MQB platform will be in one of its lighter, smaller guises. The car in these spy shots is a three-door hatch, but it’s the least likely of the three global A3 body styles to come to the U.S. An S3 sedan is a near lock, and a five-door S3 hatch is at least on the table.
A turbocharged 2.0-liter four should give the S3 about 300 hp. The engine is most likely an evolution of the 2.0-liter four powering at least a dozen other Volkswagen and Audi products. Some current versions of this engine make just 200 hp, but the motor is good for 265 in the Audi TTS. The EA888 engine will mount transversely in the S3’s architecture, and an all-wheel-drive system will distribute power to all wheels.

What transmission Audi will offer in the S3 is a question we’re sore to even have to ask. A dual-clutch automatic is almost guaranteed, but the availability of a genuine stick is unclear as of now. Enthusiasts at the Church of Manual Transmissions chant the hymnal “No Stick, No Buy,” but we’re not always enough to persuade the product planners. We won on the Golf R, which comes only with a stick in the U.S., and control-freak American investment bankers are the sole reason BMW is offering a manual for the new M5. But the Audi TTS only has a DSG transmission, as do many of Volkswagen and Audi’s hotter offerings over in Europe. 

Competition: BMW 135is, Ford Focus ST, Mini John Cooper Works, Subaru WRX STI, Volkswagen Golf R.

What Might Go Wrong: Prohibitive pricing could curb enthusiasm for a hot Audi hatch. So long as it starts at less than the 135i’s $40k-plus sticker, though, Audi should find takers. Potentially a bigger problem: Audi could well decide bringing the S3 to the U.S. isn’t worth the effort after all. Potentially tiny—in relative terms—sales numbers and a fluctuating euro could make the prospect of selling a small, premium performance car a daunting task.caranddriver.com
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