Audi A3 might go mild-hybrid, S3 and RS3 set for a return, report says

The A3 Sportback debuted for Europe earlier this year, but we'll stick with a sedan in the US.

The next A3 sedan should look a lot like this.

The Audi A3 is set for an overhaul in the near future, and a Car and Driver report from Friday may spill the some of the goods in store for the smallest Audi on sale.

Citing sources familiar with the next A3, the magazine reported that the next A3 should debut late this year as a 2021 model and will likely pack a mild-hybrid powertrain. That'll tack a 48-volt system onto the 2.0-liter turbo-four engine to improve fuel economy and likely boost torque figures in the process. According to the report, it should give 240 horsepower.

But it's the S3 and RS3 that enthusiasts are most concerned with, and they're both reportedly set to return. The S3 should dial things up to 300 hp, while a new RS 3 brings its 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine back to the tune of 400 hp. Yay.

We may even see the A3 Sportback in some form, but as the A3 E-Tron -- a plug-in hybrid model. Do expect the sedan to cop most of the Sportback's angular design, which is far wilder than the more subdued look on display today. Inside, it'll be screens on screens with the latest MMI Touch infotainment system pinning two screens in the center stack, and a Digital Cockpit is all but certain.

An Audi representative couldn't speak to mild-hybrid power for the new A3 and iterated they "hope that we'll see the S3 and RS 3 come to US but it is too early to confirm."

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First published March 24.