One of the longest-toothed hot hatches on the market, the Audi RS 3, has finally been given an update. Following a slew of teasers, Audi has shown off its 2022 RS 3 in full; revealing not only all the new styling cues but also the model’s mechanical changes.
The biggest change you’ll notice to the new 3 is the far more aggressive snout. The grille and headlights now come wrapped in a charcoal bezel, giving the model the same familial look as the upcoming e-tron GT.
The balance of the visual changes are a mix of form and function. The headlights now come with a little LED secondary light that can illuminate an ‘R’, ‘S’, or ‘3’, as well as a chequered flag. It’s also now 33mm wider at the front axle, too, underlined by bolder arches.
The interior is all-new, looking a little like a junior RS 6 cabin. In the midst of all the aggressive trapezoids and carbon weave, you get a flat-bottomed Alcantara-lined steering wheel, zinc paddle shifters, a 12.3-inch ‘Virtual Cockpit’ digital cluster, and a 10.1-inch primary touchscreen.
Those who love the howl of a five-pot will be glad to hear that Audi’s 2.5-litre fiver is back. There was conjecture on how much power and torque the engine would produce, with some reports overseas indicating that power would actually be completely unchanged.
Not so, in the end. Audi claims that the five-cylinder now produces either 294kW of power or 299kW of power, depending on your region. With the lower output being reserved for European models and the higher output reserved for American models, it’s safe to assume that the difference is linked to emissions regulations.
With 500Nm of torque also on tap and a seven-speed dual clutch sending power to all four wheels (yep, still no manual), the RS 3 can reportedly hit 100km/h in 3.8 seconds, making it one tenth quicker to the mark than the Mercedes-AMG A 45. Top speed is ordinarily limited to 250km/h, but you can option an increase to the limiter which lifts the figure to 290km/h.
As previously reported, the RS 3 gets a trick rear differential not unlike its A 45 rival, featuring a ‘Drift Mode’. It’s called the RS Torque Splitter, and it features an electronically controlled multiple clutch package on each rear driveshaft.
New shocks, new stiffer bearings, and a touch more negative camber are among the RS 3’s ride tweaks. There’s also an RS sport suspension option, which throws in adaptive dampers. Optional 380mm ceramic brakes are also available for the front end, in lieu of the standard drilled steel 375mm units.
Local pricing is yet to be confirmed by Audi’s local arm, but expect it to be a slight premium on the current model’s $104,900 pricetag.