Spy Shots

2020 Audi S3 spied, previews American sedan model

Picture it with a trunk and you've got our version

  • Image Credit: CarPix
Audi is steadily revising its lineup so that every model has the company's corporate fascia first introduced on the A8. As such, it was only a matter of time before one of Audi's smallest and most affordable models, the A3 got the same treatment. That next-generation A3 is shown in the spy shots above, and in S3 guise. While the U.S. doesn't get the A3 in the hatchback body style anymore (with the exception of the A3 E-Tron), our sedan is still closely related to the hatch. As such, this hatch gives us a preview of the American A3, just without a trunk.

As we already touched on, the A3 gets the big hexagonal grille found on other modern Audi cars. The headlights appear to be flush with the thick border around the grille and have a slimmer, more aggressive look. Interestingly, there looks to be a section on the outside edge of each light that drops a little lower. The triangular LED running lights are another unique, geometric detail on this car. This particular prototype gives away some of its S3 identity with the mesh grille and large outer grilles. It also has sporty ground effects.

The flanks of the new A3 and S3 show that it will still be a fairly clean design without too many creases and lines. The fenders around the wheel arches bulge significantly, and even along the lower edges of the doors it becomes fairly wide. It gives the car a planted look. The profile is much less upright than the outgoing model, particularly at the rear where the hatch leans farther forward. This car's large wheels are another sign that this is the hotter S3.

The back end is the least changed from the old model. The primary difference is the use of much slimmer taillight units, and they likely use LEDs. The rear reflectors are much wider now, too. The final S3 detail is found back here in the form of the diffuser element in the rear bumper and the twin exhaust tips on each edge.

As for when we'll see this Audi A3 and S3, we're expecting a launch for the 2020 model year, perhaps revealed late in 2019 or early in 2020. The reason for this is that the A3 is based on the Volkswagen Golf and GTI, which reportedly will be revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2019. That would put the Golf's reveal in early fall. Audi probably wouldn't want to steal thunder from VW, so a reveal of the closely related A3 would probably come a bit later. When it's revealed, it will probably feature engines shared with the Golf. In the U.S., the A3 uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that's a little more powerful than the 1.8-liter model in regular Golfs, but less powerful than the 2.0-liter in the GTI. The S3 uses the Golf R's 2.0-liter engine with 292 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Based on an earlier report, the Golf R, and likely the S3, could see as much as 350 horsepower in this new generation.

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