The New Audi RS3: Specs and Gallery

2022 Audi RS 3

The new Audi RS 3 has been revealed — and it’s a triple threat of power, style and practicality.

Ingolstadt just dropped all the information on the new Audi RS 3, so hang on to your pants, because this baby sounds like a total blast. Power comes from Audi’s award-winning 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder, which pumps out a whopping 394 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque. While the ponies are unchanged, the updated unit makes 14 more lb-ft of twist than the outgoing version, and full thrust is available earlier in the rev range, at 5,600 rpm.

Power is piped to the company’s famous quattro system through a wicked-quick seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which means the new RS 3 will make the sprint to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds. Keep your foot in the carpet, and standard models will pull all the way up to 155 mph. But there’s an optional package, which includes track-ready carbon ceramic brakes, which allows for an even higher maximum velocity. So if you need to hit 180 mph, make sure to check that box.

There’s also a trick new torque splitter in place of the old model’s rear differential, and in turns the fully variable system ensures that power goes to the wheel which needs it most. If you’re looking for some sideways fun, the new RS Torque Rear drive mode will allow drivers to pull off sweet drifts. The fastest lap times, however, will be achieved with the RS Performance mode, which is specifically calibrated to make use of all the grip the optional semi-slick tires will provide.

Of course, the greasy bits aren’t the only areas of the RS 3 that have gotten an update. Up front, there are new Matrix LED headlights, along with fender flares that are 1.3 inches wider. To feed more air to the engine, the intakes flaking the grille have been enlarged, and feature a cool honeycomb pattern. On the RS 3 sedan, which is the one that we’ll see here in the States, the roof will be painted Brilliant Black — which looks killer against the RS-specific Kyalami Green exterior finish.

Along the side of the car, there’s a now a vent behind the front wheel arch to help funnel heat away from the brakes, plus an RS-exclusive side rocker panel with a gloss-black inset. The wheels a five Y-spoke design, sized 265/30 in the front and 245/35 at the rear, and I think they look particularly sharp. Out back, a bumper with an integrated diffusor sits above the oval-shaped dual exhaust pipes, and a variable flap further back in the system means drivers will be treated to distinctly different sounds depending on which drive setting they choose.

Inside the cabin, a flat-bottom, Alcantara wheel with a 12 o’clock stripe communicates the sport potential of the RS 3 even before the ignition is turned on. That sexy tiller sits in front of Audi’s 12.3-inch virtual cockpit display, which includes readouts on factors like g-forces, lap times, acceleration from zero to 60 mph, and quarter-mile times. Along with black or red stitching, buyers now have a green option, which in my opinion is hottest one by a country mile.

At press time, no information on pricing is available. But European buyers will be able to order their new RS starting in late summer, and deliveries will start in the fall. No specific timetable for American customers has yet been announced. There’s sure to be loads more information about the new RS 3 released in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more pictures and video of Audi’s latest high-performance daily driver!

Photos: Audi

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Could Audi be Done With Internal Combustion in 2026?

Audi A6 e-tron concept

A new report says 2026 could mean the end of internal combustion vehicles for Audi.

Five years. When you’re a child, or a teenager, it’s an eternity. But when it comes to vehicle development? It’s the blink of an eye — which is why a new report from Reuters is so shocking. Late last week, it cited German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung and reported that 2026 could spell the end of new internal combustion Audi vehicles. Since it’s very brief, here’s the entire statement:

Volkswagen’s Audi unit will stop introducing cars based on petrol and diesel engines from 2026, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported on Thursday, citing comments made by Audi CEO Markus Duesmann to labour representatives and top managers. The report said there would also no longer be any hybrid models from that date onwards. Spokespeople for Audi were not immediately available for comment.

Now, I’m ready to acknowledge that in court, the way this information came to light would constitute hearsay. But I also know that Reuters isn’t exactly In Touch Weekly, and doesn’t generally trade on wild rumors or speculation. So if this statement, brief as it might be, got past their editors, it’s because they believe it’s the truth —or as close to the truth as they can currently get. That said, there’s a lot to unpack here. So let’s start with the word “introduce.”

Taken alone, that could simply mean Audi will continue to produce internal combustion vehicles past 2026, but won’t update anything. So in effect, there won’t be new models introduced. That still leaves plenty of wiggle room to continue cranking out models like the RS 6 Avant, so the uber-wagen can pay for its tooling before its put out to pasture. But given the company has already announced that it has stopped internal combustion development, what are the chances Ingolstadt will want to release cars based on technology that’s already half a decade old? That feel like a stretch.

Also, the fact that there won’t be any more hybrid models after 2026 seems to indicate gas and diesel mills will be gone for good. Given Audi’s place in the Volkswagen Group, it would make sense to let Porsche keep cranking out gas-powered 911s until they’re banned, and position the Four Rings as a green, mean, Tesla competitor. Because as of right now, it sure seems like where the company’s gun sights are trained. We’ll have to wait and see what Audi says about this report, but right now, it’s clearer than ever before that our electric future is coming — and fast. Do you think 2026 will spell the end of internal combustion Audis? Let me know!

Photos: Audi

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Loving Tribute Tells the Whole Truth About the Audi R8 V10

Audi R8 V10

There’s one big problem with the Audi R8 — but it has nothing to do with the V10 or the styling…

The writing has been on the wall for the Audi R8 V10 since long before Ingolstadt announced the end of internal combustion development back in March. There’s just no place for this Four Ring rocket in the new world, and while it’ll be on the books until 2023, the today’s version is the last version. But with 15 years of development under its belt, you can’t say it didn’t have a good run. It’s a sparking example of an everyday supercar, and one of the machines that invented the concept. As YouTuber Joe Achilles points out this new clip, however, it does have one pretty big flaw.

That flaw, of course, has nothing to due with the ferocious 562-horsepower V10 which sits behind the cockpit, or the styling, which has aged like a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle’s. Hell, even though it’s not longer on the order books, this machine was once available with a gated six-speed manual — the supercar equivalent of a mic drop. So from the greasy bits to the sheet metal, there’s little fault to be found. The only real problem with the R8, in his opinion, is that its athleticism makes driving it on public roads as frustrating as trying to eat phở while white water rafting.

Now, as someone fortunate enough to have driven Audi’s supercar on a few occasions, I whole-heartedly agree, as using even a small portion of this beast’s potential if you’re not on a closed course is asking for trouble. So Achilles fixes this “problem” by taking this R8 to England’s legendary Silverstone Circuit, where he can flex it’s muscles to the full extent of his abilities — and we get to hear the 5.2-liter ten-pot sing at the top of its register.

Make sure to crank up the sound here when Achilles hits the track, because while the performance of future supercars with undoubtable eclipse the capabilities of the R8, the time when new hardware won’t scream like this isn’t all that far away. Sure, sound designers will ensure they have character, but it won’t be the same. Someday, audiences will watch period movies, and be amazed at just how loud the vehicles of our era were — just like how we’re amazed that people used to smoke in hospitals.

Overall, this clip is mighty good fun, even if there’s not a lot — meaning like, nothing — dedicated gearheads don’t already know. Enjoy!

Photos: YouTube

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Audi RS e-tron GT Provides a Rather Electrifying Driving Experience

2022 Audi RS e-tron GT

The 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT is remarkably similar to its Porsche twin, but with a few differences in terms of feel.

It’s only been a few months since the 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT was first revealed, stunning all of us with its drop-dead gorgeous looks and promised electrifying performance. But that’s to be expected from what is essentially a Porsche Taycan in a finely tailored suit, as much as 637 horsepower, and a claimed 0-60 time of 3.1 seconds.

Throw in a scrumptious interior, and you’ve got a rather unconventional/conventional EV for folks that don’t like the general quirkiness of EVs. And now we know what it’s like to drive, too, thanks to mega-popular YouTuber Shmee, or Tim Burton as he’s known in the real world.

2022 Audi RS e-tron GT

Burton currently owns a Taycan Turbo S, so he’s more qualified than most to provide some driving impressions of the new Audi RS e-tron GT, too. First off, he points out a few differences between the two cars. “This car drives remarkably similar to the Taycan, but the steering is different, the pedal feel is different, the sound is different,” Burton says. “In terms of driving, it’s a very welcoming car. When you get out on the open road and put your foot down, it just delivers.”

2022 Audi RS e-tron GT

As is the case with all EVs, the RS e-tron GT is certainly not light, weighing in at over 5,000 pounds. But apparently, it hides that mass well on the road. “You don’t necessarily realize that it’s quite that heavy,” Burton says. “It’s a big car, it’s a long car, but it has rear-wheel steering so it still feels quite agile and nimble on its feet.” Burton also notes that even in Dynamic mode, the steering is still pretty light, but that’s to be expected for a plush vehicle like this.

2022 Audi RS e-tron GT

What’s particularly interesting about the acceleration of the RS e-tron GT, however, is just how similar it is to the more powerful Taycan Turbo S. “This feels the same,” Burton notes. “The same kind of speed, the same kind of instant propulsion that shoves you in the back. That difficulty to lean forward when you’re on the throttle.” So what’s different? “Pretty much everything to do with the driving and your interaction from the steering feel to the feel of the throttle pedal and the brake pedal just being that touch softer,” Burton concludes.

Thus, think of the Audi RS e-tron GT as more of a commuter-friendly version of the sharper Taycan Turbo S, though one that presents few compromises in terms of performance when compared to its sportier twin.

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Audi RS6 Avant Takes on S8 in Battle of Mega Powerful Body Styles

Audi RS6 Avant vs S8 Drag Race

On paper, the Audi RS6 Avant has a clear advantage over the S8, but on the tarmac, it can’t seem to keep up.

There was a time when wagons were the preferred body style for those needing to haul families around – not crossovers and SUVs. Alas, those days are long gone, sadly. But we’d argue that those longing for the good old days won’t find a better wagon than the Audi RS6 Avant,  a snarling beast of a machine that’s equally capable of hauling tail and hauling the groceries. The question is – can it outrun its stablemate, the Audi S8 sedan? Well, Carwow is here to find out.

What makes this matchup particularly interesting is the fact that both of these cars are powered by a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V8 that lays down 590 pound-feet of torque. However, the Audi RS6 Avant makes 591 horsepower, while the S8 offers up “just” 563, and the sedan surprisingly weighs a little over 300 pounds more. The RS6 Avant is also cheaper, with a starting MSRP of $109,000 versus $130,900 for the S8. Both cars come equipped with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and Quattro all-wheel-drive.

Audi RS6 Avant vs S8 Drag Race

This paper comparison is undoubtedly interesting, but what really matters is how these two cars stack up in the quarter-mile. And that comes as a bit of a surprise, as the S8 rockets ahead and takes the first win, though its driver believes he might have been “a bit premature off the line.” Thus, the two go at it again, and the result is exactly the same.

Audi RS6 Avant vs S8 Drag Race

“I think once again I’m just reacting a little bit quicker off the line,” our host says. “You’re not reacting quicker, you’re going before his hand drops,” the other driver quips. So on the third go, both cars leave together and the S8 still gains an early lead. “It seems to just be finding better traction because we were neck and neck,” the S8 driver says. “I just seem to have a bigger delay between gear changes than you,” the RS6 Avant driver notes. “When I was shifting, there was a large gap between when it engaged power again.”

While the S8 was the decisive and surprising winner here, the elapsed times – 11.4 seconds for the sedan and 11.6 seconds for the wagon – are undoubtedly close. However, our host does say that he managed to get an 11.4 out of the RS6 Avant on another occasion, so this is clearly a race that can go either way, depending on conditions and who’s behind the wheel. And once the two cars stack up for a few roll races, the RS6 Avant edges out its sedan counterpart each and every time, proving that in spite of their similarities, these two performance machines are quite different, after all.

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