First Drive: 2022 Audi RS 3

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The third-generation sedan is a blinder that places a new-found emphasis on in-car applied sciences and higher dealing with

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With crossovers representing comparable to giant half of the present market, it’s refreshing to check a brand new high-performance sedan. The third-generation Audi RS 3 takes what was a positive drive and tweaks it in all areas. Whereas the newest mannequin is sharper wanting, sooner, and it has barely extra energy, this time across the RS 3 places a transparent emphasis on dealing with and in-car applied sciences.

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One of many keys to any RS mannequin is the engine. Whereas the patented in-line turbo-five and its distinct sound is identical fundamental unit as used earlier than, it has been tweaked to broaden the powerband and enhance the output. It now twists out 401 horsepower (up 7 hp) and 369 pound-feet of torque (up 15 lb-ft). The secret’s the latter is now obtainable wherever between 2,250 and 5,600 rpm, so it pulls tougher by way of the all-important mid-range.

The engine drives a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission with regular, sport, and guide modes and Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system. On this case, quattro splits the facility primarily based on the drive mode chosen. In effectivity, it’s a front-driver till extra traction is required; the extra dynamic modes steadiness the supply of energy front-to-back. The combo brings a run to 100 kilometres an hour in 3.8 seconds and a high pace of 250 km/h — 290 km/h when the RS Dynamic package deal and ceramic brakes are aboard.

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The drive modes cowl the bases. Frankly, Effectivity is for these occasions when the gasoline warning mild comes on, and whereas Consolation is well-suited to town, Auto is the higher selection — it picks essentially the most applicable mode primarily based on driver enter. Dynamic mode is for the enjoyable occasions. It cranks every thing as much as ship the perfect the RS 3 has to supply. The plus is the variable exhaust system produces its most mellifluous tones when Dynamic mode is chosen — the bark and burble is fantastic at full chat!

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One of many dealing with highlights is a primary within the type of the brand new “torque splitter” rear axle setup. The earlier differential and multi-plate clutch have gone in favour of two electronically-controlled clutch packs — one for every of the rear half-shafts. When pushing onerous, the torque splitter will increase the drive despatched to the surface rear wheel in a nook and, because it’s always assessing issues, the facility is delivered to the proper wheel in a well timed trend — it takes simply 180-milliseconds to change from one wheel to the opposite. This motion considerably reduces understeer and the quantity of steering enter required.

The RS Efficiency mode brings a superbly impartial drive — it appears to make the RS 3 really feel bodily smaller. On the racetrack, it let this driver brake later heading right into a nook and it was a lot sooner when hauling out of it. The mix makes the RS 3 really feel tighter and extra alive, and it’s much more so than Dynamic, which is saying one thing. The reason being it makes optimum use of the torque splitter — it quells oversteer in addition to taming understeer.

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The twist is the torque splitter setup has a full-on drift mode. The “RS Torque Rear” mode sends the entire energy to 1 rear wheel — as much as 1,291 pound-feet when the gearing is factored in. This permits the tail to be flicked out and held there till the driving force’s nerve quits, or they over cook dinner it! This makes the RS 3 a significantly imply drift machine. After all, there’s a launch management mode for good measure!

The check vehicles had been all outfitted with the optionally available RS sport suspension plus. It provides adaptive dampers that constantly change the damping in accordance with driver enter and the drive mode chosen. The consolation, balanced or sport modes ship the specified traits. The manic RS 3 additionally has a 25-millimetres decrease journey top than the mortal A3. Ultimately, the suspension is comfy in consolation and overtly sporty in sport.

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For virtually the entire check drive the RS 3 was in Dynamic, because it banishes physique roll, sharpens the steering response and makes use of the torque splitter to make it really feel, properly, extra dynamic. The important thing right here is every aspect is overseen by the modular car dynamics controller (mVDC), so every thing works in concord.

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On the monitor portion of the check, the RS Efficiency mode got here into its personal. Right here the RS 3 dived right into a reducing radius nook after which pulled out of it in a magical method. To say it delivers a nimble drive is an enormous understatement — the automotive appears to grow to be an extension of the driving force such is the communication, suggestions and response to enter. The lesson discovered is the automotive’s limits are far better than mine!

The bolder exterior model flows neatly into the cabin. It’s superbly crafted and now places a a lot stronger emphasis on in-car expertise. Forward of the driving force sits Audi’s 12.3-inch digital cockpit plus — it’s absolutely reconfigurable with the look altering in accordance with the drive mode chosen. It may possibly present every thing from the navigation’s mapping to the g-forces, a bar-graph tachometer, and digital pace readout together with the horsepower and torque percentages. It may possibly additionally present readouts for the acceleration, lap, and quarter mile occasions.

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To the appropriate sits a ten.1-inch touchscreen. It takes care of the entire ordinary infotainment features, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and navigation plus it will probably present issues like coolant, engine and transmission oil temperatures, tire pressures and it provides one-touch entry to the drive modes, together with that furry drift mode. The intelligent half is a brand new RS Mode button on the steering wheel provides the driving force quick and easy accessibility to the RS Efficiency and RS Particular person modes, in addition to the final mode used.

2022 Audi RS 3
2022 Audi RS 3 Picture by Graeme Fletcher

The racing-themed structure is supported by two boldly-bolstered RS entrance bucket seats. Whereas the help they ship is right, anybody with a bigger posterior could discover them a tad tight. Lastly, there’s a three-spoke, flat-bottomed steering wheel that features a stripe on the 12 o’clock place — that is an previous racer’s trick that provides a visible reference to the steering wheel’s place.

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One of many few inside nits is discovered within the controller that sits to the appropriate of the shifter — for essentially the most half it takes care of the sound system. When in comparison with the logic and ease of use that outline the opposite features it comes throughout as being a bit ham-fisted. Fortunately there are steering wheel-mounted controls.

There was little fallacious with the outgoing RS 3. The third-generation brings a a lot nicer cabin, higher energy and a major enchancment within the dealing with. It’s a blinder of a drive that pegs the smile-per-mile metre at most!

The Audi RS 3 sedan will land in Canada within the second-quarter of 2022. Pricing and full specs shall be obtainable nearer to the launch date.


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