From 0 to 100 km / h in 3,8 seconds, up to 290 km / h top speed, RS torque splitter, semi-slicks and specific RS driving modes - the new Audi RS 3 offers driving dynamics at the highest level and top values in its own Segment. With the 294 kW (400 hp) five-cylinder, a successful engine ensures rapid acceleration with a highly emotional sound. The unit now delivers 500 Nm of torque and responds even faster. The RS 3 visually demonstrates its sporty genes with a widened body, RS sports exhaust system and cockpit displays, just like in motorsport.
Audi RS 3 sedan and Sportback
"With the third generation of the Audi RS 3 Sportback and the second generation of the Audi RS 3 sedan, we offer top athletes suitable for everyday use who are equally enthusiastic on public roads and circuits," says Sebastian Grams, CEO of Audi Sport GmbH. "They form the entry point into our RS world and with the torque splitter the non plus ultra for outstanding performance in the compact segment."
Top values for acceleration and top speed: the 2.5 TFSI
With its five-cylinder high-performance engine, the Audi RS 3 is unique in its segment. The 2.5 TFSI has won the “International Engine of the Year” award nine times in a row. In the new generation of the compact sports car, the unit is now more powerful than ever before. The new RS 3 models sprint from zero to 3,8 km / h in 100 seconds. The maximum speed is limited to 250 km / h. 280 km / h are possible as an option. With the RS dynamic package and ceramic brake, the top speed is even 290 km / h. This makes the Audi RS 3 the best in its class in terms of acceleration and top speed. The decisive factor for this is the torque that has increased to 500 Nm, which is available between 2.250 and 5.600 revolutions per minute. That is 20 Nm more than in the predecessor. This means that the Audi RS 3 accelerates even faster from low engine speeds.
The maximum output of 294 kW (400 PS) is available earlier than before at 5.600 revolutions and extends over a broad plateau of up to 7.000 revolutions per minute. A new engine control unit also ensures faster networking of all drive components. The power of the five-cylinder is brought to the road by a 7-speed dual clutch transmission - with short shift times and a sportier spread of the gears. The unique ignition sequence 1‑2‑4‑5-3 of the engine and the inimitable sound associated with it make the driving experience even more emotional.
For the first time, the exhaust system has a fully variable flap control that enables intermediate positions and thus diversifies the sound characteristics even more broadly. It can be adjusted using the Audi drive select dynamic handling system. In the dynamic and RS Performance modes, for example, the flaps open much earlier - the emotional sound components are even more pronounced. The unmistakable sound of the five-cylinder is enhanced with the optional RS sports exhaust system.
Maximum agility: RS Torque Splitter and RS 3-specific modes
The new Audi RS 3 is the first Audi model with a torque splitter as standard. It replaces the rear axle differential and the previous multi-plate clutch package on the rear axle. Instead, an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch is used on each drive shaft. In this way, the right torque is optimally distributed on the rear axle. The torque splitter increases the drive torque on the outside rear wheel with the higher wheel load when driving in a sporty manner, which significantly reduces the tendency to understeer. In left turns it transfers the drive torque to the right rear wheel, in right turns to the left rear wheel and when driving straight ahead to both wheels.
The new technology also allows controlled drifts on closed-off routes, as the torque splitter directs all of the power to one of the rear wheels - up to 1.750 Newton meters per wheel are possible. Audi has developed a specific RS 3 mode for this purpose: RS Torque Rear as a drift mode with its own characteristic curve for the torque splitter. Another novelty: the RS Performance Mode especially for the racetrack. This uses a specific engine and transmission setup and is precisely matched to the semi-slick tires that are available as an option ex works for the first time. The torque splitter ensures particularly longitudinal dynamic, sporty driving with as little understeer and oversteer as possible. The modes are selected using the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, which also offers the comfort, auto, dynamic, RS Individual and efficiency profiles.
More dynamism, more precision: RS sports suspension and larger camber
The standard RS sports suspension features newly developed RS 3 dampers and an RS-specific valve system. The valves ensure a particularly sensitive response behavior of the shock absorbers within the framework of the rebound and compression stage characteristic. In this way, the damping reacts even faster and more effectively to the respective driving situation. The RS sport suspension plus with adaptive damper control can be ordered as an option. It adapts each damper individually and permanently to the road conditions, the driving situation and the mode selected in Audi drive select. The three characteristic curves, comfortable, balanced and sporty, ensure that the damping characteristics are clearly spread.
The greater wheel camber ensures a more precise steering response and increased cornering force, i.e. the wheels are more inclined towards the road. Compared to the Audi A3, the new RS 3 has almost one degree more negative camber on the front axle. To achieve this, the pivot bearings were modified and the lower wishbones were fitted with stiffer bearings, subframes and stabilizers. A four-link construction with a separate spring-damper arrangement, subframe and tubular stabilizer is used on the rear axle.
The opposite Audi A3 and Audi S35 stiffer wheel carriers absorb the increased lateral forces caused by the torque splitter. The negative camber here is almost half a degree more than on the A3. The RS-specifically tuned progressive steering varies the ratio depending on the steering angle - as the steering angle increases, the ratio becomes smaller and the steering more direct. It also provides speed-dependent support and can be varied using Audi drive select. The setup of the springs and dampers is decidedly tight, the body is ten millimeters lower than the S3 and 25 millimeters lower than the A3.
The modular driving dynamics controller (mFDR) is also new in the RS 3. The central system records the data of all components relevant to lateral dynamics and thus ensures more precise and faster interaction. The mFDR synchronizes the torque splitter, the adaptive dampers and the wheel-selective torque control for the benefit of precise steering and driving behavior. All in all, it increases agility, especially on winding roads.
Strong deceleration: six-piston steel and ceramic brake system
As standard, larger and newly developed six-piston steel brakes keep the power of the five-cylinder under control. As an option, there is a ceramic brake system measuring 380 by 38 mm on the front axle with a specially adapted pedal characteristic of the brake booster. The high-performance brake system weighs ten kilograms less than the steel brake. Their internally ventilated and perforated discs measure 375 by 36 mm at the front and 310 by 22 mm at the rear. This makes them larger and more stable than in the previous model. Air control elements improve the cooling time of the brakes by 20 percent.
Peak temperatures at high loads are reduced more quickly while the pedal feel remains the same. The wear of the copper-free and 15 percent larger brake pads is reduced. Those who opt for the ceramic brake can choose between gray, red or blue brake calipers. Those who prefer the steel version can order red saddles instead of the black ones.
Expressive and unmistakable: exterior and light
The design of the new Audi RS 3 is even more dynamic and powerful than that of its predecessor. At the front, the wide RS bumper, the newly designed single frame with a striking honeycomb grille and the large air inlets characterize the expressive appearance of the compact sports car. As standard, the RS 3 comes off the production line with flat, wedge-shaped LED headlights and LED rear lights including dynamic flashing lights.
Optionally, there are Matrix LED headlights with darkened bezels, which draw the digital daytime running lights in their outer, downwardly drawn angles. With its pixel field of 3 x 5 LED segments, it provides an unmistakable look: a checkered flag appears in the left headlight as a dynamic leaving and coming home staging, and the RS 3 lettering on the driver's side. When driving, the checkered flag lights up on both sides.
There is a new design element behind the front wheel arches: an eye-catching additional air outlet. The side skirts including black inserts have also been redesigned, which in combination with the exhibited wheel arches contribute to the expressive look of the new RS 3. The track on the front axle is 33 millimeters wider than the previous model. The Sportback has ten millimeters on the rear axle. As standard, the RS 3 rides on 19-inch cast wheels in a 10-Y-spoke design. The optionally available 5-Y-spokes with RS branding represent real motorsport design. On request, Audi will for the first time mount performance semi-slick tires from the Pirelli P Zero “Trofeo R” brand. The sporty finish is marked by the redesigned RS-specific rear bumper with the integrated diffuser and the RS exhaust system with two large oval tailpipes.
The new Audi RS 3 models can be ordered RS-specifically in Kyalami green and Kemora gray. For the first time, the roof in the contrasting color of brilliant black can be ordered as an option for the sedan. Individual exterior features, such as the honeycomb grille in the Singleframe, are standard in black - either in matt or high-gloss. On request, the aluminum styling package can be used to add highlights to the front bumper, diffuser insert and window strips. For an even sportier look, the inserts in the side skirts are also made from carbon fiber-reinforced plastic. The same applies to the mirror caps, the tailgate spoiler on the sedan and the roof edge spoiler on the Sportback.
Motorsport feeling: the interior
Many RS-specific elements also emphasize the sportiness in the interior. The displays appear in the 12,3-inch standard Audi virtual cockpit plus. It shows the speed in the form of a bar diagram and shows power and torque in percentages. The speed display is optionally available in the new RS runway design. The values are displayed in the opposite direction, graphically similar to an airplane runway - the maximum speed in the foreground and the lowest speed in the background. In addition, the Audi virtual cockpit plus integrates displays on G-forces, lap times and acceleration from 0-100 km / h, 0-200 km / h, quarter mile and eighth mile.
The RS-specific shift light indicator in manual transmission mode scales the engine speed from green to yellow to flashing red, in line with motorsport, in order to indicate the ideal time to change gear. The 10,1-inch touch display integrates the so-called RS monitor, in which the temperatures of coolant, engine and transmission oil and tire pressures can be read. For the first time for the Audi RS 3, a head-up display is also available, which, in addition to the shift light indicator, projects relevant information onto the windshield in the driver's direct field of vision.
The carbon fiber dashboard and RS sport seats with RS embossing and anthracite-colored contrasting stitching also add to the motorsport feeling. The seat cover in fine Nappa leather with RS honeycomb quilting and glossy black, red or, for the first time, green contrasting stitching is available as an option. Matching RS design packages are available in red and green. They include special floor mats with contrasting seams and RS embroidery as well as webbing with colored edges. The plus design package includes seat shoulders in red or green and a colored bar in the air vents.
Everything under control: steering wheel with 12 o'clock marking and RS mode button
The RS 3 is equipped as standard with a flattened RS Sport multifunction leather steering wheel in a three-spoke design. High-quality switch paddles made of die-cast zinc are integrated. Those who opt for the design package will receive the RS badge as well as a 12 o'clock mark for quicker information on the steering wheel position during dynamic journeys. Alternatively, there is a round RS steering wheel with hands-on detection, i.e. capacitive grip recognition, for assisted steering functions. Both have in common the new RS mode button on the right steering wheel spoke. This allows the Audi drive select modes RS Performance, RS Individual or the last used mode to be selected. In both RS modes, the display of the instruments and the head-up display with a gearshift light display looks even sportier.
Can be ordered: market launch and prices
The Audi RS 3 Sportback and the RS 3 Sedan can be ordered in Europe from mid-July 2021. The new RS 3 models will be launched in autumn this year. The basic price for the RS 3 Sportback is 60.000 euros, the RS 3 sedan is in the price list for 62.000 euros.
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Top athlete suitable for everyday use: the new Audi RS 3
Photo credit: Audi
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