Review – Audi RS 3 (2022) – The ideal daily driver?

May 6, 2022

Ideal daily?

A track-worthy daily driver, that is the new RS 3 according to Audi. A car that you drive to work whistling every day and which you let loose on lovely winding B-roads at the weekend. The new Audi RS3 is of course available in two flavors: Sportback and Limousine. There is absolutely no question of downsizing or electrification yet: the well-known 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbo engine once again provides the drive.

It’s still there, the five-cylinder

Good thing, too! When Audi unveiled the new RS 3 in the summer of 2021, we were only curious about one thing: is the blown 2.5-liter five-cylinder still in the front? We could breathe a sigh of relief. The 400 hp power source from the outgoing model is again present and even produces 20 Newton meters more, bringing the torque to 500 Nm. Enough power to make the four-wheel drive Audi sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds. Three tenths faster than before.

The green poison frog only stops accelerating at 250 km/h, unless you transfer some extra money to Audi and choose the RS-dynamic package. Then the speed limiter only intervenes at 290 km/h. You also get ceramic brake discs, so that the RS 3 also quickly comes from 290 to 0 km/h. During our test week, we didn’t try it, almost 300 km/h in an ‘ Audi A3 hatchback ‘, but we immediately believe that it is possible.


The thick five-cylinder makes the Audi extra unique. If you want another sporty hatchback with a five-cylinder engine, you can look for a long time. In fact, even in the top version of the C-Class — the Mercedes-AMG C63 — there is no longer a V8 in the front, but a four-cylinder.

The RS 3’s biggest rival — the Mercedes-AMG A 45 S 4Matic+ — also has fewer cylinders than the Audi. That gets from a four-cylinder with a total lung capacity of two liters 425 hp. Nice, you might say, but as you may know: there’s no replacement for displacement . The infernal five-cylinder has a unique character and produces a beautiful symphony on request! Oh, that sound ! Like a pack of hellhounds running after you. As in many other modern sports cars, the sound system enhances the sound experience, but the dark roar from the two oval exhaust tailpipes (with the four ‘real’ exhausts behind them) still sounds very good.

Front tires wider

Such a fat five-cylinder provides a lot of fun, but also some inconvenience. The characteristic five-cylinder block weighs quite a bit, so that the nose sometimes finds it uncomfortable if it has to change direction quickly. All that weight would rather go straight. In order to eliminate understeer, Audi now mounts extra-wide tires on the front of the RS 3. The tires are even wider at the front than at the rear. You don’t see that often.

RS Torque Splitter

Audi also throws Torque Vectoring into the fight against understeer. The RS 3 is equipped with the so-called ‘RS Torque Splitter’. We know the system from the Volkswagen Golf R and distribute the rear power via two electronically controlled clutches to the rear wheels. The system works at lightning speed. If you take a sharp left turn, but the nose does not cooperate, the system immediately sends extra power to the right rear wheel. The active differential makes the RS 3 one of the most manoeuvrable Audis we’ve ever driven. If you’re in a playful mood, you can even send all the power to one of the rear wheels. This way, even your grandmother can drift around a roundabout in a controlled manner. 

Attention grabber

The RS 3 is a car for people who like to be the center of attention. He is the opposite of a ‘sleeper’. Splitters, diffusers, spoilers, side skirts, flared wheel arches, red brake calipers, should we continue? Okay: extra air slots, squeezed matrix LED headlights with a checkered finish flag pattern, a wide sinister black grille and – that color! The body color is called kyalami green and the nice thing is: you don’t have to pay for it. For colors like black, white and gray you have to pull out your wallet. Strong move by Audi, as if they don’t want customers to dress up the brutal performance hatchback in a boring way.

But is it a good daily driver?

Everything shows that the RS 3 is sharper than ever. It steers with sufficient precision, the seven-speed S Tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission shifts lightning fast and the car is capable of bizarre cornering speeds. But can you also use this powerhouse for daily rides? We can be brief about that: yes, no problem. The compact German has several riding modes, which provide the necessary adjustments for all kinds of conditions.

If you put it in the comfort driving position for a ride to the neighborhood supermarket, you hardly notice that you are driving a racing monster with 400 hp. Okay, the suspension is a bit stiff, but not stiffer than a Kia EV6, a family SUV. In addition, the seats are comfortable in the RS 3. They offer a lot of support, but never try to do the Heimlich grab on you. Furthermore, in the comfort position, the exhaust valves close and the deep hum is barely audible. It’s that passers-by are constantly staring at you and fellow motorists on the highway even take pictures of you, otherwise you wouldn’t know better than to be in a traditional A3 .

What does the Audi RS 3 cost?

Audi asks for a minimum of 94,867 euros for the new RS 3, of which 28,061 euros goes directly to the tax authorities, because of its relatively high CO2 emissions. With a few nice options you can quickly go over a ton. The list price of our test car is 105,739 euros. We would only tick the RS-dynamic package worth 7,865 euros if you plan to travel to Nürburg regularly. Both the top speed of 290 km/h and the ceramic brakes that you then get offer little advantage in our country. You can play around in the configurator yourself here .

Also read: