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2022 Audi RS3 is music in our ears

Earlier this year Audi Announced that it will discontinue development of all new internal combustion engines in order to move to an all-electric drivetrain by 2033. But in anticipation of that quiet goalpost, the brand’s engineers sought to equip it with a redesign. 2022 Audi RS3 It is equipped with the loudest and most powerful version of the company’s turbocharged in-line 5-cylinder engine.

With 401 horsepower available (one more pony than before), the RS3’s boosted five pots are enthusiastically pulled to the 7000 rpm red line. It’s an understatement to say that it has personality — fun, vocal and charismatic, an engine that can strangely look like a human over its entire rev range. This makes sense because the odd-cylinder wobble is a sound that can be disguised by humans. The new active exhaust offers even more of its auditory drama through the tailpipe. Normally, we avoid boosting the engine sound with stereo speakers, but that only adds to the excitement of the RS3. Moving the windows up and down, this Audi will have you search the tunnel on your daily commute.

Torque has also risen and is now peaking at 369 lb-ft against the output model 354. The twist is routed through a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with several shift programs, including launch control. Audi estimates that a sprint up to 60 mph will take 3.8 seconds. But that’s certainly a conservative number. The last RS3 we testedThe 2017 model recorded 3.5 seconds of driving at 60 mph. When driving a new car, the transmission wanted to disengage just by pressing the accelerator, but it wasn’t very foresighted when braking hard into corners and was mounted on the steering wheel to kick. You may need to pull the shift paddle to lower the ratio.

For even better control, you can easily change the gearbox attitude through different drive modes. This also changes the responsiveness of the engine, the weight and feel of the steering, and the hardness of the adaptive dampers. Bypassing the efficiency and comfort settings, we found that automatic is excellent for adjusting parameters based on driving habits. Dynamic mode enhances all the feel of the car, and manual mode keeps the gear on the red line. Most intriguing was the customizable RS performance mode. This is the first time the RS3 has made it possible to adjust the amount of torque sent to the rear wheels. Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system is almost always too effective and can intentionally and almost clinically wrang the engine. However, the RS3’s all-wheel drive system is designed to cheerfully complement the reverberant antiques of its engine. The system employs two independent clutch packs that can send 100% of the torque transmitted to the rear axle to either rear wheel, helping the car turn around corners.

The car drive selection menu also has a dedicated RS Torque rear mode. This is all drift mode except the name. However, in reality, this setting only allows you to swing the RS3’s tail a lot. Despite the implicit benefits of rear torque bias, this remains primarily a front-wheel drive base setup. Similar to the previous RS3 equipment, the new car has a wider front than the rear and rolls on tires from 265 / 30R-19s to rear 245 / 35R-19s. Also, the RS3 cannot loosen the back end with the same impulsivity of the engine, for example, because only 50% of the engine torque can be sent backwards. BMW M2.. Overcoming the chassis’ natural tendency to understeer requires careful effort and a heavy right foot. Beyond the limits of adhesion, sustainability is required to continue dancing at that edge.

In addition to diligence, a little trust on the part of the driver is required to get the most out of RS Torque rear on the truck. Our drive included a lap on the Greek Athens circuit, a tight 1.3 mile track with short straights and 10 corners. Incorporating a discreet all-wheel drive line into the turn didn’t get any help from the RS3’s torque vectoring rear axle. It’s best to be more aggressive in corner entry and ignore the instinct of retracting the throttle. Just before the front end begins to cultivate heavily, the throttle is matted to shuffle the torque to the rear axle and organized by programming the all-wheel drive system. That doesn’t mean that the RS3 isn’t powerful when pressed hard. Audi’s test driver Frank Stippler recently made a 7: 40.8 orbit around the Nürburgring, surpassing the time set by the original Bugatti Veyron among all-wheel drive rockets.

On public roads, the RS3 feels much more in that environment. With its adaptive dampers in a comfortable setting, this small sedan evokes the calm and stability of its larger Audi brothers. The strut suspension features model-specific pivot bearings that add almost some negative camber compared to the regular A3. The multi-link setup is behind with a hollow anti-roll bar and an additional 0.5 degree negative camber. Overall, the RS3 is 1.0 inches lower than the A3 and 0.4 inches lower than the S3. The maximum speed is controlled at 155mph, but if you choose the RS Dynamic package it will be 180mph.

Look beyond its performance, and the RS3 receives the same updates found in New A3 and S3.. The interior has a much more premium look, thanks to the 10.1-inch touchscreen integrated into the dashboard. A 12.3-inch configurable digital instrument cluster is adjacent to a vent that resembles a motorcycle grip. The RS design package adds red or green accents to these vents, plus color key seat belts and seat contrast stitching, but not so much for the tiny-looking shift toggle on the center console. I’m not crazy about it. Also, the acres of shiny black plastic that decorate the front end of the car look a bit unfinished and incompatible with other tasteful and aggressive sheet metal.

Despite the gaping face, the RS3 is a spectacular evolution of Audi’s original brand-defined formula. If this sounds like a good way to celebrate the joy of that strange and fascinating powertrain sound, you’ll have to wait early next year to buy it in the United States. Prices haven’t been announced yet, but are expected to start at just under $ 60,000. As lovingly eccentric and capable as the RS3, it’s hard to predict how long Audi will continue to support this niche segment with near-custom engines. I don’t care what the future holds, but I hope the brand will rely on EV engineers to create soundtracks as great as the RS3.

specification

specification

2022 Audi RS3
Vehicle type: Front engine, four-wheel drive, 5-seater, 4-door sedan

price (CD EST)
Base: $ 59,500

engine
Turbocharger and intercooler DOHC 20 valve in-line 5-cylinder, aluminum block and head, port and direct fuel injection
Displacement: 151 inches3, 2480 cm3
Power: 401 hp @ 7000 rpm
Torque: 369 lb-ft @ 2250 rpm

transmission
7-speed dual clutch automatic

Size
Wheelbase: 103.6 inches
Length: 178.8 inches
Width: 72.9 inches
Height: 55.6 inches
Passengers: 88 feet3
Trunk volume: 8 feet3
Total vehicle volume (CD Estimated): £ 3600

performance (CD EST)
60 mph: 3.4 seconds
100 mph: 8.6 seconds
1/4 mile: 11.8 seconds
Maximum speed: 155 ~ 180 mph

EPA Fuel Economy (CD EST)
Complex / city / highway: 23/19/28 mpg

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2022 Audi RS3 is music in our ears

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