2022 Audi RS 3 Snatches Nürburgring Class Record from Renault

2022 Audi RS 3

In the sport compact class, the red-hot 2022 Audi RS 3 is the new king of the Ring — and it wasn’t even close.

Given everything we’ve heard about the 2022 Audi RS 3, you didn’t have to be Nostradamus to predict it was going to be quick. Now, we know just how quick Ingolstadt’s new pocket rocket is. Because back in June, factory hot shoe Frank Stippler laid down a blistering time of 7:40.748 minutes, and smashed the compact car record. That beat the previous record — set by Renault using a Mégane R.S. Trophy-R — by nearly five seconds, so smashed is hardly hyperbole.

For safety reasons, the RS 3 in question was fitted with a roll cage and racing seats, which likely made it slightly heavier than bone stock versions. But aside from those concessions to the dangerous beast that’s the Green Hell, the car was stock, down to the Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R semi-slicks it was shod with for the lap. For track rats, they’ll be a must-have option, and according to Stippler, ensuring the proper pressures in the super-sticky rubber was key to the victory.

In the official press release, Technical Project Leader Marvin Schwätter didn’t specify exactly how tweaked the PSI was from the standard settings. For new owners headed to the circuit, that’d be a handy piece of info, so perhaps it’ll come out in the wash. Another key to the run was the trick torque splitter at the rear, which during corners, pipes twist to the outer wheels. This is the first time such a system has been employed on an Audi, and the distribution of power ensures both understeer and oversteer are kept in check.

According to Stippler, the multi-disc clutch system is “a quantum leap in terms of agile driving,” and given its success on the circuit, something we’re sure to see on future Audi models. Of course, other go-fast bits like adaptive dampers, ceramic brakes, and aggressive RS Performance modes were part of the package too, and help demonstrate just how potent the new RS 3 is when the gloves comes off. Watch the video below, and remember that buyers in the States aren’t left out of the fun. So stay tuned for info on when this record-beating sport compact will be available on our shores!

Photos: Audi

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Audi RS6 vs BMW M550i

Audi RS6 vs BMW M550i

Mat Watson races a BMW 550i against an Audi RS6 in one of CarWow’s recent webisode.

We can always count on Mat Watson from CarWow to bring us some exciting drag races. In one of its most recent webisodes, the YouTube channel pits an Audi RS6 against a BMW M550i. Both contenders were evenly matched, as the 4.4-liter V8 motor in the BMW 550i produces 530 HP of maximum power and around 553 lb-ft of peak torque. The Audi comes equipped with a 600 HP 4.0-liter V8 engine which churns out 590 lb-ft of torque.

Watson was behind the wheel of the BMW 550i shares its TwinPower motor with the lauded BMW M5. Both cars get 8-speed automatic transmissions and all-wheel-drive layouts, but at around 4574 lbs, the Audi is 353 lbs heavier than BMW’s performance sedan. Both cars also come equipped with launch controls, but that did not help the BMW 550i. The BMW 550i completed the quarter-mile in 11.9 seconds, and the quattro equipped Audi RS6 made the same run in just 11.6 seconds.

“This (BMW 550i) kind of felt a little bit soft. It didn’t have the hard kick that you get in that,” said Watson.

Audi RS6 vs BMW M550i

Watson’s Beemer was quicker off the line than the Audi RS6, but the presenter attributed that to his reaction time. The two cars then participated in a rolling drag race traveling at 50 MPH in Comfort mode. The Audi RS6 took the lead straight away, which it maintained till the end of the race and even the track for that matter. Even in Sport mode, the Audi RS6 managed to pull away from Watson’s BMW 550i in a rolling drag race.

This (BMW 550i) picks up pretty nice, not quite as nice as that RS6, confessed Watson. He further added, “he’s (driver in the Audi RS6) just easing ahead but once again not by loads.”
The Audi RS6 was not just quick in a straight line, but also managed to decelerate faster than the 550i in the brake test. In the interest of full disclosure, the Audi RS6 is more expensive than the BMW 550i, but as Mat made evident in the video, you do get a lot more performance for the extra money.

Image Source: CarWow

Exciting Experiment: The Audi RS Q e-tron is Heading to Dakar

Audi RS Q e-tron

This January, the Audi RS Q e-tron prototype will enter the legendarily brutal Dakar Rally.

Back in April, we posted about how Audi was set to enter the grueling Dakar rally with an electric vehicle prototype. At the time, the only image available was a render of it under some silk. But now, Ingolstadt has ripped the cover off — and does this baby ever look like a beast. So meet the Audi RS Q e-tron, the next generation of extreme rally machines. If any green machine is going to bend the desert to its will, you can bet that this Four Ring ripper will be the one to do it.

Now, you might be wondering exactly how the Audi Sport team was planning to charge the batteries during an event which will take the drivers through some of the most inhospitable terrain on earth. Because that’s obviously the $10,000 question, and one that the engineers solved by equipping the RS Q e-tron with a TFSI engine that will serve as an onboard generator, so the 50 kW battery pack gets a constant stream of juice. While that might technically make this desert sled a hybrid, it’s safe to say that if it was operating in, say, the greater Los Angeles area, it could lose the internal combustion component all together.

Each wheel is powered by an individual motor, and when it’s completely uncorked, the RS Q e-tron is capable of a whopping 670 horsepower. In the press literature, there’s no mention of a torque figure, and at this time, it’s unclear whether the rally’s governing body will allow the rig to run at full power. Given all the rules and regulations which characterize racing at any level, it’s entirely possible that it’ll have to be governed, so the playing field can remain as even as possible.

Obviously, this is a massive undertaking, and just finishing the race would be a huge achievement. After all, lots of competitors running tried and true kit wind up stranded during Dakar, as there’s just no telling what can happen once the rally is underway. But Andreas Roos, who’s running the ambitious campaign, is clearly already proud:

Less than twelve months have passed since the project officially started. We had to begin the development while the regulations for alternatively-powered vehicles had not even been finalized yet. And all of the development took place during the Corona pandemic. You mustn’t underestimate that either. What the team has achieved so far is unique. The roll-out was a very special moment for everyone.

The 2022 Dakar Rally is set to kick off in January, and we’ll be keeping a close eye on the race to see just how well Audi’s historic entry fares against both the competition and the cruel desert sand. So stay tuned!

Photos: Audi

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New vs. Old: Audi e-tron Sportback Races a V12-powered Q7 TDI

New vs. Old: Audi e-tron Sportback Races a V12-powered Q7 TDI

Mat Watson of CarWow drag races an Audi e-tron Sportback against a 2009 Q7 TDI equipped with a 6-liter V12 motor.

In one of CarWow‘s most recent videos, the YouTube channel uses the age-old rivalry between old and new as a parameter to investigate how an Audi e-tron Sportback fares against a first-generation Q7 (facelift model). The latter is propelled by a 6-liter V12 TDI diesel engine which produced 493 HP of maximum power and 738 lb-ft of peak torque in its factory tune.

CarWow’s presenter Mat Watson was quite impressed by the diesel Q7. Watson recently also proclaimed that the Q4e-tron is the best electric SUV on sale. Even though the e-tron Sportback is more powerful than its smaller sibling, it is still no match for the Q7 TDI, when it comes to the overall power output. The all-electric SUV produces 405 HP of power and around 490 lb-ft of torque. So it would seem that a drag race between the two models would favor the internal combustion model.

However, Watson was quick to highlight that “the idea behind this race is to show just how fast these latest electric cars are compared to internal combustion engines.” At 5,390 lbs the Sportback is much lighter than the V12 Q7, which weighs around 5,809 lbs. Thanks to its electric-only powertrain, the Sportback should also accelerate much faster than the Q7 TDI. Unsurprisingly, Watson also shared our opinion. “It could be a very close race. This (e-tron Sportback) will get off the line very very well, not sure how that (V12 Q7 TDI) will get off the line,” said Watson.

New vs. Old: Audi e-tron Sportback Races a V12-powered Q7 TDI

After an underwhelming soundcheck, both cars lined up for the first bout where the Q7 TDI proved to be victorious, on the account of a driver’s error.  Mat’s reaction time cost him the first race. “I held on the brake, and it just didn’t go very well,” explained Watson. Luckily, the drivers agreed to race a couple of more times, and on both occasions, the e-tron Sportback won the race with a quarter-mile time of 13.5 seconds.

The Q7 TDI made up for its losses by beating the e-tron Sportback in back-to-back rolling drag races, but the battery-powered model performed better in brake tests thanks to regenerative braking. Overall, CarWow’s latest webisode offers a thrilling ride and keeps the viewers on their toes throughout the video.

Image Source: CarWow

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Audi R8 MTM V10 Supercharged is a 822 HP Beast: Video

Audi R8 MTM V10 Supercharged

It’s not like the Audi R8 V10 isn’t crazy quick out of the box — but there’s no kill like overkill.

In May, I posted about how the mad scientists at MTM turned a 2021 Audi RS6 into a 1000-horsepower monster, and now, there’s a new video showcasing more of the company’s handiwork. This time, the folks at the Miami-based shop turned their attention to the R8 V10, and as you can imagine, the results were impressive. Thanks to a $35,000 supercharger, this baby is now pumping out a robust 822 horsepower and 523 lb-ft of twist.

Given that the most potent versions of the R8 are “only” packing 602 horsepower and 413 lb-ft at the crank, that’s a serious improvement — even if finding a place where you can use the extra poke might prove tricky. Fortunately, even if you’re not smashing through the 200-mph barrier on a runway somewhere, the modifications made to this land rocket give it an unhinged exhaust note that gearheads will love hearing at any speed. Even if their neighbors might not appreciate the extra drama.

According to the description, Auditography posted along with the clip, the addition of the blower means this R8 will rocket from zero to 60 mph in a blistering 2.75 seconds. Other than noting that the stock wheels have been swapped with forged FI-R units from BBS, there’s no mention of precisely what else has been done to the car. Well, other than the custom wrap, that is. But if this were my car, I’d have left the exterior factory, as the graphics are a little too busy for me.

That said? I have to wonder why they MTM went with a supercharger here as opposed to opting for turbos. Given the crazy gains that are possible just by upgrading the snails on the RS6, I would have expected them to take a similar route with the R8. Especially since the folks at Underground Racing have been using twin turbo systems to push the sexy sports coupe into four-digit horsepower territory for years. Am I missing something here? Hit me up and let me know!

Photos: YouTube

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