Turbocharged inline-5, AWD Audi RS3 returns, now with drift mode
If there’s one thing we love about the Audi RS3, it’s the turbocharged five-cylinder engine and Quattro all-wheel drive (AWD) system. It’s a somewhat a proper throwback to Audi’s roots of the original Ur Quattro rally car, which used the same formula. So when the German marque introduced the all-new A3 last year, we wondered if they would change it up for the next-gen RS model.
Thankfully, the short answer is no.
Meet the 2022 Audi RS3, and like the previous model, it still uses a turbocharged five-cylinder and the Quattro AWD system. It will be available both as a four-door sedan or as a 5-door hatchback (Sportback as Audi calls it). As with all current Audi RS models, they look very aggressive when it comes to styling.
Since it’s based on the new A3, the new RS3 adopts the new exterior styling, headlight, and taillight design of its less-powerful sibling. But that’s about where the similarities end. The grille and black gloss surround dominate most of the RS3’s front end. It’s paired with a new bumper featuring larger air intakes, giving it the signature aggressive RS look. Meanwhile, the front and rear fenders are blistered to fit the wider wheels.
More aggressive side skirts, a vented rear bumper, a subtle spoiler, larger wheels, and a dual oval exhaust round up the exterior upgrade. Noticeably, the RS3 also trades all chrome exterior trim for black, including the roof. Some of these accents can be switched to matte silver or carbon fiber with various exterior options.
Under the hood, the RS3 uses a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-five which now makes 400 horsepower and 500 Nm torque. Paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox and Quattro AWD, Audi says the new RS3 can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds. Top speed is limited to 250 km/h but can be raised to 290 km/h with the optional RS Dynamic package paired with ceramic brakes. Want more grip? Audi can mount Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires if needed as an option.
What’s also new for the 2022 RS3 is the torque splitter integrated with the Quattro AWD system. It’s the first model in Audi’s lineup to come standard with the feature, and it can divert up to 100% of torque to the rear wheels, countering understeer and improving cornering. At the same time, the RS Torque Rear drive mode allows for some proper sideways drifting.
Considering how fast Audi Philippines is launching the new RS models in the country, we won’t be surprised if the new RS3 arrives by Q1 2022 or even earlier.