With 401 horsepower under the hood and standard all-wheel drive, the Audi RS 3 is already one of the fastest compact sports cars on the market. How to downgrade a success? For the 2022 model year, Audi will keep the same base formula while improving the vehicle in key areas. The result is a little bomb that’s even more intense than before. It is squarely the fastest Audi A3 ever released by the manufacturer.
Normally, we should have tested it on a sublime European route, but the restrictions linked to the health crisis still in force still prevent us from traveling. Audi therefore preferred to unveil the new version of its RS 3 during an online presentation. However, it is still a prototype model dressed in camouflage.
Scheduled for sale in our market in spring 2022, the new RS 3 will be based on the same MQB architecture as its predecessor, but several improvements have been made to its structural rigidity, suspension and differentials to make it even more precise on the track. Audi also certifies that its tracks have been widened by some 33 millimeters, which explains the widening of the wings compared to its predecessor.
Even more fun on the track
Among the most substantial novelties, there is a “torque splitter” system which replaces the rear differential. Equipped with clutch assemblies, it allows part of the available torque to be routed to the rear axle, in much more precise increments than a differential. The system also enables torque vectoring, thus ensuring left-to-right transfer. All of this allows the RS 3 to perform controlled skids on the track. Of course, this Audi is equipped with 4-wheel drive thanks to the manufacturer’s quattro system.
New adaptive shocks have been designed specifically for the RS 3, and the suspension calibration has been completely revised, resulting in negative camber on the front end of one degree more than its predecessor. All the suspension elements, from the anti-roll bars to the subframe are also new.
A Dynamic package will allow consumers to equip their RS 3 with ceramic compound brakes and unlock a top speed of 290 km / hour, a first for the RS 3. Only try on a closed track.
The 5-cylinder is not going anywhere
Fans of the model will be happy to learn that the 2.5-liter 5-cylinder turbocharged engine is still available. It is the only engine available on an RS 3 and offers 401 instead of 394 horsepower. Improvements have been made to the turbocharger and cooling system, which can extract even more torque than before. So we go from 354 to 368 lb-ft. Torque is also activated lower in the power range, at 2,500 rpm. The engine of an RS 3 can revolve up to 7,000 rpm.
Audi also took the opportunity to review the programming of the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox when the cannon starter system is activated. This allows this subcompact to cross the 0 to 96 km / hour sprint in just 3.8 seconds, an improvement of 0.3 seconds over its predecessor. The RS 3 2022 also incorporates an all-new exhaust system that incorporates active flaps.
Although the model already offered such technology, the new system offers even more flexibility in opening and closing the valve. It can even adjust automatically based on driving habits.
As of this writing, Audi has yet to announce a price for the upcoming RS 3, and the only images we have so far are of a camouflaged model. More details about it will be sent to us in the coming months.