With its five-cylinder, high-performance engine, the Audi RS 3 is one-of-a-kind in the segment. The 2.5 TFSI has won the “International Engine of the Year” award nine times in a row. In the latest generation of the compact sports car, the engine is now more powerful than ever before. The new RS 3 models sprint from zero to 100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds. Their top speed is limited to 250 km/h, with 280 km/h also available as an optional upgrade. With the RS Dynamic package and ceramic brakes, they can even reach a top speed of 290 km/h. This makes the Audi RS 3 the best in its class in terms of acceleration and top speed. This is primarily due to the 500 Nm increase in torque, which is available between 2,250 and 5,600 rpm. That is equal to 20 Nm more than its predecessor. As a result, the Audi RS 3 accelerates even faster from low rev ranges. The engine's maximum power of 294 kW (400 PS) is available earlier than before at 5,600 rpm and extends over a broad plateau to 7,000 rpm. A new engine control unit also increases the speed at which all of the drive components communicate with each other.
The new Audi RS 3 is the first Audi model that comes standard-equipped with a torque splitter. It replaces the rear axle differential and the previous multiple disc clutch package. Instead, an electronically controlled multiple disc clutch is used on each of the drive shafts. This ensures that the right amount of torque is optimally distributed along the rear axle. During more dynamic driving, the torque splitter increases the drive torque to the respective outer rear wheel with the higher wheel load, which significantly reduces the tendency to understeer. In left-hand curves, it transmits the drive torque to the right rear wheel, in right-hand curves to the left rear wheel, and when driving straight ahead to both wheels.
The RS 3 comes standard-equipped with larger and newly developed six-piston steel brakes to keep the power of the five-cylinder engine in check. A ceramic brake system measuring 380 by 38 mm is optionally available on the front axle with a pedal characteristic curve specially adapted to the brake booster. The high-performance brake system weighs another ten kilograms less than the steel brake. Its internally ventilated and drilled discs measure 375 by 36 mm at the front and 310 by 22 mm at the rear, making them larger and more stable than in the previous model. Air control elements improve the brakes’ cooling time by 20 percent. This reduces peak temperatures quicker during hard braking while pedal feel remains the same. In addition, it also reduces brake pad wear, which are 15 percent larger and copper-free. Those who opt for the ceramic brakes can choose between grey, red, or blue brake callipers. Those who prefer the steel version can order red callipers instead of the black ones.
The design of the new Audi RS 3 is even more dynamic and powerful than that of its predecessor. The front wide RS bumper has a redesigned Singleframe with a distinctive honeycomb grille, and the large air intakes give the compact sports car an expressive appearance. The RS 3 comes standard-equipped with flat, wedge-shaped LED headlights and LED taillights including dynamic turn signal lights. Matrix LED headlights are available as an option, with darkened bezels that feature digital daytime running lights around their outer downturned angles. With its pixel field of 3 x 5 LED segments, it provides an unmistakable look – a chequered flag appears in the left headlight as a dynamic leaving and coming home scene, and the RS 3 lettering appears on the driver’s side. When driving, the chequered flag lights up on both sides.
The interior of the Audi RS features elements which accentuate its sportiness. The displays appear in the 12.3-inch Audi virtual cockpit plus, which comes standard. It displays the rpms in the form of a bar graph and shows power and torque as percentages. Optionally, the rpm display is available in the new “RS Runway” design. In this case, the values are displayed in the opposite direction in a manner that visually resembles an airplane runway – the highest speed in the foreground and the lowest speed in the background. In addition, the Audi virtual cockpit plus includes displays for g-forces, lap times and acceleration from 0 100 km/h, 0-200 km/h, quarter mile, and eighth of a mile.
Availability: market launch and pricing
The Audi RS 3 Sportback and RS 3 Saloon will be available to order from August 2021. The pricing for the RS 3 Sportback and the RS 3 Saloon will be be announced in the coming weeks.