Audi's power-packed 2020 RS3 hatchback and sedan will go back on sale before the middle of 2020, after more than 12 months away from Australian showrooms.
The compact Mercedes-AMG A45 rival has been absent since late 2018, when production delays caused by the rollout of strict new European emissions rules saw it removed from the local line-up.
Power still comes from a five-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine making 294kW and 480Nm, put to all four wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
New for 2020, however, is the petrol particulate filter (PPF) now required to meet strict European emissions standards.
Audi says the filter is compatible with Australian premium unleaded, despite the fact our fuel standards allow for much more sulphur in petrol than those in Europe.
The company is also adamant the RS3's characterful sound hasn't been ruined by the addition of a PPF.
"If it had lost its character we wouldn't have brought the car back. We were confident it still keeps its character," said Shawn Ticehurst, product planning and pricing director for Audi Australia.
Pricing for the updated RS3 range will start at $83,800 before on-road costs for the hatchback (or Sportback in Audi parlance) and $86,500 for the sedan.
Although that's $2000 more than when the car was removed from sale, Audi says it has more than compensated for the price hike with a more generous list of standard inclusions.
Metallic paint, a Bang and Olufsen sound system, wireless phone charging, and the previously-optional adjustable suspension setup are all standard fit for 2020.
A new Carbon Edition will also be offered in Australia, priced from $87,200 before on-road costs for the hatch and $89,900 before on-roads for the sedan.
Along with the equipment mentioned earlier, it gets unique blacked-out body add-ons, privacy glass, unique wheels, and a panoramic sunroof.
2020 Audi RS3 pricing
- Sportback - $83,800
- Sedan - $86,500
- Sportback Carbon Edition - $87,200
- Sedan Carbon Edition - $89,900
All prices exclude on-road costs. Please note, images are of a pre-WLTP RS3. We'll update our coverage when the new range is photographed locally.