The new Audi RS3 will be in Australia during the second quarter of 2022, priced from $91,400 before on-road costs.
With power from a five-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine making 294kW and 500Nm, the RS3 will go head-to-head with the Mercedes-AMG A45 S when it touches down.
Both the Sportback hatch and the sedan can do the 0-100km/h sprint in just 3.8 seconds, down from 4.1 seconds in the outgoing model.
The RS3 will follow in the footsteps of the regular A3 and less powerful, four-cylinder S3, both of which are on track to arrive Down Under early in 2022.
Under the skin, the RS3 has been totally overhauled to transform it into a more playful, aggressive car to drive. It has ditched its Haldex all-wheel drive system for Audi’s new RS Torque Splitter.
The new system allows for active and fully variable torque vectoring between the rear wheels. It features an electronically-controlled multiple-disc clutch on each drive shaft, with each clutch having its own control unit.
Audi says the torque splitter cuts understeer, allowing earlier and faster acceleration coming out of corners, and more precise and agile handling.
The new RS Torque Rear mode is what other brands would call Drift Mode. Up to 100 per cent of torque is sent to the outside rear wheel to get the RS3 sideways. The Mercedes-AMG A45 S has a similar system. The RS Performance Mode has been designed for the track, and is tuned for the optional Trofeo R semi-slick tyres.
The optional adaptive suspension features a specific comfort setting for RS Performance Mode, designed for bumpy race tracks like the Nordschleife.
The standard RS sports suspension has newly-developed shock absorbers and a valve system specific to the RS3.
- 2022 Audi RS3 Sportback: $91,400
- 2022 Audi RS3 Sedan: $93,900
All prices exclude on-road costs.
The RS3 packs a turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine, with 294kW of power and 500Nm of torque.
Peak power is unchanged compared to the current model, but peak torque is up 20Nm compared to the old RS3.
Both the Sportback and sedan can do the 0-100km/h sprint in just 3.8 seconds, down from 4.1 seconds, while maximum power is now available at 5600rpm, down from 7000rpm.
The RS3 Sedan is the more efficient option, with claimed fuel economy of 8.2 litres per 100km. The RS3 Sportback ups that to 8.3 litres per 100km.
The 2022 Audi RS3 Sedan measures 4542mm long, 1851mm wide and 1412mm tall, with a 2631mm wheelbase. The RS3 Sportback measures 4389mm long, 1851mm wide and 1436mm tall, with a 2631mm wheelbase.
The RS3 Sportback quotes 282L behind the second row of seats and 1104L with them folded, while the RS3 Sedan is more accommodating with 321L with the back seats in place, though there’s no figure with them folded.
The hatchback weighs in at 1570kg, undercutting the sedan by 5kg.
Servicing and Warranty
The 2022 Audi RS3 will be backed by the same three-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty as the wider Audi range when it touches down.
A five-year service plan is priced at $3580.
The 2022 Audi RS3 doesn’t yet have an official ANCAP rating, though the front-wheel drive A3 has received a five-star rating.
That was based on an adult occupant protection score of 89 per cent, a child occupant protection score of 81 per cent, a vulnerable road user protection score of 68 per cent, and a safety assist score of 73 per cent.
The RS3 comes standard with the following safety equipment:
- Autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection
- Lane-keep assist
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Adaptive cruise control with stop/go
- Rear cross-traffic alert
- Safe exit warning
- Front, front-side and curtain airbags
- Reversing camera with front and rear parking sensors
Audi hasn’t revealed a full list of standard equipment for the RS3, but highlights will include:
- Power-opening tailgate (Sportback)
- Heated, folding, auto-dimming side mirrors
- 12.3-inch digital instrument binnacle
- 10.1-inch central infotainment screen
- Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Factory satellite navigation
- Head-up display
- Powered front seats with lumbar
- Colour ambient lighting
- 19-inch alloy wheels
That’s atop the following equipment, which is standard on the Audi S3:
- Qi wireless phone charging
- 15-speaker 680W Bang & Olufsen sound system
- DAB+ digital radio
- Adaptive suspension
- Semi-autonomous parking assist
- Matrix LED headlights
- Keyless entry and start
- Dual-zone climate control
- Nappa leather upholstery
- Heated front seats
- Automatic headlights
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Stainless steel pedals
Four options packages will be offered, but haven’t been priced. They are:
- Carbon package
- Matte aluminium styling package
- RS design package
- RS dynamic package plus
MORE: Everything Audi RS3