The 2022 Audi RS3 Is the Fastest Compact Sedan Around the Nurburgring

The Audi RS3 continues something of a tradition for Audi. That tradition being ludicrously fast people carriers with five cylinders and Quattro AWD. The 2022 Audi RS3 is no different, and Audi wanted the world to know that. So, they followed in the steps of a great many marques and took the RS3 to the Nurburgring.

There, the new RS3 managed to set a lap record for the fastest production compact sedan around the infamous Nordschleife.

The littlest RS Audi handily beat a Nurburgring record

A camouflaged 2022 Audi RS3 shot from the front at the Nurburgring
The 2022 Audi RS3 at the Nürburgring Nordschleife | Audi

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There is a bit of a disclaimer to the RS3’s new record. The Nurburgring lap that set the compact sedans lap record was done on semi-slick tires. While Audi doesn’t specify what semi-slicks they used, it’s safe to assume the tire is a step above your average street tire that the 2022 Audi RS3 will be sold with. Our money is on something like a Toyo R888.

That said, the car’s 7:40.748 lap time is still incredibly impressive. It wasn’t long ago that a sub-8 minute time was considered blistering for cars like the Porsche 911 GT3 and the Ferrari F430 Scuderia. Those are bonafide supercars, and now your average family sedan is faster. Obviously, a lot of that comes down to the engine.

The Audi RS3’s engine is worth its weight in gold

A diagram detailing the benefits of Audi's new torque splitting differential in the new RS3
The RS3 gets some fancy motorsports tricks | Audi

Audi’s 5-cylinder turbocharged motor offers a lot of benefits from a performance perspective. For starters, it’s much easier to achieve higher power outputs with less mass compared to a similarly sized V6 turbocharged unit. Of course, that compact size is also why it fits in the RS3, if just barely. Plus, they sound outstanding, just as they did in the Group B rally car.

Further down the driveline, Audi is also very proud of their new “Torque Splitter.” In essence, that’s corporate-speak for differential. Ingolstadt did quite a lot of fiddling on it for the 2022 Audi RS3. Now, it’s a fully variable unit. That means power can be sent to either of the rear wheels for maximum traction. Obviously, that’s a pretty beneficial trait to have on a track like the Nurburging. It’s also good for big ol’ skids.

How much will the 2022 Audi RS3 cost?

A bright green Audi RS3 shot from the front in a studio booth
The Kyalami Green RS3 | Audi

Of course, all that racing prowess and technology is going to cost a pretty penny. The last generation wasn’t cheap, and this one won’t be either. The 2022 Audi RS3 starts at $72,080.00. While that is a lot of money, it’s hard to imagine you’d need another car with an RS3 in the garage. The last model was a do-anything car, and the 2022 model is shaping up to be the same, all while carrying that famed Audi five-cylinder a little further into the future.

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