2022 Audi RS 3

Release Date: Spring 2022
Estimated Price: Starting around $58,000
  • Redesigned for 2022
  • Turbocharged five-cylinder is back and has more power
  • Numerous small changes to improve handling
  • Upgraded cabin places greater emphasis on tech
  • Part of the third A3 generation introduced for the 2022 model year
Contact your local dealers about upcoming availability and pricing details.
2022 Audi RS 3 Review
The junior executive's Golf R
What is the RS 3?

Sales of small luxury sedans are largely eclipsed by those of their SUV counterparts, which is why we're pleasantly surprised to see a third generation of Audi's excellent A3 four-door debut in 2022. The A3 and its performance-minded S3 variant make a respectable amount of power, at 201 horsepower and 306 hp, respectively. But it's the even more extreme 2022 Audi RS 3 that has us dusting off the old race helmet for a track day. Driven by Audi's long-lasting five-cylinder engine, the RS 3 improves upon its predecessor with quicker acceleration, enhanced handling abilities and a greater emphasis on in-cabin technology.

What's under the RS 3's hood?

While the A3 and S3 make do with a turbocharged four-cylinder, the RS 3 utilizes a much more potent turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-five. It produces a stomping 401 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque — admittedly a modest increase of 7 hp and 15 lb-ft compared to the previous model. Its estimated 0-60 mph time of 3.8 seconds is properly fast, but it's only 0.1 second quicker than the old RS 3. Track warriors should note that the RS 3's top speed ranges from 155 mph in the standard model to 180 mph when equipped with the Dynamic package and carbon-ceramic brakes. As with the outgoing RS 3, a seven-speed dual clutch transmission and all-wheel drive are standard.

Instead of focusing efforts under the hood, Audi engineers turned their attention to handling performance. To that end, the RS 3 now features what Audi calls the Torque Splitter on the rear axle. This revised differential introduces an electronically controlled multi-clutch pack on each half-shaft to distribute power to the rear wheels. There's also a Torque Rear mode, which can shunt all torque through one rear wheel — perfect for inducing tail-happy oversteer on a racetrack.

Other upgrades include a sport-tuned suspension (with optional adaptive dampers), a more expressive exhaust system and an aerodynamic body kit. Also on the options list are track-ready Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires.

How's the RS 3's interior?

The RS 3 benefits from the standard A3's revised interior, so expect to see a more tech-heavy cabin this time around. A 10.1-inch touchscreen controls most of the vehicle functions, and drivers will find auxiliary information displayed in the 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and head-up display. We expect to see many of the A3's features carry forward to the RS 3, such as a Wi-Fi hotspot, wireless charging pad, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone compatibility (with wireless versions of both planned for the near future).

The RS 3 packs in many unique interior elements. These include a revised flat-bottom steering wheel, which is wrapped in imitation suede and features a red stripe in the 12 o'clock position. It also sports an RS button, giving the pilot easy access to the seven available driving modes. You can also spec the cabin with the RS design package, which adds red or green stitching throughout the interior, with air vent appliques to match.

EdmundsEdmunds says

In a drag race, the 2022 Audi RS 3 will barely eke out a win against its predecessor. Most of the changes are related to handling and braking performance, along with a serious upgrade to a now tech-focused interior. It looks to be a welcome rival to the likes of the Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing and Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45.

Consumer reviews

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