Ingolstadt, July 19, 2021 – Audi has introduced the second-generation RS 3 with a plethora of upgrades to give it class-leading performance and handling. Unfortunately, the new RS 3 will only be available in the sedan version in Canada with the European market getting both the sedan and hatch.
Under the hood is the same turbocharged, 2.5-litre in-line five-cylinder engine that has been tweaked and now produces 400 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, which is impressive for a compact sedan. It now takes a blistering 3.8 seconds to reach 100 km/h and onto a restricted top speed of 250 km/h, but with the available Dynamic package the top speed has been extended to 280 km/h. The maximum horsepower is now available at a lower 5,600 r.p.m. allowing much more rapid acceleration at lower rev ranges. Power is put down to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that now has shorter shifting times and with a sportier gear ratio spread.
The RS 3 is Audi’s first model to come with a torque-splitter that comes as standard equipment, replacing the rear axle multiple disc clutch.
When the RS 3 is driven harder the torque-splitter increases the available torque to the outer rear wheel reducing understeer.
Audi has also developed a new drive mode specifically for the RS 3 – RS Torque Rear – this now allows full drifting (on closed circuits) by directing power loads of up to 1,7450 Nm to one rear wheel. Also introduced is another new drive mode – RS Performance Mode – specifically designed for the race track it uses a unique engine and transmission set up that, by means of the torque splitter, delivers dynamic and sporty handling as well as reducing any under and oversteer to a minimum.
Other drive modes available via the Audi drive select are comfort, auto, dynamic, RS individual and efficiency giving it a total of seven driving modes.
To help keep all four wheels planted firmly on the tarmac the RS 3 now comes with the RS sports suspension as standard with adapter damper control being made available as an option. A larger wheel camber – where the wheels are directed more to the road – adds more precise steering feel that allows more cornering force.
A new modular vehicle dynamic controller (mVDC) has been added, it collects data from all components applicable to lateral dynamics allowing for a quicker and more precise interaction. It also synchronizes the torque splitter; adaptive dampers and the torque being pushed to a specific wheel giving the RS 3 more precise steering and handling while increasing performance on tight back roads.
To ensure the RS 3 comes to a rapid stop it is now equipped with larger six-piston steel brakes as standard with a ceramic brake package being available as an option. The ventilated discs are 375 by 36 mm upfront with the rears being 310 x 22 mm. The larger brakes now reduce the cooling time of the brakes by 20 per cent.
The exterior has been beefed up as well with new RS 3 specific LED headlights with an RS 3 specific daytime running lights. The front wheel arches have been increased to accommodate the 33 mm increase in the tread size. The front air intake has also been enlarged to increase airflow to the engine. Kyalami green and Kemora gray RS-specific body colours have been added with the option of having a contrasting roof colour available for the first time.
A new air outlet has been incorporated to the rear of the front wheel arch that adds a sporty element.
An RS-specific rear bumper has an integrated diffuser that encapsulates the RS sport exhaust system with the oval tailpipes sitting on each side.
The cabin has been designed with specific RS elements to add to the vehicle’s sportiness. Audi’s virtual cockpit plus with its 12.3-inch display is offered as standard equipment. A head-up display, 10.1-inch touch screen display and an RS sport steering wheel are now part of the standard package. The RS Sport leather steering wheel has die-cast paddle shifters mounted with a 12 o’clock stripe matching the exterior colour.
The new RS button has also been added to the steering wheel that allows the driver to set up specific driving characteristics beforehand that can be changed quickly by the touch of a button.
The new RS 3 will be introduced to the Canadian marketplace later in the year as a 2022 model with prices being made available closer to the launch date.