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This summer is going to be a hot one for sports car fans in the U.S., and not just for RWD junkies, either. Now that the 2022 A3 and S3 are here, Audi can unleash its most extreme compact sports sedan, the 2022 RS3. It’s been two years since the RS3 last graced our shores, but it’s gained some new tricks in the meantime. And in even better news, it’s not that much more expensive than before.

A sub-$60K starting price makes the 2022 Audi RS3 only slightly pricier than the 2020 RS3

In 2020, the Audi RS3 started at $56,200—$6600 more than the 2020 S3 Premium Plus. But if you valued performance, the upcharge was arguably worth it. So, it’s not surprising that the 2022 RS3’s increased performance carries a higher price tag. Fortunately, though, it’s not significantly higher.

The 2022 Audi RS3 starts at $58,900 before options and destination. And technically, you can get one for less than $60K, if only ‘just.’ That destination charge is $1095, meaning a base RS3 now costs $59,995. However, that still makes it $900 cheaper than the 2020 RS3 Nardo Edition.

Still, even without taking dealer markup into account, you likely won’t ever see a sub-$60,000 2022 Audi RS3 IRL. In addition to some snazzy color choices, including a custom option, the 2022 RS3 also offers options like a louder RS Sports exhaust and Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires. Also, there’s the Dynamic Plus Package, which adds a carbon-fiber engine cover, higher top speed, and front carbon-ceramic brakes. And that’s before getting into the additional tech and luxury options, as well as the Carbon Package.

Yet you likely won’t need any of those extra features to have some fast fun in the 2022 Audi RS3.

It keeps the five-cylinder compact sports sedan dream alive with even more power and AWD technology

2022 Audi RS3
Engine2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder
Horsepower401 hp
Torque369 lb-ft
TransmissionSeven-speed dual-clutch automatic
Curb weight3472 lbs (European spec)
0-60 mph time3.6 seconds (claimed)

Although it took some time off, the 2022 Audi RS3 hasn’t forgotten about its enduring legacy: the five-cylinder engine. For 2022, the 2.5-liter engine makes seven more horsepower and 15 more lb-ft of torque and delivers better low-end acceleration. But the extra grunt isn’t the only reason why the RS3 set a new compact class record at the Nürburgring.

Firstly, the 2022 RS3 has a wider front track than the 2020 car as well as functional wheel side vents and a new grille. Secondly, Audi tweaked the standard RS Sport suspension and adaptive shocks and added a button to the sports steering wheel for the RS-specific driving modes. Also, the standard steel brakes are larger and enjoy better cooling.

But the most significant difference between the 2020 and 2022 Audi RS3 is the latter’s AWD system. For the first time, Audi put “a proper torque-vectoring rear axle” in its Quattro system, MotorTrend reports. Dubbed the RS Torque Splitter, it lets the car shove 100% of available torque to one rear wheel.

Admittedly, the center differential only lets up to 50% of the RS3’s maximum torque head rearwards. However, that’s enough to make the 2022 RS3 “more playful” and eager to rotate than the old model, MT says. And it means you, too, can drift an Audi like Ken Block. Yup, this compact sports sedan has a Drift mode.

The 2022 Audi RS3 should be a nice place to sit in even if you’re not drifting, though. It comes standard with a 12.3” digital gauge cluster, 10.1” center touchscreen, and quilted Nappa leather front sports seats. Though if you want those bright-green accents, they cost extra.

When will the 2022 Audi RS3 be available in the U.S.?

Fortunately, you have a bit of time left to start saving up. Audi says the 2022 RS3 should arrive in U.S. dealerships “by this summer.” And with a new BMW M2 on the horizon, it looks like the compact luxury sports car segment is truly heating up.

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