Audi is not quite ready to pull the covers off its new-generation RS3 models, but the Ingolstadt based firm has released many of the juicy details ahead of next month’s grand reveal. As before, and as these disguised prototypes reveal, the Audi RS3 will once again be offered in both five-door Sportback and four-door Sedan guises.
As had been previously speculated, the good news is that the RS3 models will retain their five-cylinder turbocharged engine configuration, and although it isn’t technically any more powerful, the 2,5 TFSi unit does produce its 294 kW maximum output at slightly lower revs, from 5 600 to 7 000 r/min versus it’s predecessor’s 5 850 to 7 000 range. There’s also more twisting force on hand, with maximum torque having risen from 480 N.m to 500 N.m, produced between 2 250 and 5 600 r/min. 0-100 km/h comes up in 3,8 seconds, which is 0,3 seconds quicker than before, while the top speed remains electronically limited to 280 km/h, although up to 290 km/h can be attained if the correct options boxes are ticked.
But the new Audi RS3 is not just about straight-line speed. It also happens to be the first Audi to be fitted with the new ‘RS Torque Splitter’, which distributes the drive torque between the back wheels in a fully variable manner. This torque vectoring system employs an electronically controlled multiple disc clutch on each respective drive shaft. During fast cornering it increases the drive torque to the outer rear wheel with the higher wheel load, thereby reducing understeer. The system also enables a drift mode, in which the ‘Torque Rear’ driving mode and quattro AWD system allows for a rear-biased torque distribution that also sends up to 100 percent of the rearward-bound torque to the wheel on the outside of the curve.
In a nutshell, the new Audi RS3 is slightly faster and appears somewhat more dynamic than before, and according to Audi the sports suspension system has also been overhauled. Now all that’s left is to show it to us in the flesh, Audi …