Audi of America announces the return of the attainable entry point to the Audi Sport portfolio with the all-new second generation Audi RS 3 Sedan. The RS 3 reaches new heights in dynamic handling with an RS Torque Splitter included for the first time in an Audi vehicle that actively distributes torque to the rear axle with two RS 3-specific Audi drive select models to accompany its legendary quattro lineage. The all-new RS 3 Sedan showcases an expressive exterior design matched with progressive interior design elements that emphasize the car’s sporty position.
Exterior design – Powerful proportions and expressive details
The second generation Audi RS 3 exhibits powerful proportions and expressive details starting at the front where a wider RS front bumper underpins a redesigned Singleframe grille with honeycomb grid structure in matte black flanked by larger air intakes than the predecessor. The flared wheel arches include a functional side air outlet signaling a nod to Audi’s motorsport heritage and the front track is widened by 33mm (1.3 inches) in comparsion to the predecessor.
At the rear, the RS 3 integrates a glossy black rear lip spoiler on the trunklid for dynamic balance and a sportier look. The motorsport-inspired details include the redesigned RS-specific rear bumper with built-in diffuser and RS exhaust system which includes a fully variable flap control with large oval/elliptical tailpipes on both the left and right side. The RS 3 can be painted in a total of eight different colors, including the Audi Sport specific Kyalami Green and Kemora Gray finishes.
Audi’s commitment to lighting innovation continues to progress. The RS 3 includes standard front Matrix-design LED headlights with a darkened bezel featuring all-new digital daytime running lights with a 3 x 5 LED pixel segment – when the vehicle is locked or unlocked, the R-S-3 checkered flag sequence appears on the driver’s side, while a checkered flag appears in the pixel field on the passenger side. When driving, the checkered flag remains illuminated as a daytime running light below the headlamp on both sides. At the rear, LED taillights include dynamic turn signals and an RS 3-specific coming home/leaving function sequence.
The RS 3 is standard equipped with 19-inch cast aluminum wheels in a dynamic 10-Y-spoke design with graphic print and reverse staggered summer performance tires. For the first time optional Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R motorsport tires can also be mounted and were developed specifically for use on racetracks. An available Carbon package adds carbon fiber mirror housings, rear spoiler, and side sill inlays underlining the RS 3 performance quotient. Additionally, an available Black optic plus package offers the 19-inch 10-Y-spoke design wheels finished in full matte Black, Black Audi rings and badges, and a Brilliant Black roof for a distinctive sporty contrast.
Interior Design – Visual driving engagement
On the interior, performance enthusiasts are met with engaging motorsport elements that form a genuine driver-oriented cockpit. The standard equipped 12.3-inch Audi virtual cockpit plus displays pertinent performance data through a new “RS Runway” design. In this mode, the values are displayed in a manner that visually resembles an airplane runway – presenting the highest number of revolutions in the foreground, and lowest in the background. Additionally, the Audi virtual cockpit also includes an exhibit of g-forces, lap times, and acceleration from 0-60 mph, 0-125 (200 km/h) mph, quarter mile, and eighth of a mile.
The RS-specific blinking shift indicator in manual transmission mode changes the RPM display from green to yellow to red – blinking in a manner identical to that used in motorsports scheduling the ideal time to change gears. This signal is also presented in the available head-up display, which presents relative data onto the windshield within the driver’s line of sight. The center 10.1-inch dashboard display can also show the coolant, engine, transmission oil temperatures, as well as the g-forces and tire pressure figures.
A three-spoke round design RS sport leather multifunction steering wheel with hands-on detection includes polished zinc die-cast steering wheel paddles. The steering wheel also now comes standard with a steering wheel button specific for RS driving modes including RS Performance, RS Individual, or the most recently used mode. Fine Nappa leather front sport seats come standard with RS embossing and RS-specific honeycomb stitching, and provide the perfect balance of support with 8-way power front seats with 4-way power lumbar and driver memory.
Available for the first time, the RS design package includes distinctive elements of green throughout including the seat shoulders finished in Micrommata green Dinamica, a center bar of air vents in Micrommata green, floor mats with RS logo and green stitching on piping, green edging on seatbelts, a carbon atlas matte inlay, and the center console trim in high gloss black. A standard black headliner frames the cabin with an additional element of sportiness.
The epitome of driving dynamics – The RS Torque Splitter, DCC, transmission, and brakes
An Audi first – the RS Torque Splitter – is one of the most significant performance innovations in the RS 3. Audi quattro supports the rear-axle differential with an upstream multiplate clutch package that has now been replaced by an electronically controlled multiplate clutch on each drive shaft. This innovation enables the RS Torque Splitter to distribute the drive torque for the rear axle fully variably between the rear wheels. The result is better stability, especially on wet ground, and improved agility during fast cornering.
Several influencing factors of operation prompt character, including longitudinal and lateral acceleration, steering angle, throttle position, current gear, and yaw angle. When cornering, the RS Torque Splitter increases drive torque to the outside wheel to significantly reduce understeer. For example, if the driver pushes through a fast left turn, drive torque is immediately distributed to the right wheel. The RS Torque Splitter is fully integrated in to Audi drive select, and also varies based on selected five different mode selections:
- Comfort mode – prioritizes front axle efficiency
- Auto mode – offers balanced front/rear torque distribution
- Dynamic mode – offers as much torque as possible to rear axle
- RS Torque Rear mode – allows for controlled drifts
- RS Performance mode – designed for track use to minimize understeer and oversteer in fast cornering
To support an even closer connection to the road and track, the all-new RS 3 introduces the standard RS Sport suspension plus with dynamic chassis control (DCC) sitting 10mm (0.39”) lower than the Audi S3, and 25mm (0.98”) lower than A3. Serving as a progressive successor to Audi magnetic ride the DCC offers continuous and individual adjustment based on several factors including road conditions, driving situations, or mode selection with Audi drive select, while dynamic height sensors measure vertical acceleration of the body and relative movement to the wheels. When RS Performance mode is engaged, the shocks are preset to minimize vertical oscillations while optimizing lateral dynamics to reduce potential wheel bounce and to amplify cornering characteristics. The seven-speed dual-clutch S tronic® transmission arranges lightning quick shifts with optimized circuit time and sporty spread between gears.
The RS 3 comes standard with newly developed and larger front steel brakes offering 20% better cooling compared to its predecessor thanks to integrated airflow guides in the bumper and undercarriage. The 6-piston fixed caliper front brakes utilize 375mm (14.8”) brake discs, while the rear brakes use a single-piston caliper with 310mm (12.2”) brake discs, with all calipers painted red. Designed for high performance driving, an available ceramic brake option with 380mm (15.0”) front ceramic discs exhibits powerful braking ability, while reducing overall weight by 22 pounds – and remains more resistant to brake fade thanks to faster temperature reduction.
Hear that heritage sound? It’s legendary performance.
The five-cylinder engine has deep historical roots in Audi’s DNA, and is a fundmental pillar of the emotional connection to the Audi Sport brand. The engine has achieved countless victories in motorsports from the legendary Group B rally courses around the world, to the tarmac in the IMSA GTO and at the Nürburgring in the legendary 24-hour race, the five-cylinder has prevailed. It even earned the “International Engine of the Year Award” nine times in a row since 2010. Yet – it is the unique and distinctive sound of the five-cylinder engine that has captured the emotion of enthusiasts. Due to the odd number of cylinders, and more specifically, the 1-2-4-5-3 firing order, the Audi five-cylinder engine’s sound is unmistakable and presents a symphonic rhythm that is accompanied by deep tone characteristics, which can be further enchanced with the available RS sport exhaust system.
Besides its visibility in motorsports, the legendary engine harkens back to the Ur-quattro coupe from the 1980s, and remains one of the brand’s more powerful engines with 401 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque – an increase of 7 horsepower and 15 lb-ft of torque over the predecessor, which brings the RS 3 from 0-60 mph in just 3.6 seconds and improvement of 0.3 seconds over the predecessor. The RS 3 available in the U.S. is also the most powerful and raucous sounding RS 3 in the world, further amplifying the sound and presence of the legendary five-cylinder engine. Additionally, the all-new Audi RS 3 set the lap record for compact cars on the Nürburgring Nordschleife with a time of 7 minutes 40.748 seconds
The 2022 Audi RS 3 is slated to be on sale by this summer.
MSRP pricing detail
|2022 Audi RS 3 Sedan||$58,900|
Prices exclude $1,095 destination charge, sales taxes, title, options, and dealer charges. Dealer sets actual price.