Sneak preview: 2022 Audi RS 3 to add rear torque splitter, hit 62 mph in 3.8 seconds

The next generation of the raucous little Audi RS 3 compact sedan is coming for 2022, and it promises even more fun and performance. Audi released teaser images on Monday and revealed information about the car’s performance and new RS Torque Splitter rear differential.

The RS Torque Splitter is a Haldex differential with multi-disc clutches on each rear axle shaft that apportions power between the rear wheels. sending up to 1,290 lb-ft of torque (after torque multiplication from the driveline) to the outside rear wheel. This vectors torque for better handling, combating both oversteer and understeer, and allows Audi to add a new RS Torque Rear mode that allows the RS 3 to drift. The RS 3 also has RS Performance, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, and RS Individual modes, plus a new Efficiency mode. The modes change the behavior of the torque splitter, engine and transmission, steering assistance, adaptive dampers, and exhaust flaps.

2022 Audi RS 3

2022 Audi RS 3

Audi says the RS Performance mode offers the best track performance and is calibrated for the newly available Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires, which amount to  R-compound semi-slicks.

The stability control also has standard, sport, and off modes. Sport mode automatically accompanies RS Performance mode.

The RS3 has always been a delightful oddball with its turbocharged 5-cylinder engine, and it continues down that path. The 2.5-liter turbo-5 will have 401 hp, slightly more than the European version. Audi has also confirmed torque rises from 354 lb-ft to 369 lb-ft. The horsepower comes on earlier at 5,600 rpm, and the additional torque, which hits its peak between 2,250 and 5,600 rpm, aids acceleration at low revs. That power vaults the RS 3 from 0-62 mph in 3.8 seconds and sends it to a top speed of 180 mph when equipped with the optional carbon-ceramic brakes. Other versions top out at 155 and 174 mph.

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2022 Audi RS 3

2022 Audi RS 3

Power runs to all four wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission with what Audi calls a sportier gear-ratio spread.

A new modular vehicle dynamics controller captures data about the car’s lateral dynamics and coordinates the torque splitter, available adaptive dampers, and torque at individual wheels to help improve the car’s agility.  torque control for high-precision steering and handling.

The RS 3 will come with a choice of suspensions. The standard version will come with new shocks with valves that react quicker on rebound and compression. An RS Sport suspension uses adaptive dampers with comfort, balanced, and sporty damping curves. To add more grip in turns, the suspension now has almost 1 degree of negative camper. Audi modified the pivot bearings for the additional negative camber, and used stiffer bearings, subframes, and stabilizer bars. The rear suspension has separate springs and dampers, and a four-link independent design. The car sits 0.4 inch lower than the forthcoming 306-hp S3, and the front track is 1.3 inches wider while the rear track is 0.4 inch wider.

Audi equips the RS 3 with variable-ratio steering that speeds up as the steering angle increases.

The photos Audi has provided show that the RS 3 will be offered in sedan and hatchback body styles, though the U.S. will likely only get the sedan. While the car is lightly camouflaged in the pictures, it also shows more than we’ve seen in spy shots. It likely gets the slightly longer body of the A3 and S3, it has more body sculpting, the grille is wider and features a honeycomb pattern, and we see new vents behind the front wheels look like gills and are likely there to take hot air out of the engine compartment.

Watch for full information on the next-generation Audi RS 3 to be released later this year.

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