A completely undisguised prototype for the next-generation Audi S3 Hatchback has been spotted undergoing testing in Europe. Now that the covers have come off the latest version of the regular model
, it appears Audi is no longer concerned about masking prototypes of other variants.
While the new A3 has just gone on sale in Europe, it isn’t expected to hit U.S. showrooms until the 2014 model year, which means a likely arrival date of summer 2013. The good news is, that by the time it arrives, this sporty S3 version should be ready for launch along with several other variants including an A3 Sedan
and A3 Sportback (a five-door hatchback).
As for the S3 Hatchback, the prototype seen here shows a distinct bodykit with larger intakes in the front bumper, chunky side sills, bigger wheels and a quad exhaust tailpipe arrangement at the rear. Aluminum side mirror housing should also feature on the final version.
Under the hood is expected to be a brand new turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit with around 260 to 280 horsepower on tap. While this isn’t much higher than the current model’s 261 horsepower, the new S3 is expected to be significantly lighter than the one it replaces, ensuring greater performance.
Transmission choices should include a standard six-speed manual or a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch unit, and quattro all-wheel drive will remain.
While you wait for the 2014 Audi S3's showroom arrival, click here to watch a spy video
of a prototype on our YouTube page.