The new Audi RS3 is set to reach South Africa in the second half of 2022, and fans cannot wait.
I am one of those fans – and I have spent more time than I would like to admit looking at this new high-performance Audi.
While the car’s looks, features, and engine are sights to behold, the tiniest details are what makes it that much more special.
From the carbon fibre cladding to the sculpting of the body cover, I list my five favourite things about the new Audi RS3.
Racing flag headlights
The new Audi RS3 incorporates striking LED headlights, with a familiar pattern placed at the edges of the light clusters.
When fitted with the Matrix LED headlights, the RS3 features a checkered flag pattern at the front that resembles the flag used when a car has crossed the finish line in a race.
“With its pixel field of 3×5 LED segments, it provides an unmistakable look,” said Audi.
RS torque splitter
Alongside a powerful engine and the quattro all-wheel-drive system, the fourth-generation Audi RS3 is fitted with an all-new torque splitter.
According to Audi, the RS torque splitter makes active, fully-variable torque adjustments between the rear wheels possible – improving upon the multi-disc clutch and rear axle differential set-up used in earlier generations.
During dynamic driving, the splitter increases torque delivery to the rear wheels with the highest wheel load – which significantly reduces the tendency to understeer.
“The new technology also makes controlled drifts on tracks possible. In this case, the torque splitter directs all of the power to only one of the rear wheels,” said Audi.
As standard, the RS3 is equipped with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster with RS-exclusive menus and settings.
While this can be found in every new RS model on the market, the RS3 adds a redesigned rpm counter in the “RS Runway”.
“Here, the values are displayed in the opposite direction in a manner that visually resembles an airplane runway – the highest speed in the foreground and the lowest speed in the background,” said Audi.
In addition, the RS displays show g-forces, lap times, and acceleration from 0-100km/h, 0-200km/h, quarter mile, and eighth of a mile.
In the RS3, buyers have a choice of a flat-bottomed multifunction steering wheel, or a round steering wheel with grip recognition for assisted steering functions.
Despite the different looks and abilities, both feature an RS Mode selector button that lets the driver choose between RS Performance, RS Individual, or the last mode used.
This confirms that Audi built the new RS3 with the enthusiast in mind.
While the physical RS button does not look nearly as sleek as the one found in the R8, it’s there, it’s easy to use, and it looks cool – and for that, we are grateful.
Last, but certainly not least, comes the sound that erupts from the RS3’s multi-award-winning turbo-petrol engine.
The exhausts emit a brutal and beautiful note. One that is deeper than you would expect the five cylinders and 2,480cc of displacement to produce.
In keeping with tradition, the RS3 is fitted with two large oval tailpipes finished in dark chrome.
For the first time, though, the exhaust also incorporates a fully-variable flap control system as standard.
This allows the driver to adjust the car’s sound characteristics through the RS mode button.
“In the Dynamic and RS Performance modes, for example, the flaps open much earlier – the emotional elements of the sound are even more pronounced,” said the company.