A fresh report out of Australia suggests the next-generation Audi S3 Sportback will feature a powertrain carried over directly from the outgoing model.

According to CarAdvice, one of a handful of international publications afforded some time behind the wheel of an S3 prototype, the production model will retain the current EA888 turbocharged 2,0-litre, four-cylinder engine, churning out an unchanged 228 kW.

Regardless of the apparent lack of additional oomph over the outgoing model, the new S3 Sportback will be well placed (on paper, at least) to take on fresh rivals such as the BMW M135i xDrive and the Mercedes-AMG A35 4Matic, both of which generate 225 kW.

The new S3 Sportback’s maximum torque figure will apparently also match that of the current model, which at 400 N.m puts it on par with its aforementioned Mercedes-AMG competitor (but some 50 units behind the BMW).

Expect power to again be transferred to all four wheels (although the Quattro system will seemingly move to a fully variable configuration) via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The report furthermore confirms the new A3 range, which is expected to make its official debut at the Geneva International Motor Show early in March 2020, will again be underpinned by the Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform.

What Audi’s decision to carry over the S3 powertrain unchanged means for the upcoming Volkswagen Golf 8 R – the two traditionally share an engine – remains to be seen (although a leak in January 2020 suggested the Golf R would upgrade to 245 kW)...