Audi already shared most of the new RS3’s technical details with us a month ago, but now with the full reveal having taken place on Monday we finally get to see it without any of the camo. As before, the new Audi RS3 will be available in both five-door Sportback and four-door Sedan guises, and the South Africa launch is expected to take place during the second half of 2022.
While the styling is more boisterous than before, owners can look forward to similar performance, with the new Audi RS3 models being powered by an uprated version of the familiar and highly renowned 2,5-litre TFSI five-cylinder turbopetrol engine. While the maximum power output remains the same at 294 kW, it is available over a wider rev range, from 5 600 r/min to 7 000 r/min. The RS3 has gained 20 N.m of torque, now standing at 500 N.m, which is available between 2 250 r/min and 5 600 r/min. Audi claims a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 3,8 seconds, and the top speed is limited to 250 km/h, however the Launch Edition and Vorsprung models will have theirs increased to 280 km/h.
Acoustic delight is already guaranteed by the car’s 1-2-4-5-3 ignition sequence, but Audi has also improved things in this department with a new variable flap control system for the exhaust. Those seeking an even more hardcore sound track can opt for an RS sports exhaust system.
The five-cylinder engine is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and quattro all-wheel drive system. The new RS3 is also the first Audi to come with the company’s new Torque Splitter as standard. This electronically controlled multiple disc clutch is used on each of the drive shafts to ensure that the correct quantity of torque is distributed along the rear axle. The new tech also makes controlled drifting possible, just engage the RS Torque Rear mode and the Torque Splitter sends all of the power to only one of the back wheels. There’s another mode called RS Performance, which optimises the engine and transmission for track driving, and promises minimal understeer. The other usual Drive Select modes are also in place, these being Auto, Comfort, Dynamic, RS Individual and Efficiency.
Underneath the new Audi RS3 you’ll find an RS sports suspension system that features redesigned shock absorbers and a valve system that is specific to this model. Adaptive damper control, however, remains an option. Audi has also increased the negative wheel camber, with the aim of improving steering response and cornering force. As for anchorage, the Audi RS3 comes with steel brakes as standard, which are larger than before, however a 380 x 38 mm ceramic brake system is optionally available for the front wheels.
The new Audi RS3 can be told apart not only by a unique exterior package that includes a honeycomb grille, 19-inch wheels and sportier bumpers, but it’s also available in two exclusive colours: Kyalami Green and Kemora Grey. In addition to the aforementioned Launch Edition and Vorsprung spec grades, Audi is also offering a Carbon package, which includes a ‘Brilliant Black’ roof colour on the Sedan.
Inside buyers can look forward to a carbon fibre instrument panel, on Carbon models and above, as well as RS sports seats with RS logos and anthracite contrast stitching, and an RS steering wheel.