2011 Audi RS3 – Click above for high-res image gallery

The next generation Audi RS3 is coming, it's just a matter of when. But the bigger question is what's going to power Audi's hottest hatch when it arrives on European shores.

Considering that the A3 on which it's based shares the same platform (PQ35) as the TT RS, there's a good chance that Audi could swap the coupe's turbocharged 2.5-liter FSI inline-five into the engine bay. Unchanged, the five-pot would put out 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque to either a six-speed manual or S Tronic dual-clutch gearbox, and naturally, power will be delivered to all four wheels with a similar 40:60 front-to-rear torque split.

Our recent batch of spy shots show a slightly modified A3, complete with a RS-ified fascia, lower stance and massive brakes front and rear, although the single, twin-tipped exhaust (and grilled-mounted badge) could be mistaken for a standard S3. More interestingly is the rear wing, which remained fixed during part of the RS3's 'Ring run, but was canted upwards around another section. It could be some kind of adaptive air brake or it could've just come undone while whipping around the track.

Regardless, since Audi doesn't offer an S3 in the U.S., there's little chance of the RS3 making it to the States anytime soon.


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