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by David Zalstein

A test mule of the upcoming Audi RS3 has been spied testing on the roads around Germany’s Nurburgring.

Heard by CarAdvice’s spy photographers a day earlier lapping the famed Nordschleife circuit, the black Audi RS3 mule snapped on the streets appears visually similar but aurally different from the new S3.

Hinting at its high-performance underpinnings are huge cross-drilled Audi RS wave disc brakes and equally monster-sized six-piston calipers tucked under the larger diameter 10-spoke alloy wheels.

Audi RS3 Spied - 4

The front bumper’s lower air intakes also appear open in a bid to help ventilate the brakes and bring in cool air to the engine, rather than the standard S3’s purely aesthetic items.

Still yet to be confirmed, that power unit is expected to be the same uniquely sounding turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder petrol engine found in the 250kW/450Nm TT RS, 265kW/463Nm TT RS Plus and 228kW/420Nm RSQ3, making it a direct rival for the $74,900 all-paw Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG with its 265kW/450Nm turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder.

Audi RS3 Spied - 6

In final production guise, the flagship Audi RS3 will no doubt wear a more aggressive body kit and gain wider guards and a dual-exit exhaust.

A 2014 debut appears to be on the cards, with both three-door hatch and five-door Sportback variants tipped to be offered.

Click on the Photos tab for more images.




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