2022 Audi RS3 is a monstrous little sedan

2022 Audi RS3 is a monstrous little sedan

The 2022 Audi RS3 is living, breathing, fire-spitting proof that good things come in small packages. The compact A3 sedan’s evil cousin gets a five-cylinder engine under the hood, like the original Audi Quattro. With 401 horses breathing under its hood, the RS3 hopes to revive the dwindling reputation of petrol-powered Audis across the world.

It is tiny. The 2022 Audi RS3 is understandably based on the regular A3 sedan and hatchback. But to make them look more sinister, they get angrier designs and a 25 mm drop in ride height. The front end is dominated by the grill and the gloss black surrounds, guarded at each side by the kinked LED headlamps. Aerodynamic changes on the hot RS3 include aggressive side skirts, vents on the rear bumper and a roof spoiler on the hatch. There are oval-shaped tailpipes at the rear as well.

More visual aggression can be poured in by opting for an Alu-Optic trim that finishes the front splitter, bumpers, side skirts, and rear diffuser in matte silver. As a different option, you can splash some carbon fibre finishes on there, thanks to an optional carbon-fibre trim package.

Lamborghini influences are evident in the interior of the Audi RS3 twins. On the tech front, the cabin gets a standard 10.1-inch infotainment display and a 12.3-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster screen. RS-specific details like quilted seats, carbon fibre trim, bar graph modes for the tachometer, etc get thrown in for added heat.

All this visual zest is complimented well by the oily bits under the hood. 2022 Audi RS3 gets its power from a 2.5-litre inline-five turbocharged engine. This mill is good for 394 hp along with 500 Nm of torque. The US-spec Audi RS3 will churn out a bit more power, at 401 hp. This engine is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox for quick shifts. The Audi RS3 dances with this power using a torque-vectoring Quattro all-wheel-drive system. This AWD system debuts a new RS Torque Splitter that kicks out the conventional rear differential. This can send up to 100 percent of torque to any wheel at the rear. This can counteract understeer and keep the RS3 in line during hard cornering.

RS Torque Rear, a unique drive mode for the RS3, biases the AWD system in favor of the rear for some crazy drift action. If you choose to take the corner in the more matured (read, less fun) way, the new RS Performance mode will take care of it. The 2022 Audi RS3 also features an optional adaptive suspension for better handling. The standard sport suspension is no slouch too, tuned perfectly for the RS3. Brakes get upgraded with bigger six-piston calipers upfront or an optional set of ceramic front brakes and larger steel rear brakes.

All this, and the 2022 Audi RS3 sprints from 0 to 100 kph in just 3.8 seconds, 0.2 seconds quicker than the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S. An optional performance package will hike the top speed to 280 kph from the otherwise limited 250 kph. If you have paid for the optional ceramic brakes, Audi will let you breach 290 kph.

Expect the RS3 to be offered in the UAE and GCC at some point in the upcoming winter, possibly at a base price north of Dhs 250,000.

Keep track of local prices and updates in the Audi buyer guide.

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