There's a new generation of the Audi A3 coming to showrooms next year, and included in the range once again will be a sporty S3.
Our latest spy shots show a prototype for the new S3 Sportback. There will also be an S3 sedan, and this is likely the only body style we'll see in the United States.
We know this prototype is for the S3 because of the more aggressive aero kit and quad-exhaust tips. And given the fact there's zero camouflage gear, the reveal must be coming up soon. The new A3 will reach the United States in late 2021 as a 2022 model, and the S3 should arrive about the same time. Unfortunately, only the A3's sedan body style is expected to reach the U.S., and the same is likely the case for the S3, meaning we won't see the S3 Sportback.
2022 Audi S3 spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
The current S3 features a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 delivering 292 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, with the engine driving all four wheels via a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission. A similar configuration is expected for the new S3, since the new A3 generation represents more of a heavy update of the previous generation rather than a true redesign.
We could still see power dialed up slightly for the new S3 and an extra gear added to the transmission. Don't be surprised if the engine ends up being the 2.0-liter turbo-4 that just debuted in the 2021 Volkswagen Arteon R. It's good for 316 hp and 310 lb-ft.
Whatever the case, we can expect the 0-60 mph time of the new S3 to improve on the current model's 4.7 seconds.
2022 Audi A3
Rivals for the S3 Sportback include the BMW M135i and Mercedes-AMG A35 hatchbacks sold overseas. The S3 sedan will go up against the BMW M235i Gran Coupe, Cadillac CT4-V, and Mercedes-AMG A35 and CLA35 duo.
Also in the works are more powerful RS 3 and RS 3 Sportback models from Audi. A new A3 plug-in hybrid should also be in the works, possibly in both sedan and hatch body styles this time around (previously the A3 plug-in hybrid was only available as a hatch).
Stay tuned for updates as development continues.