Earlier this year, Audi announced that it would cease development of all new internal-combustion engines as it transitions to all-electric powertrains by 2033. Yet, in defiant anticipation of that silent goalpost, the brand’s engineers endeavored to equip the redesigned 2022 Audi RS3 with the loudest, most powerful version of the company’s turbocharged inline-five engine.
With 401 horsepower available—one pony more than before—the RS3’s boosted five-pot pulls hard to its 7000-rpm redline with fervent glee. To say that it has character is an understatement—delightfully vocal and charismatic, this is an engine that can seem uncannily human across its rev range. Which makes sense, as its odd-cylinder warble is a sound that any human could impersonate. A new active exhaust delivers even more of that aural drama through the tailpipes. Normally we eschew engine-sound augmentation through stereo speakers, but it only adds to the excitement in the RS3. Windows up or down, this Audi will have you searching out tunnels on your daily commute.
Torque is up as well, now peaking at 369 pound-feet versus the outgoing model’s 354. That twist is routed through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission featuring several shift programs, including launch control. Audi estimates the sprint to 60 mph will take 3.8 seconds. But that’s surely a conservative figure, as the last RS3 we tested, a 2017 model, posted a 3.5-second run to 60 mph. Driving the new car, we found its transmission to be eager to drop down a gear with just a touch of the accelerator, but it’s not as prescient under heavy braking into corners, sometimes requiring a tug on the steering wheel-mounted shift paddles to kick it down a ratio.
For the full story, check out this article from Car And Driver.