The all-new 2022 Audi RS3 performance hatchback and sedan have been revealed, ahead of initial Australian showroom deliveries in the first half of 2022 (January to June inclusive).
Drive comes from an uprated variant of the existing turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder petrol engine, now sending 294kW/500Nm to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission – up 20Nm over the outgoing model, but down 16kW over its Mercedes-AMG A45 S rival.
This allows the 0-100km/h sprint to be completed in a claimed 3.8 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 290km/h with carbon-ceramic brakes and the RS Dynamic pack equipped (the entry-level variant is electronically limited to 250km/h).
As previously reported by CarAdvice, a new 'RS Torque Splitter' differential is now incorporated on the rear axle, enabling 'drift mode' for the first time.
This system – largely lifted from the new Volkswagen Golf R – allows up to 1750Nm to be sent to the outside rear wheel during a corner through the engagement of two independent axle-mounted clutch packs, helping drivers break traction and maintain a controlled slide.
In standard guise, stopping power comes via six-piston calipers clamping steel discs. These measure 375mm by 36mm at the front of the car, and 310mm by 22mm at the rear.
Larger drilled carbon-ceramic discs – measuring 380mm by 38mm – can be optioned on the front axle, for better cooling and reduced brake fade (shown below). This system is also 10kg lighter than the steel alternative.
The standard rotors can be optioned with red or black calipers, while the ceramic discs add the option of a grey or blue hue.
The front axle track has been widened by 33mm for better handling on all model variants, while the rear axle track has increased by 10mm exclusively on the ‘Sportback’ hatch. On both models, a choice of 19-inch alloy wheel designs fill the arches, wrapped in Pirelli P Zero road-focused or Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R semi-slick track tyres.
Inside the cabin, leather-trimmed ‘RS’ sport seats face a carbon-fibre instrument panel. Drivers grip a flat-bottomed three-spoke sport Alcantara steering wheel on certain variants, with die-cast zinc paddle shifters.
A 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster displays vehicle speed, rpm, fuel usage, g-force, acceleration, and lap times, while a centrally-mounted 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This system also provides coolant, engine, and transmission oil temperatures, as well as tire pressure.
For the first time in an Audi RS3, a head-up display is available as an option. Two RS Design packs are also available, which add green or red accents to the air-conditioning vents, seats, floor mats, and the steering wheel (with a 12 o'clock marker).
Seven driving modes are on offer: Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, Efficiency, RS Individual, RS Performance (track mode), and RS Torque Rear (drift mode).
LED headlights and taillights come standard, while Audi’s adaptive ‘Matrix’ system can be optioned on the headlights. Chequered-flag daytime-running lights feature up front – exclusive to the RS3.
The new RS3 models can be ordered in the full range of standard Audi colours, alongside two exclusive RS colours: Kyalami Green and Kemora Gray. A black roof is also available.
Australian pricing and specifications for the 2022 Audi RS3 will be announced closer to its local arrival in the first half of 2022, however in Europe the entry-level Sportback will start from €60,000 (AU$96,000), while the sedan will start from €62,000 (AU$99,000) before on-road costs.
Expect Australian pricing to kick off from around $90,000 before on-road costs for the hatch, and around $95,000 before on-road costs for the sedan.
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