The writing is on the wall for the internal combustion engine at Audi HQ as the Ingolstadt-based luxury marque will be launching its final new car powered by an ICE in 2025. It has already ended the development of new gasoline and diesel engines and will stop the production of vehicles equipped with an exhaust system in 2033, except in China.
In the meantime, Audi is showing what is arguably its most interesting engine (aside from the R8’s V10) is capable of when it’s installed underneath the hood of the new RS3. The turbocharged inline-five mill has turned the latest compact performance sedan to carry the Four Rings into an absolute rocket. Its straight-line acceleration – at least until 62 mph (100 km/h) – is comparable to hypercars from not that long ago.
In the official specs sheet released when the RS3 debuted in mid-July, Audi said its AMG A45 and CLA 45 fighter does the sprint in 3.8 seconds. However, the car’s capabilities off the line have been massively understated as it needed just 3.1 seconds in this real-world test. Auditography had the chance to shoot the feisty sedan and he was also allowed by Audi to put the 2.5 TFSI engine to work in an acceleration test.
The fastest compact production car to ever lap the Nürburgring could very well be Audi’s final application of the five-cylinder engine. With downsizing and electrification taking over, the RS3 is quite possibly the last hurrah for this glorious engine also found in the TT RS and RS Q3 models. While the engine is the main attraction, the engineers have given enthusiasts more reasons to get excited about the latest RS3.
There’s a dedicated drift mode offered as standard equipment, which according to those who had the chance to get behind the wheel of the car, almost makes you forget the RS3 uses a front-wheel-drive architecture. The latest Quattro system is the most sophisticated to date, thanks to a torque splitter configurable in three selectable modes to distribute all that power (401 hp and 369 lb-ft) in an efficient way.
It already looks like Audi Sport has another winner on its hands, an RS3 likely to go down in history as one of the most exciting non-supercars powered by an internal combustion engine.
Source: Auditography / YouTube