We’ve seen the Ingolstadt’s next hot hatch, the forthcoming Audi RS3 previously running performance tests at the Nurburgring Nordschleife, and now it has been sighted again in the snow. Here, the forthcoming RS3 wears the marque’s signature Singleframe grille with LED headlamps and daytime running lights, along with the requisite large air intakes at each corner.

At the back, dual oval exhaust outlets are among the RS visual signatures, mated to a rear bumper designed to match the aggression of the RS3’s front end. Wider wheel arches will be home to rolling stock which will be at least 19 inches in diameter, with the outgoing RS3 Sportback wearing 235/35R19 tyres. Ride height will be marginally lower that the standard A3 and S3 models, with RS3-specific spring and damper rates.

Powertrain for the next RS3 is set to be an updated version of the 2.5 litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine that has served in the outgoing model. The new car will likely have slight increases in output over the 400 hp and 480 Nm of torque from the 2017 car, despite the likely use of a petrol particulate filter that is required in order to meet the latest emissions regulations.

Audi S3 interior shown.

Transmission should be Audi’s signature quattro permanent all-wheel-drive layout, paired with a dual-clutch gearbox and a variable torque distribution setup for shuffling outputs between the front and rear axles. Multiple drive modes are expected to be at the driver’s disposal, including a customisable mode where the driver can choose settings for individual parameters according to his or her preference.

The next RS3’s actual interior hasn’t been photographed, though our spy photographers have sourced images of the equivalent S3‘s dashboard, which will share its architecture with the forthcoming RS3. Like other modern Audis, the interior photographed here is minimalist with emphasis on touchscreens and touch-sensitive surfaces, while the gearlever has similarly been replaced by a much smaller selector.

Here, the RS3’s key identifying traits will be RS badges and a more aggressively bolstered set of front seats; the driver’s instrumentation will likely also feature graphics unique to the RS3. The mainstream Audi A3 and higher-performance S3 models are set for debut early in March this year, which will give a better idea of what the RS3 will be like when the top performance model arrives later on.