2022 Audi RS 3 Review | A five-cylinder ROCKET

The 2022 Audi RS3 promises plenty of performance, but is it worth top dollar over a standard S3?

A few weeks ago we reviewed the audi s3 a fun little sport sedan that’s relatively comfortable and packed with technology if you haven’t seen it yet we have a link below in the description in that video we reference this the all new 2022 audi rs3 this is the highest performing variant in the a3 lineup and i was somewhat concerned that there’d be some big sacrifices

Made to comfort was i right well you’ll just have to stick around and find out in the meantime do us a favor hit like and subscribe in order to get all of our latest reviews unlike the s3 and a3 this rs3 has a blacked out grille that extends into the headlights it gives you the impression that it needs a lot more air to feed the beast under the hood and i have to

Say i like it these headlights are also upgraded to matrix design leds no that doesn’t mean it’s going to project cool monochromatic green characters in front of you it’s actually meant for at night when you have your high beams on it won’t blind oncoming traffic because it’ll black out the one section where that car is it’s been in use overseas for a few years

But it’s just been approved for road use in the us the rs3 also sits a little bit lower than the s3 by 10 millimeters which is about as thick as my pinky but it’s a full inch lower than the regular a3 another interesting tidbit the tires are reverse staggered sports cars usually have staggered tires which means they put thicker tires in the back but in this case

They’re actually thicker up front which should improve handling as well as steering response here in the back these faux vents extend all the way across the width of the bumper and these larger exhaust outlets reinforce that heavy breathing attitude now this python yellow paint makes a bold statement as does the lamborghini-esque kylami green but for my taste

I’d like something a little more subdued to reinforce that sleeper performance vibe what do you think go for splashy colors or fly under the radar let us know in the comments below under the hood is a 2.5 liter 5 cylinder engine that produces 401 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque that’s 7 horsepower and 15 pound-feet more than the last rs3 but let’s talk

A little more about this engine five-cylinder engines are rare but audi’s history dates back to the 1976 audi 100. five cylinders have a slightly different character from four and six cylinders but we’ll get into that on the road the only available transmission is a 7-speed dual clutch automatic and all-wheel drive is standard audi estimates it’ll accelerate to

60 miles an hour in only 3.6 seconds that’s 0.3 seconds quicker than its predecessor top speed is 155 miles an hour but if you opt for the dynamic package that upset to 180 miles an hour that’s all best demonstrated on the road but before we get out there there’s a few more items i wanted to go through so i can concentrate on my driving another one of the rs3’s

Advantage is a torque splitter rear axle now that uses electronic multi-plate clutches on each shaft to send power to the outside wheel to reduce understeer what’s understeer you ask well as a racing instructor was fond of saying understeer is when the front of your car hits the wall first and oversteers when the rear of your car hits the wall first now speaking

Of oversteer this also has a torque rear function which makes it easier to drift sounds exciting right let’s go for a spin at startup and idle the rs3 engine is a little rough and lumpy and i mean that in a good way it suggests that this motor wasn’t intended for low speeds it’s sort of like a ducati in that way and how it smooths out when you really get on the

Throttle it’s encouraging for sure like a little devil on your shoulder egging you on now i’m in dynamic mode which is the mid-range setting and it’s really well suited for twisty road like this it sharpens up the throttle and transmission response but it honestly doesn’t feel all that different from the s4 i’m surprised that the ride quality is as comfortable

As it is i was expecting a much stiffer ride even in the softest setting but this is not the case compliance is good over the ruts and it’s not really upset by mid-corner bumps well done audi unlike the s4 this has a few extra drive modes and two of them are accessible with this rs button on the steering wheel you have the rs performance as well as rs individual

Mode and these start opening up the real potential of the rs3 it gets louder and the engine and transmission responses are sharper and it feels like the suspension firmed up a little or at least it’s doing something different traction and stability control are a little more liberal with things too yeah that’s pretty sweet and listen to that engine sounds great

Right there’s something about that five-cylinder layout it sounds richer like a five-part harmony you get that lead note but it’s so much fuller with a little minor step down and man when you’re really on it it sounds like a power cord on a stratocaster yeah yeah and of course it’s not just all theater the rs3 is a legitimate performer i’m nowhere near the

Car’s limit and that really makes me wish we’re on a racetrack and this would be a great track car although i would hate to pay for the tires the pirelli p0s on here cost about 400 bucks a piece and if you go for the p0 corsa options those are 500 bucks ouch i’m especially bummer not on track though because there’s another rs mode check this one out hit the rs

Button go for rs torque rear and it gives you this warning warning this is great because it gives you one of those are you sure liability screens honestly i love it because some of my favorite activities involve some sort of liability waiver the rs torque rear mode is the drift mode and that sends more power to the rear wheels what i found though is it’s not really

Meant for these slow switchbacks but rather high-speed sweepers and you have to be really deliberate about it too with a strong lift and stomp on the pedal it’s nice to see audi incorporate that kind of a function into their cars to compete against the bmw m and mercedes amgs that allow you to set for rear-wheel drive only sadly i will not be demonstrating drift

Mode here because i like having no points on my record and i really don’t want to call ali and tell them i balled up their nice little yellow car well i could use a little break so let’s pull over and talk about the interior the rs3’s interior is almost identical to the s3s so i’m not going to go into too much detail this time i will say i like the overall design

Especially with this bold slash of a blade coming through the dashboard everything is pretty easy to use and all the controls are right at hand you do get a couple extra options for gauges with the rs but they’re not really all that necessary you also get a nice little shift light on the head up display that warns you when you’re going to need to shift when your

Revs are getting really high as i said it’s also more comfortable than i expected you have a good amount of side bolstering here to keep you secure when you’re cornering but it’s not over the top like some of the bmw sport seats where you have to kind of do some gymnastics to get over the side bolsters to keep from getting some weird awkward punch in the crotch the

Rear seats are also the same as the s3 which means i’m 5 5’10 and i can sit behind myself in relative comfort cargo capacity is also the same as the s3 at only 8.3 cubic feet but i think that’s still adequate for most people the rs3 starts at 59 995 there aren’t any of the typical trim levels but there are plenty of options now this has the rs technology package

That adds navigation head up display and premium audio as well as a traffic sign reader this also has the optional blind spot monitor sport exhaust and blacked out exterior trim all told this test car is priced at sixty five thousand four hundred forty dollars sears track day drivers might also want to add the dynamic plus package that adds ceramic front brake

Rotors as well as the 180 mile an hour top speed and that leads us to our conclusion in the s3 review i wondered if it’d be worth it to upgrade to this rs3 that test car was well optioned and was only 2 grand less than the starting price of this rs3 i was worried that this would ride like a shopping cart and have an overly aggressive tune and that is simply not

The case it’s just as easy and pleasurable to drive as the s3 it just seems like there’s more to give at the high end of performance it’s more difficult to internally justify that added cost if you don’t plan on taking it to the racetrack every now and then because honestly that’s where this car shines the s3 is a better choice for most drivers as it delivers

A very similar experience on roads like this i can also see it being a hoot on a smaller track but anything bigger with longer straightaways i definitely go for the rs3 and that leads me to my next question what would you get instead of the rs3 well the next bmw m2 isn’t here just yet and that would be the most direct rival the m240i is more in line with the s3

And the mercedes amg cla-45 well it has good specs but it’s not as sporty overall other options include the bmw built toyota supra and chevrolet corvette i’d pick the rs3 over any of those vehicles but i would wait until the bmw m2 shows up to compare them side by side honestly i don’t think you could lose either way so what do you think s3 rs3 or m2 let us know

Which one you’d pick in the comments below thanks for watching and don’t forget to hit like and subscribe below also head over to cargurus.com to see all the latest reviews and if you have a car to unload check out the sell my car feature you’ll get a great price and they’ll even send someone to pick up your car for you as for me well i’ve got 200 miles of these

Great roads around me and almost a full tank so time to keep driving see ya you

Transcribed from video
2022 Audi RS 3 Review | A five-cylinder ROCKET! By CarGurus