Audi has reportedly confirmed that the next generation of its compact RS 3 hero will again draw power from a powerful five-cylinder engine.
Speaking with the UK’s Top Gear this week, Audi quattro boss Stephan Reil said that while the RS 3 will always be a focus point, an RS 1 model would be too likely to steal sales from the S3 range.
"The main reason is financial. The smaller the car gets, the smaller the amount of return you get, so you need to sell a whole bunch of cars to make it. The smaller the car gets, the harder the business case becomes," Reil told Top gear.
Of course, Audi has already experimented with high-performance in its A1 range, launching the 188kW/350Nm A1 Quattro onto the European market back in 2011.
That model was a strictly limited-edition offering, however, allowing Audi to sell each of the 333 examples for a monumental AU$75,000 in Europe.
Locally, Audi recently launched its 170kW/370Nm S1 hot hatch at $49,900, suggesting an RS model - likely producing much more than the A1 Quattro’s 188kW - would debut at a point far beyond the threshold of most buyers.
As for the hotly anticipated RS 3, Reil reportedly confirmed ongoing speculation that an updated version of Audi’s 2.5 litre TFSI turbocharged inline-five will provide power.
Reil would not be moved to discuss power figures, but the state of today’s hot hatch market - where rivals like the A 45 AMG deliver 265kW - suggests we can expect well beyond the 250kW of the old RS 3.
Far outstripping the TT RS Plus, the uprated engine of the A3 Quattro concept claims a 0-100km/h of just 3.6 seconds - a full second faster than the previous RS 3 hatch.
And, with that concept based on the first-ever A3 sedan, we might also see the first-ever RS 3 sedan debut alongside the already spied hatch.
Yes, the future looks good for RS 3 fans.