In South Africa (and other countries around the world) the Audi RS3 range packs 394 hp (294 kW) from its 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder. In the USA they get the RS3 Performance Edition (pictured above) which pushes power up a tad more to 401 hp (300 kW).
Those who want something more powerful than what is currently on offer may be in luck as Audi Sport boss Sebastian Grams suggested the inline-five could be further boosted.
While talking to Autocar, Grams gave an intriguing hint at plans to take the engine to new heights before it is retired in line with Audi‘s wider electrification strategy. The brand will launch its final combustion car by 2026 and will sell only pure EVs from 2033.
“We have a perfect five-cylinder engine which is very unique in the market. We have a six-cylinder engine, and we will improve these technologies into the next step. I do not see a need to completely change the engines,” said Grams.
Asked if the five-cylinder can be improved without the introduction of a hybrid unit, Grams would only say: “Yes.”
“Honestly, we are really happy that the customers are jumping on that car [RS3] like hell and we are not, let’s say, finished with the car… We have the five-cylinder and we will definitely increase the five-cylinder for the next step. We will improve that.
“There’s still a way to go. We have done the RS3 Performance edition, which is faster, which has more performance, which has bucket seats and another calibration. You can see that we will really sharpen our products in the future.”
We know the incredible 2.5-litre five-pot can deliver a lot more as the folks from Donkervoort turned things up to 493 hp in their D8 GTO F22.
We doubt they will take things to those extremes but could we see a swansong RS3 with enough power to eclipse the 416 hp (310 kW) Mercedes-AMG A45 S? Only time will tell but we have a strong feeling this will happen.