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Next-gen Audi RS3 Breaks Cover: Five Things You Should Know

The highlight is the new ‘Torque Splitter’ function that improves handling and driving performance

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It’s been a long time coming. Finally, after months of waiting with bated breath, the new Audi RS3 has been unleashed. Available either as a Sportback (hatch) or a sedan, the RS3 pushes the envelope when it comes to sheer driving fun. So, without further ado, here are five things you need to know about Audi’s latest performance machine:

Retains Its Five-Cylinder Engine


Audi has retained the sweet-sounding 2.5-litre five-cylinder petrol engine in the new model. Power output remains unchanged at 400PS; however, all that is now available earlier than before -- kicking in from 5,600 rpm to 7,000 rpm! Torque output, though, has gone up by 20Nm to 500Nm. 


Helped by the ‘quattro’ all-wheel drive and 7-speed dual-clutch automatic, the RS3 makes the nought-to-100kmph sprint in just 3.8 seconds, a tenth quicker than the old RS3. The top speed is limited to 250kmph. However, you can pay a little extra for the ‘RS Dynamic’ package and ceramic brakes, and take that top speed to 290 km/h.


The beauty of this motor is its exhaust sound, all thanks to its unique 1‑2‑4‑5-3 ignition sequence. And for the first time, the RS3’s exhaust comes with variable flaps, which adjust the exhaust notes based on the mode you select. 

New Drift Mode And Driving Aids


The highlight of the new Audi RS3 is its ‘torque splitter’ feature, which comes with electrically operated clutches on the rear axle. It ensures power is distributed to the wheel with the most amount of grip. Thanks to this addition, Audi has implemented a ‘Drift’ mode, allowing you to do controlled drifts. This is achieved by the torque splitter sending power to only one rear wheel to step the tail out. This function can be accessed by selecting  the ‘RS Torque Rear’ mode.  

Fun Fact: The rear torque splitter is capable of sending up to an insane 1,750Nm to just one rear wheel!

Then there’s the ‘RS Performance’ mode tailored for race tracks. Other hardware for a more fun driving experience include stiffer RS sports suspension, 380mm front steel brakes with six-piston callipers, and optional carbon ceramic brakes. 

Smashing Design 


The RS3’s design might be based on the standard A3, but Audi has pulled off a few significant upgrades. First up, the blacked-out grille and sportier air dams lend the RS3 an aggressive look up front. Then there’s the 25mm lower ride (that gives it a sportier stance) and the 19-inch wheels. You can also opt for racing slicks right from the factory if you frequently take your RS3 to the track. The dual exhausts with a diffuser round off the design. 


And before we move to the interior, we think the lights definitely deserve a special mention. They do this little jig when you lock and unlock the car; that’s alright. But the headlamps have a special feature. If you opt for Matrix LED headlamps, the left side DRL displays the pattern of a chequered flag while the one on the right flashes the ‘RS3’ lettering. Job well done, Audi!

A Stylish Interior


The new RS3’s cabin and dashboard layout are similar to the standard model but with some sporty upgrades. These include sports front seats, a stripe on the steering wheel’s 12 o’clock to denote wheel position, and an ‘RS’ button on the steering wheel to toggle between the driving modes. 


The digital driver display and infotainment screens come with RS-specific graphics and display information like coolant temperature, oil temperature, and acceleration timings. The cabin’s colour-coordinated elements -- on the AC vents, seats, and upholstery upholstery -- up the sense of occasion. 

India Launch?


In Europe, Audi will start accepting bookings for the new RS3 by the end of July. We don’t yet know if the high-octane performance model will come to India. But what we do know is that in the coming months, we will get the standard A3 here, which will be an alternative to the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and BMW 2 Series.


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