Audi on Friday unveiled the new RS 3 LMS race car based on the redesigned A3 compact sedan headed to dealerships later this year as a 2022 model.

The RS 3 LMS is Audi's entry-level customer racer and has been designed specifically for TCR competition. More importantly it hints at the design of the road-going RS 3 based on the latest A3, prototypes for which are still out testing.

The RS 3 LMS is closely related to the production A3, right down to its engine, a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 that shares most of its internals with the road car's 2.0-liter mill. Peak power in the race car is capped at 340 hp.

2022 Audi RS 3 Sportback spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2022 Audi RS 3 Sportback spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

Also like the production A3, drive in the RS 3 LMS is to the front wheels only, albeit via a 6-speed sequential transmission instead of the road car's 7-speed dual-clutch unit.

The interior features only the bare essentials, including a steering wheel with a control panel and Alcantara lining. In terms of safety, the RS 3 LMS includes an FIA-spec fuel tank, roll cage, and safety seat with nets. There’s also an escape hatch in the roof.

As for the road-going RS 3, it should make an appearance later this year as well. Expect it to come with a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-5 just like the current model, though we could see output exceed the current 400 hp now that Mercedes-Benz AMG's latest compacts are delivering as much as 416 hp. A dual-clutch transmission and rear-biased all-wheel-drive system should also form part of the package.