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Audi S3 2025: prototype hot hatch showcases RS3 tech, Golf R-matching grunt


A prototype has been revealed for the 2025 S3, with some minor styling tweaks, a trick diff and more power 

Audi has revealed a prototype version of its mid-range performance Audi A3the S3 – and is promising that the fast Audi hatch and sedan will look and drive quite differently from before. 

The S3, which made its debut in its current 8Y fourth-generation guise in 2021, will receive a significant facelift in 2025 which will see more power and torque come to its 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine – an engine shared with the current Volkswagen Golf R.

Outputs will reportedly lift by 17kW/20Nm, pushing the S3’s combined outputs to 245kW/420Nm, which should help close the gap between it and the full-fat 294kW/500Nm RS3.

2025 Audi S3 prototype driving shot side angle
The 2025 Audi S3 prototype has been revealed

The S3’s new tune is 10kW/20Nm more than the base Mk8 Volkswagen Golf R, though the outputs are an exact match for the limited-edition Golf R 20 Years also sold in Australia which is expected to become the norm for the wider range in 2025

Currently, the Golf R starts from $70,590 before on-road costs in Australia, or precisely $4810 less than an Audi S3 sportback. The Audi S3 sedan, meanwhile, costs $77,500 before on-road costs. 

As a point of comparison, the current flagship RS3 sportback starts from $96,800 before on-road costs, or $99,300 in sedan guise. 

2025 Audi S3 prototype driving shot rear 3/4
More power is coming for the S3 in 2025

Turbocharger revisions and tricky diff to come to S3  

The boost in power and torque for the S3 has been achieved by adding a revised turbocharger that maintains a consistent RPM in partial load situations for quicker throttle response. 

Also new to the Audi S3 for 2025 is a stronger dual-clutch transmission, resulting in faster gearshifts. The S3 now also gets the trick torque splitter differential from its RS3 siblings, but misses out on a dedicated drift mode. 

2025 Audi S3 prototype EA888 2.0-litre engine bay
The EA888 2.0-litre turbo four will now produce 245kW of power

This means that the 2025 Audi S3 now gets a multi-disc clutch on its front and rear driveshafts for fully variable distribution to the rear wheels. 

A new Dynamic Plus mode pushes as much torque to the wheels as it possibly can, but it will still keep drivers in check thanks to calibrated ESC. New steel brakes with discs measuring 357mm in diameter will also be standard. 

It’s expected that more information surrounding the updated S3 will come to light during 2024. 

2025 Audi S3 prototype Akrapovic quad exhaust system
Akrapovic exhaust is likely to be an available option

Will there be an update coming for the hyper RS3, too?

It’s very likely. 

Like the Audi S3, the RS3 could gain an update, which could see more power come from its venerable 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine.

Audi RS3 2022
The current Audi RS3 sportback

Currently, the RS3 produces 294kW/500Nm, but with slight tuning tweaks, the performance model could get close to or match its biggest rival, the Mercedes-AMG A45 S that produces 310kW/500Nm.  

Despite being down 16kW, the RS3 is capable of launching to 100km/h in a claimed 3.8 seconds, or 0.1 seconds quicker than the current Mercedes-AMG A45 S.  

The RS3 hyper hatch, which was launched in Australia in 8Y guise during the middle of 2022, is one of the only new vehicles available globally with a five-cylinder petrol engine.