With Audi Sport racing and development driver Frank Stippler at the helm, the 2022 RS 3 sedan beat the previous compact class record by 4.64 seconds.
The Germans are at it yet again! After a flurry of Nürburgring lap records set by Porsche not too long ago, Audi now reigns supreme in the compact class with the new RS 3 sedan. For those unaware, the previous lap record (7 mins 45.389 seconds) for compact cars was held by the Renault Megane RS Trophy-R. Both Renault and Audi used the same 20.8km loop of the track for the run and the RS 3 came out on top this time, with a respectable lap time of 7 mins 40.748 seconds – 4.64 seconds quicker than the Megane.
Prior to the record-setting run, Stippler's team had only fiddled with the tyre pressures in the Pirelli P Zero 'Trofeo R' semi-slicks that are now, for the first time, available as a factory-fitted optional extra. The rest of the standard kit on the car included a 19-inch ceramic braking system in the front and the RS Sport Suspension Plus with adaptive damper control.
For Stippler though, all these features were simply overshadowed by the RS 3's new torque splitter. 'For me, the torque splitter is a quantum leap in terms of agile driving,' he said. With the torque splitter ensuring the most neutral handling possible and, combined with the new racetrack-specific 'RS Performance' mode that can be equipped with two setups for different racetracks, the RS 3's 394bhp five-cylinder mill is able to reach its top speed of 290km/h – the highest in its segment, as per Audi.
*The car shown here is still camouflaged despite having debuted already. That's because the record run took place in June 2021, about a month prior to its global debut.