The next-generation RS 3 may soon be making its global debut after our spy photographers managed to snap some photos of the 2018 RS 3 doing test runs at the Nurburgring.

Compared to the current RS 3, the new-generation model ditches the hatchback design in favor of the more traditional sedan shape. It is still partially camouflaged but it does feature some slight differences from the outgoing Sportback.

Side profile of the 2017 Audi RS 3

For starters, it gets a TT-inspired hexagonal front grill and slightly bigger air intakes. Also present are what appear to be restyled headlights, wider side skirts and more defined wheel arches. The rear, on the other hand, gets inspiration from the 2016 A4, particularly the taillights and rear quarter panels. Rounding it all off are the large oval-shaped exhaust tips and integrated spoiler.

Rear quarter of the 2017 Audi RS 3

Over to its powertrain, the new RS 3 may get the new turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-five derived from the 2016 TT-RS. Expect the new sports sedan to produce 400 PS. Managing all that power is a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox and Quattro AWD.

0 – 100 km/h is expected to come in at 4 seconds, along with a top speed of 280 km/h with the speed limiter off. Otherwise, the 2018 RS 3 will be limited to 250 km/h.

Rear of the 2017 Audi RS 3 spied at the Nurburgring

It is set to make its world debut by the end of this year as a 2017 model.