Audi RS 3 Sportback and Sedan 2021: With 400 HP and Torque Splitter as standard


With an unprecedented electronic system as a great novelty, the new RS 3 Sportback and Sedan arrive ready to show that their 400 hp never gave so much of themselves. The countdown to the premiere of the Audi RS 3 2021 has begun and although we will not be able to appreciate it in all its splendor until July 19, in Car and Driver ES we have had access to its main characteristics and technical details, both in its Sportback body and in the Sedan, and more than a month in advance.

With a confirmed power of 400 horses at 7,000 rpm and a maximum torque of 500 Nm between 2,250 and 5,600 rpm –20 more than the previous generation–, the characteristic 2.5 TFSI engine of both models adds to its inseparable Quattro traction and S- gearbox. 7-speed Tronic an unprecedented ally that you will hear a lot about from now on: the Torque Splitter, but what is this system and how does it work? Let's see.

Torque Splitter, the weapon of the RS 3

The benefits of this new Audi RS 3 both in its Sportback and Sedan bodywork are overwhelming. We are talking about acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h in 3.8 seconds and a maximum speed of 290 km / h. However, German engineers have focused on reinforcing a characteristic that is not reflected in the usual figures: precision and agility when cornering. To do this, Audi has developed the control of the torque that reaches each of the rear wheels by installing an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch on the two transmission shafts. The great beneficiary: the rear of a RS 3 that at least on paper takes on more life than ever and with which it promises to gain more distance with the Audi S3.

This system, called Torque Splitter, is capable of increasing the torque that falls on the outer rear wheel, which is the one that supports the greatest load, mitigating the tendency to understeer. When cornering to the left, it transmits the torque to the right rear wheel; in the curves to the right, it does it to the opposite wheel; while when we drive in a straight line it distributes the engine torque equally between both wheels. Thus, depending on the driving mode selected in the Audi drive select and the driving circumstances, the brand ensures that controlled skids can be made by applying all the torque to only one of the rear wheels. Come on, in addition to being more agile and precise, especially the new RS 3 is going to be more fun to drive.

The aforementioned Audi drive select includes up to 7 driving modes: comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency, RS Individual, RS Performance, and RS Torque Rear. These, in addition to modifying the operation of the Torque Splitter system, include the performance of the engine, transmission, steering, the setting of the shock absorbers, and the throttles of the exhausts. The stability control –ESC– has three positions: on, off, and Sport, which is selected according to the chosen driving mode. The electronics equipment is completed by the Launch Control system to allow the RS 3 to take advantage of its full potential by accelerating from a standstill and the modular vehicle dynamics controller mVDC which, according to the brand It captures the data of all the components that are relevant to the lateral dynamics of the vehicle.

More RS than ever

Otherwise, the new RS 3 Sportback and Sedan present high performance, although in part thanks to their optional equipment. For example, only with the RS dynamic pack and the added ceramic brakes, it can reach 290 km / h which reflects its top speed. As standard, both limit it to 250 or 280 if the client requests it.

The configuration of the springs and shock absorbers is markedly stiff, and the body height has been reduced by 10 mm compared to the Audi S3 and 25 mm compared to the A3; the wheels have almost a higher degree of negative camber than those on the A3 to enhance grip and the RS adaptive steering is also specific, faster and more direct.

Still in camouflage

At the moment we can only show you the camouflaged Audi RS 3 Sportback and Sedan, a unique suite designed by Audi Sport. Those wondering about the "1-2-4-5-3" drawn on the sides of both cars should know that it refers to the firing order of the 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine hidden under the hood. We speak of the same TFSI block with that unmistakable sound that also powers the RS Q3 and TT RS models, instead of the 2.0-liter block of its S3 brothers.

With all that, some of the details that will distinguish this version in its two available bodies are clearly appreciated, such as its generous air inlets at the front and the two oval exhaust outlets so characteristic at the rear. We can openly say that these two versions are one step ahead of the aforementioned S3, in addition to the aforementioned reduction in height of 10 millimeters with respect to it. The wheels, for example, appear oversized and in the case of the sedan, there is a subtle spoiler on the boot lid.

Range and Price

If you want to see them uncovered, you know, write down July 19 on your calendar, because that will be when we show them here in great detail. Of course, in our market, it will not be available until August and its first units will arrive in the autumn of 2021. Until then we will not know its commercial details.

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