Audi's latest A3 only started sales in the U.S. in 2021, but an updated version of the trendy compact is already out testing. That's because the latest A3 has been on sale outside the U.S. since 2020, meaning it should be due for a mid-cycle update by late 2023 or early the following year.

Prototypes spotted in the wild confirm an update is in the works. The latest spy shots show a prototype for the updated A3 Sportback hatch sold overseas. Prototypes for the updated A3 sedan sold in the U.S. have also been spotted, and are featured in the video below.

We currently expect the updated A3 to reach showrooms in 2024 as a 2025 model. Once again the U.S. is likely to only receive the sedan.

The styling tweaks visible on prototypes are subtle. The design of the front fascia has been revised around the side intake area, while at the rear there's a new graphic in the taillights and a revised design for the reflectors in the rear fascia.

The latest A3, 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.

It's unclear whether any changes are planned in the powertrain department. The A3 is offered in the U.S. with a 2.0-liter turbo-4 mated to a mild-hybrid system and 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, with the peak output registering at 201 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available.

Buyers seeking more performance can opt for S3 and RS 3 models. The S3 also comes with a 2.0-liter turbo-4, but it has a much healthier 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, while the RS 3 packs a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-5 with 401 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. The S3 and RS 3 both come with standard all-wheel drive. Prototypes for the updated S3 and S3 Sportback have also been spotted.

Audi may also be planning a high-riding A3 Sportback to debut alongside the updated A3 range, akin to the smaller A1 Citycarver launched overseas in 2019. Though the automaker is yet to confirm plans for such a model.