Audi RS3, compact and mean with uncompromising performance – Test by ANSA Motori

A real hot-hatch capable of arousing strong emotions thanks to the 2.5-litre 5-cylinder engine which delivers 400 HP and 500 Nm of torque, values ​​which ensure a sprint from zero to 100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds and a top speed – if the RS Dynamic Package is present – of 290 km/h.
The new Audi RS3 – which Ansa Motori was able to test for a few days – has the DNA of a true sports car and is a new point of reference for lovers of compact super sports cars.
Many technical data that bring back the ‘racing’ spirit of the RS3 starting with the RS torque splitter technology, a novelty within the offer of the four rings and which makes use of two electro-hydraulic multi-plate clutches, one for each rear axle shaft, which distribute the torque between the wheels to the rear actively and fully variably. In this way, behavior that tends to oversteer and painstaking handling of the quattro all-wheel drive is guaranteed, even on rough roads. Compared to the Audi S3, the standard sports suspension is lowered by 10 millimeters, just as it is by 25 millimeters compared to the Audi A3. The braking system with six-piston calipers and steel friction surfaces is standard, while front carbon-ceramic discs are available on request, 10 kilograms lighter and with braking performance at the limit on any type of asphalt.

The brain of the new RS3 is the Audi drive select system which allows you to choose from seven programmes, three of which are completely new. The comfort, auto, dynamic and efficiency modes are joined by the new RS Individual setups, RS Performance to guarantee the best on the track and RS Torque Rear.
The latter favors controlled drift thanks to the transfer of torque up to 100% to the rear axle.
The driving modes studied by the Ingolstatd engineers are truly custom-built. In Comfort and Efficiency the torque is mainly sent to the front axle, but already by switching to Dynamic all possible traction is transferred to the rear axle, to facilitate driving on a mountain road full of even tight bends, as we were able to verify in the our test carried out along the roads that lead from Lazio to the Gran Sasso. By inserting the RS Performance and RS Torque Rear modes, on the other hand, you enter the world of expert drivers and drift ‘tight-rope walkers’, so much so that up to 100% of the torque can reach a single rear wheel. Of course, to use these modes you need to be very expert, master of the car and maybe have a track available.
Due to the 1-2-4-5-3 firing sequence of the cylinders, the sound of the RS 3 is unmistakable. The effect is also amplified by a technical novelty: for the first time, the exhaust system is equipped with fully variable management of the valves, so as to allow partial openings which enhance the timbre of the 2.5 TFSI. The drive programs selected via Audi drive select also influence the sound – in the dynamic, RS Performance and RS Torque Rear modes, for example, the valves open well earlier – and the optional RS sports exhaust .
Wedge-shaped flat LED headlights are standard on the Audi RS3 and Matrix LED headlights are available as an option. Here the darkened bezels containing the daytime running lights provide an unmistakable appearance: a checkered flag appears in the left headlight as a dynamic departure and homecoming scene and the RS 3 lettering appears on the driver’s side. Inside we find the 12.3-inch Audi virtual cockpit plus, equipped with a special indicator that prompts the driver to switch to a higher gear when the limiter intervenes. The RS characterization of the digital instrumentation brings information on power and torque delivery, tire pressure, lap times and maximum lateral acceleration values. The 10.1-inch touch display integrates the RS screen which allows you to monitor the temperature of the coolant, engine oil and gearbox as well as the G forces. The racing atmosphere is further enhanced by the carbon fiber dashboard optional RS sports seats, front with integrated headrests, RS embossing and contrasting stitching in anthracite.
But for those who are not satisfied, to celebrate 11 years of RS3 history, Audi has introduced a limited edition version: the Performance Edition. It will be produced in 300 specimens, declined in the sedan and sportback variants. Its beating heart, the iconic 2.5 TFSI 5-cylinder with an unmistakable sound, boasts 407 HP of power compared to the 400 of the standard RS3, while the maximum torque, equal to 500 Nm, is available in an even wider range. The RS 3 performance edition is expected in Italy during the first half of 2023. The price of the Audi RS3 instead starts at 63,500 euros.

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Audi RS3, compact and mean with uncompromising performance – Test by ANSA Motori


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