In June, Audi gave us a sneak peek at the upcoming, offering five-cylinder power and a new rear differential meant for drifty good times. Now, it’s time to look at the whole thing.
Audi unveiled the 2022 RS3 on Monday. While it will head to Europe in both sedan and five-door hatchback form, the US will only be privy to the sedan. Some enthusiasts might be bummed about that, but hey, we still get the four-door — and its specs look pretty darn promising.
Under the hood is a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-5 engine that will make 401 horsepower in the US. Not only is that a boost over the 394 hp that the car made in, it’s more power than Europe will get. Not too sad about the hatchback now, are we? Hitting the ground through all four wheels by way of a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, the RS3 makes enough motive force to reach 62 mph in just 3.8 seconds. Torque is up, too, from 354 pound-feet to 369 lb-ft.
The teasers from June showed off a camouflaged sedan, but that vinyl wrap wasn’t exactly hiding anything. The RS3 looks expectedly aggressive in this shade of green, with a large black grille playing well against all the other gloss-black trim pieces. The front bumper is suitably aggressive, with large air intakes, while the rear bumper adds some decorative elements and a pair of big ol’ tailpipes.
Inside, all the traditional Audi RS trimmings are there. Hexagonal contrast stitching on the sport seats is available in green for the first time, but black and red are also available. There are optional packages that can extend the color motif across the interior, too, adding dashes of the same color to the floor mats, seat belts and air vents. A 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit gauge display is standard, and it includes RS-specific screens for a little extra exclusivity. A 10.1-inch display on the dashboard covers infotainment duties, with physical buttons for the climate controls beneath it.
Strangely enough, there are three steering wheels on offer. The standard one has a flat bottom, but if you opt for one of the design package upgrades, it gets a colored stripe at the 12 o’clock position. The third wheel is a standard round wheel with capacitive sensors that work with the car’s driver aids. No matter the wheel, there’s a new RS button that quickly swaps to RS-specific driving modes.
Audi didn’t just zhuzh up the aesthetics on the new RS3. The automaker added a variety of new parts under the skin that should make it quite the performer. Its new RS Torque Splitter rear differential ditches the Haldex system of old in favor of a setup that can better shift torque between each rear wheel, and a new drift mode can make the most of that. The car’s sport suspension has been upgraded for better performance, and adaptive dampers are available for some extra scratch. Six-piston steel brakes are standard, but buyers can upgrade to ceramics on the front for additional stopping power.
The 2022 Audi RS3 will launch this fall. While US pricing has yet to be announced, the RS3 sedan will start at 62,000 euros. For context, the 2020 RS3’s starting price in the US was a hair over $56,000 (47,424EU), so we’ll be interested to see where the new one lands later this year.