Audi is developing an updated version of its S3 Sportback hot hatch sold outside the U.S., as evidenced by prototypes spotted in the wild. The latest test vehicle was caught while lapping Germany's Nürburgring racetrack. Prototypes for an updated S3 sedan have also been spotted, and this is the version that will make to the U.S.

The cars are expected to be revealed alongside an updated version of the regular A3 late this year or early next. We should see the updated A3 range arrive in the U.S. as 2025 models. An updated version of the RS 3 performance flagship should also be coming.

The prototype reveals new designs for the internals of the lights at both ends, plus a new grille, and new front and rear fascias. We know this prototype is for the S3 because of the upgraded brake package. There are also quad exhaust tips out back, which is the traditional design for Audi's S cars.

Also expect minor tweaks in the cabin, including potentially a larger screen for the infotainment system. The current screen tops out at 12.3 inches.

It's unclear whether any changes are planned in the powertrain department. The S3 is currently offered with a 2.0-liter turbo-4 rated at 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and helps the S3 sprint to 60 mph from rest in 4.5 seconds.

Buyers seeking more performance can opt for the RS 3, which boasts a 2.5-liter turbo-5 with 401 hp and 369 lb-ft on tap. Both the S3 and RS 3 come with all-wheel drive as standard.

The latest A3 range, which represents the fourth generation of the nameplate, is based on an updated version of Volkswagen Group's front-wheel-drive MQB modular platform. It's basically a twin under the skin with the latest Volkswagen Golf, which is due to be updated about the same time as the Audi. We also have spy shots of the updated Golf, including the sporty Golf GTI version.

Eventually, Audi and VW will launch electric successors to their respective A3 and Golf models. Audi has already confirmed plans to only launch electric vehicles beyond 2026, and VW has said the next Golf will be electric.