Audi have revealed the third generation 2022 Audi RS3 today to take on the new Mercedes-AMG A45 and BMW M2. The brand’s famous 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine remains but with new tech, safety features and styling. The new RS3 is due in Australia in the first half of 2022 with local pricing yet to be announced.

“With the third generation of the Audi RS 3 Sportback and the second generation of the Audi RS 3 Sedan, we now offer premium sports cars that are suitable for everyday use and equally thrilling to drive on public roads and racetracks,” says Sebastian Grams, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH.

“They represent the entry point into our RS world and, thanks to the torque splitter, the ultimate in outstanding performance in the compact segment.”

As before, the new RS3 will be available in both sedan and hatch bodystyles. The power has stayed the same at 294kW but the torque figure has been upped by 20Nm to 500Nm. Peak power is delivered earlier than before at 5,600rpm and peak torque is now delivered between 2,250-5,600rpm. The 0-100km/h time of the 2022 Audi RS3 is 3.8 seconds, which is 0.3 seconds quicker than the model it replaces. That power is sent through a revised seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Gone is the front-bias Haldex all-wheel drive system to make way for a new Magna-sourced RS torque splitter rear axle, making drift mode possible for the first time on the RS3. The new setup has a mechanical differential with independent electronic controlled multi-plate clutches for each driveshaft, enabling it to send up to 100 percent of power to either of the rear wheels when the RS Torque Steer (aka drift) mode is engaged.

There are now two option boxes for the RS3 to increase the top speed. One will increase the speed from 250km/h to 280km/h and the other will increase that to 290km/h. A fully-adjustable valved exhaust system replaces the current car’s semi adjustable system while adaptive dampers replace the magnetic ride system from the previous model. Carbon ceramic brakes and semi-slick Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tyres, previously only seen on supercars, are now available in the hyper hatch and sedan.

Optional in the new RS3 are Audi’s new full Matrix LED headlights with darkened bezels, which feature ‘digital’ daytime running lights that display ‘RS3’ lettering and a chequered flag animation when unlocked.

At the centre of the 2022 Audi RS3 interior is a new 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display with various racey layouts. Other interior highlights include a new heads-up display, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, front sports seats wrapped in Nappa leather, carbon fibre trim and ambient lighting.

Expect pricing and Australian specs to be revealed closer to the mid-2022 launch of the Audi RS3.

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