For 2022, the Audi RS3 has a more menacing look and becomes even more capableby Dim Angelov, on
The 2022 Audi RS3 promises to retain the formula of the 1980s, turbocharged, inline-five, all-wheel-drive, 1980s Audi Quattro. The philosophy “evolution, not revolution” is often synonymous with the Porsche 911, but it appears that Audi is also (partially) following the same recipe. About 40 years ago, they gave us the boxy Quattro – a turbocharged, five-cylinder, all-wheel-drive rally monster that dominated the scene. Now, we still get the same basic recipe, but in a more modern, more practical shape, in the form of the Audi RS3, and for 2022, the super-hatch is even better.
What set the RS3 apart from other versions was the 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-five unit. You’ll be glad to know that it’s still here.
We are looking at 394 horsepower (294 kilowatts) and 369 pound-feet (500 Nm). Strangely enough, it’s the U.S. version that will have slightly more power – 401 horsepower to be exact – while torque remains the same.
Those 369 pound-feet (500 Nm) are a bump from the current model’s 354 pound-feet (480 Nm) torque figure.
|Engine||2.5-liter turbocharged inline-five|
|0 to 62 mph||3.8 seconds|
|Top Speed||180 mph|
You’ll also like that the turbo-five unit still sounds as glorious as ever, even with all the emissions regulations. The engine is mated to a quick-shifting seven-speed double-clutch gearbox that sends power to all four wheels via the Quattro all-wheel-drive system. For 2022, the RS3 gets a new rear differential, which allows for up to 100 percent of torque to be sent to either wheel. This allows the RS3 to counteract the understeer by overdriving the outside wheel during cornering.
The RS3 has more performance goodies and one of the most interesting will undoubtedly be the new drive mode – RS Torque Rear – which will send as much torque as possible to the rear axle, allowing for epic slides. Think of it as “Drift mode”.
The 2022 Audi RS3 has undergone extensive chassis revisions. The standard sport suspension has model-specific shocks and valving to better suit the driver’s performance needs. There’s also an optional adaptive suspension, which constantly adjusts itself, depending on conditions, load, or the drive mode selected.
In the front, you get stiffer bearings, subframe, and upgraded stabilizers for the double-wishbone suspension. In the rear, the 2022 RS3 gets stiffer rear-wheel carriers to help it cope with the lateral forces when you’re pulling those sweet drifts in RS Torque Rear mode.
The new RS3 also gets more camber, which improves cornering stability, at the expense of tire wear. In addition, the super-hatchback is 1 inch (25 mm) lower to the ground compared to the standard A3, which translates to a lower center of gravity. You get ventilated steel brakes (375 mm front, 310 mm rear) and six-piston front brake calipers as standard. Optionally, you can get 380 mm carbon-ceramic rotors at the front, paired with bigger steel rotors at the rear.
The 2022 Audi RS3 boasts a 0 to 60 mph time of around 3.7 seconds, which is slightly quicker than the [Mercedes AMG A45S->art185615]’ 3.9-second achievement.
The RS3 has a limited top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h). Opting for the performance package will allow the RS3 to get up to 174 mph (280 km/h) or 180 mph (290 km/h) if you have the carbon-ceramic brakes.
Although the Audi RS3 has always boasted a clean design, some argue that the outgoing model looked a bit too sterile. The new RS3 changes that, as it definitely wouldn’t pass for a sleeper. The large blacked-out honeycomb grille that spans almost the entire front end, makes the RS3 look like a vicious wolf ready to devour any AMG A45s and M2’s unfortunate enough to be in the same vicinity. And of course, let’s not forget the much wider than standard RS front bumper.
The RS3’s rear bumper boasts a blacked-out trim piece mimicking the grille’s honeycomb texture, which sadly isn’t functional. What is functional is the new rear diffuser, which is also blacked-out and accommodates the big oval exhaust tips (also blacked-out). The RS3 also gets LED headlights and taillights, with Matrix LED headlights being optional.
On the side, we see an additional air outlet behind the front wheel arches. Speaking of wheels, you get 19-inch, 10-spoke wheels as standard, or you can upgrade to the five Y-spoke wheels that feature RS branding.
As before, the RS3 comes in two shapes - Sportback (hatchback) and a sedan.
Inside the 2022 Audi RS3, we see a totally redesigned cockpit. Some already call it Lamborghini-inspired, as it features much sharper angles than the previous RS3’s rounded and soft interior design. As standard, you get a 12.3-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit Gauge cluster and a 10.1-inch infotainment screen. Unlike the VW Golf Mk VIII, you still get physical buttons for quick access to some of the functions. There’s also a shift indicator, which makes it easier to execute perfect shifts. Not that it’ll be a problem with the quick seven-speed DCT.
The RS3 features carbon-fiber trim as standard. You also get a heads-up display and a flat-bottom steering wheel with a 12 o’clock strip and an “RS” button. The sport seats are available with a honeycomb quilting and there’s also black, red, or green contrast stitching on the edge of the seats and door panels.
The new Audi RS3 boasts a much more aggressive design and by all accounts, it will go as fast as it looks. It goes on sale in August of 2021, with a starting price of $70,832 for the Sportback (hatchback) and $73,193 for the sedan (€60,000 and €62,000 respectively). The U.S. market will only get the sedan version of the RS3.