The Audi RS3 returns with a 394bhp 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo motor, albeit the car now comes with a trick differential, which will allow it to 'drift'.
The Audi RS3 is back with a bang! Launched in both Sportback and Sedan versions, the 2022 RS3 gets more grunt, a fully revamped interior, and a new all-wheel-drive system with ‘Drift’ mode. Not to mention, the new RS3 looks meaner and more aggressive than before.
Based on the new-gen A3, the RS3 is the high-performance derivative of the range. Under the bonnet, it features the same 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder petrol motor, and it’s rated at 394bhp as earlier. The peak torque is up by 20Nm at 500Nm though. Like before, a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and quattro are used to send the power to all four wheels. Audi claims that it can do the 0 – 100km/h sprint in 3.8 seconds.
The top speed is limited to 250km/h in standard guise. However, the limiter can be lifted off to reach 280km/h for an additional cost. Tick the RS Dynamic package in the options menu along with carbon-ceramic brakes, and the RS3 will be able to hit 290km/h on the speedo.
The all-wheel-drive system now comes with a new ‘RS Torque Splitter’ rear differential, which features a pack of clutches on each side to vary the amount of torque sent to each wheel. Clubbed to the new differential is an ‘RS Torque Rear’ mode, which will help the driver to perform a drift. In this mode, the differential can send 100% of rear-axle torque (up to 1,750Nm!) to the outside wheel in order to break traction and initiate a controlled slide.
Given that it’s the highest spec performance model of the A3 range, the RS3 is equipped with RS-specific sports suspension with adaptive damping (optional) and massive 19-inch wheels as standard. Plus, the RS3 versions now sit lower by 10mm and 25mm over the A3 and S3, respectively. In addition to that, the RS3 has a 33mm wider front wheel track. The hatchback version also has a 10mm wider rear track.
On the design front, the RS3 looks more sinister, thanks to an RS3 LMS race car-inspired front end with large air intakes, a black grille surround, and sharper wedge-shaped LED lights. The rear end features a sportier bumper with a large diffuser and dual oval-shaped exhaust pipes. Two new colour options are on offer exclusively with the RS3 range – Kyalami Green and Kemora Grey – while the sedan is also available with a contrasting black roof for the first time.
Inside, you get a typical RS interior with sporty bits and bobs: sports seats with contrast stitching and a flat-bottomed RS steering wheel with shift paddles. Along with that, the RS3, now for the first time, comes equipped with a head-up display. A 12.3-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit driver display is present with a new ‘RS Runway’ design, which displays g-force, lap times, and acceleration figures. The infotainment system features a 10.1-inch MMI touchscreen.
The 2022 Audi RS3 range will go on sale in the UK in mid-August 2021, with prices starting at £50,900 (Rs 52.22 lakh) for the hatchback and £51,900 (Rs 53.26 lakh) for the sedan. At the moment, it’s unlikely that the 2022 RS3 will come to India.