2022 Audi RS 3: Review

© Audi of AmericaWhat Is It?
The 2022 Audi RS 3 is the high-performance version of the sporty Audi A3 compact sedan, featuring a 5-cylinder turbo power and quattro all-wheel drive. Audi engineers redesigned the A3 sedan for the 2022 model year; powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, the A3 is slightly larger than the outgoing model. The S3 is also offered with a more powerful 2.0-liter engine and other upgrades, with the RS 3 as the peak performance variant.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceTest Vehicle
Audi provided us with a 2022 RS 3 sedan at a base MSRP of $58,900, finished in brilliant Turbo Blue with a black interior. The test car included an RS Technology Package, a Black Optic Plus Package, an RS Sport exhaust with black tips, as well as Audi side assist with rear cross-traffic assist. The total as-tested price came in at $64,845 (including a $1,095 destination charge).

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceOption Packages
The Black Optic Plus Package includes 19-inch Y-spoke wheels with a matte black finish, Pirelli summer tires, a black roof and black Audi rings and badges. The RS Technology Package includes Audi connect PLUS, Audi MMI Navigation plus, a Bang & Olufsen sound system with 3D sound, a head-up display and traffic sign recognition.

© Audi of AmericaDesign
The redesigned 2022 A3 is already a sporty car with sharp, crisp lines and quattro blisters on the fenders, inspired by the original Audi Ur quattro coupe from the 1980s — a car that was extremely successful in rally competition. The S3 also possesses a bold design, but the RS3 is the most aggressive with a redesigned Singleframe grille flanked by larger air intakes and flared fenders with functional air outlets behind the front wheel arches. At the rear, the RS 3 features a black lip spoiler on the trunk lid, an RS rear bumper with a built-in rear diffuser, and an RS exhaust system with large oval outlets on each side.

© Audi of AmericaInner Space
The interior of the 2022 Audi RS 3 underscores its position as the most aggressive machine in the A3 lineup. Features include Nappa leather front sports seats with RS logos and RS-exclusive honeycomb stitching. A 3-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel has a button to shift directly into RS drive modes, as well as polished die-cast zinc shift paddles behind it. The dash design angles the center screen toward the driver and features a horizontal flow across the width of the cabin, including dual horizontal vents in front of the passenger and on either side of the instrument cluster. The center console offers more storage, and a compact shifter creates more usable space.

© Audi of AmericaVirtual Cockpit
The 12.3-inch Audi virtual cockpit plus is standard equipment, with a new “RS Runway” theme displaying performance data. Available data includes g-forces, laps times, acceleration from zero to 60 mph, zero to 125 mph (200 km/h), quarter-mile elapsed time and eighth-mile elapsed time.

© Audi of AmericaUnder the Hood
A 2.5-liter inline 5-cylinder engine powers the 2022 Audi RS 3, producing 401 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. The engine gets mated with a 7-speed dual-clutch S tronic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive. According to Audi, the RS 3 will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds.

© Audi of AmericaRS Torque Splitter
A significant new performance innovation for the RS 3 — and a first for Audi — is an RS torque splitter that replaces the multiplate clutch ahead of the rear axle with an electronically controlled multiplate clutch on each rear driveshaft. This new splitter can distribute up to 100 percent of the available rear torque to the outside wheel to reduce understeer when cornering or drifting. A maximum of 50 percent of total torque can be delivered to the rear axle and the front axle always remains engaged.

© Audi of AmericaNew RS Drive Modes
The 2022 Audi RS 3 offers five drive modes: Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, RS and RS Performance. An RS Torque Rear setting allows for controlled drifts, while RS Performance is designed for track use to minimize understeer and oversteer in fast cornering. Comfort mode prioritizes front axle efficiency, Auto provides balanced front/rear torque distribution, and Dynamic mode delivers as much torque as possible to the rear axle.

© Audi of AmericaRS 3 Suspension
The standard suspension for the RS 3 is the new RS Sport suspension plus with dynamic chassis control, putting the car one inch closer to the road surface than the A3. Dynamic chassis control provides continuous adjustment based on factors including road conditions, driving situations and drive mode selection. In RS Performance mode the shocks are preset to minimize vertical oscillations and optimize lateral dynamics. Front brakes are 14.8-inch rotors with 6-piston calipers and rear brakes are 12.2-inch rotors with single-piston calipers.

© Audi of AmericaOn the Road
The Audi A3 is an engaging car that combines the practicality of a compact sedan with the fun of a sporty car for quick, spirited driving, but it also remains comfortable and efficient. The S3 amplifies all of these attributes to make a great sport sedan even better, and the RS 3 pushes things to an entirely different level while still providing everyday practicality with near supercar performance.

© Audi of AmericaDriving Impressions
The new Audi A3 is an attractive design but we really appreciate the more aggressive looks of the RS 3, especially in Turbo Blue. Despite the dynamic appearance, in Auto mode with restrained use of the right pedal the RS 3 has the demeanor of a comfortable everyday driver. The new RS Sport suspension is firm yet not harsh — the optimum feedback from a true sport sedan. The steering is precise and the dynamic chassis control does a great job remaining balanced and stable over rough pavement. The S sport seats are fantastic — both supportive and comfortable — and look great with the diamond stitching and Nappa leather.

© Audi of AmericaRS 3 Rocket
At any moment, push down hard on the accelerator and the 2022 Audi RS 3 rockets to life. Zero to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds? We believe it. Even though we tested the car in January while shod with winter tires, it’s easy to feel the superior performance lurking beneath the surface of the RS3, making it ready to run with any sports car it might encounter.

© Audi of AmericaRating: 9.0
One of the best sport sedans we have driven, the Audi RS 3 would be easy to live with on a daily basis, yet also impress as one of the fastest cars at any weekend track day.

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