The new 400 hp Audi RS 3 debuts an unprecedented drift mode for the first time in its history

Following the new Audi A3 Y Audi S3, the Ingolstadt firm will unveil in the, after the summer, the new generation of the Audi RS3. The very muscular premium compact retains the legendary 5-cylinder turbo engine and a new all-wheel drive with vector cast of pair on the rear axle that allows you to have a drift mode for the first time.

The new Audi RS3 It will be available in a 5-door RS 3 Sportback body and a 4-door saloon, RS 3 Sedan. The engine will remain the 2.5-liter turbo 5-cylinder, which we saw in the outgoing RS 3 or the new CUPRA Formentor VZ5.

New Audi RS 3 2022

In this case, the 2.5 TFSI develops 400 hp from 5,600 rpm to 7,000 rpm. And while the power does not vary with respect to the current RS 3, the maximum torque available gains 20 Nm. Going from 480 Nm to 500 Nm, now available from 2,250 rpm up to 5,600 rpm. The engine retains its torquey character in any situation.

Associated exclusively with a 7-speed double-clutch transmission and all-wheel drive, the new Audi RS3 accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h in 3.8 seconds. It is 0.3 seconds faster in that exercise than the outgoing model, the brand recalls.

The top speed is a self-limited 250 km / h, although with the option of the RS Dynamic pack, the top speed is limited to 280 km / h. And if we opt for the option of carbo-ceramic brakes, the RS 3 will then be limited to 290 km/h. In both acceleration and top speed, the new RS 3 outperforms its main rival, the Mercedes-AMG A 45 S (0 to 100 km / h in 3.9 s and 270 km / h of maximum speed).

RS Torque Spliter, or the vector distribution of torque according to Audi

New Audi RS 3 2022

But the great novelty of this new generation is the rear differential with active torque sharing, the RS Torque Splitter. This system, unlike a rear differential and the earlier multi-clutch system on the rear axle, uses two multi-disc compound clutches, one for each driveshaft, and is electronically controlled.

New Audi RS 3 2022
RS Torque Splitter, with multi-disc clutches (shown in red) on either side of the rear differential.

In driving, the RS Torque Splitter directs more torque to the outer rear wheel to significantly reduce the tendency to understeer. Thus, in left-hand cornering, it transmits the torque to the right rear wheel, in right-hand cornering to the left rear wheel.

New Audi RS 3 torque vector cast
The system sends more torque to the inner wheel around the corner. That is, the right in a left turn and vice versa.

But it also compensates for oversteer by directing more torque to the inner wheel into the corner or, if necessary, to both wheels. The objective is a more precise and above all more agile driving. Audi thus wants to give the RS 3 an agility superior to that of its rivals.

Another added benefit of this RS Torque Splitter is that it allows the inclusion for the first time of a mode operation. Once activated, the system can direct all the torque towards a single wheel and thus allow controlled skidding. The exact distribution of torque between the two rear wheels always depends on the mode selected in the Audi Drive Select and the respective driving situation.

New Audi RS 3 2022

Each of the two clutches in the RS Torque Splitter has its own control unit, which uses the ESC’s wheel speed sensors to measure wheel speed. Other influencing factors are longitudinal and lateral acceleration, steering angle, throttle position, selected gear, and yaw angle, that is, rotational movement around the vertical axis.

Up to five driving modes to change the behavior of the RS 3

New Audi RS 3 2022

Via Audi Drive Select, you can modify the characteristics of the torque vector distribution and, therefore, the behavior of the vehicle depending on the selected mode. The system has five driving modes: Comfort/Efficiency, Auto, Dynamic, RS Performance y RS Torque Rear.

With Comfort / Efficiency mode, the engine torque is distributed to all four wheels, always giving priority to the front axle. In Auto mode, the distribution of torque is balanced, which means that “the RS 3 does not understeer or oversteer,” they say at Audi. The Dynamic mode, meanwhile, gives priority to the rear axle, for greater dynamism.

New Audi RS 3 2022

The RS Torque Rear mode goes a little further and allows for controlled drift. It’s drift mode. In this case, the RS 3 is a like a rear-wheel drive, since 100% of the torque is directed to the rear wheel outside the curve.

New Audi RS 3 2022

Lastly, RS Performance mode is designed for track use. Its configuration takes into account the semi-slick Pirelli P Zero “Trofeo R” tires, available for the first time as (optional) equipment from the factory. The system looks for the most balanced behavior here. It should be noted that the stability control is completely disconnectable via a button on the dashboard, it is not necessary to enter several submenus of the infotainment system to deactivate it on the circuit.

A muscular body

New Audi RS 3 2022

The new Audi RS 3 features a McPherson suspension with reinforced lower wishbones and subframe. The rear axle, meanwhile, features a four-link design and a separate arrangement for springs and shock absorbers, a subframe and a tubular stabilizer bar adapted to the vector-delivery system.

On the other hand, it should be noted that the RS 3 is equipped with passive shock absorbers and springs as standard, with adaptive shock absorbers being an option.

New Audi RS 3 2022

Regarding the aesthetic aspect, the new RS3 looks very muscular without being lush, with its flaps flared. The black grille occupies most of the front and is framed by two other imposing air intakes located at the ends of the bumper. The latter is notable for a prominent spoiler.

The rear of the five-door Sportback has a relatively unobtrusive roof spoiler, as does the spoiler mounted on the trunk of the saloon. On the other hand, the rear bumper of the RS 3 features a ventilation grille that looks purely aesthetic. In both cases, the rear is completed by the two oval tailpipes typical of petrol Audi RSs.

New Audi RS 3 2022

Direct rival of the Mercedes-AMG A 45 S and Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S with 421 hp, the new Audi RS3 could make its debut at the Munich Motor Show in early September.

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