When the Audi RS3 was first launched, the big headline news was its RS Torque Splitter rear differential, which actually makes the RS3 the only rear-biased Haldex-based Audi. That new differential was not only designed to make the RS3 more fun to drive but also much faster. And it shows, as the all-new 2022 Audi RS3 Sedan is now the fastest car in the compact class around the Nürburgring Nordschleife, with an impressive time of 7:40.748.
“I’m proud of the whole team. Everyone worked hard for this day,” said Audi RS 3 Technical Project Leader Marvin Schwätter when the record time appeared on the board. “When we started development, we didn’t know just how quickly our compact sportscar would really be on the Nordschleife,”
A lot of the time, there are some very specific tweaks made to production cars to set these sorts of Nürburgring records. However, for this record, only the tire pressure on the Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires (which are optional tires from the factory) was changed.
Audi Sport pro driver and development tester Frank Strippler was the man behind the wheel during this lap record and he credits the RS Torque Splitter for the new RS3’s drastic improvement in Nürburgring time.
“In general, the new RS 3 is much more agile when driving from the middle of the curve to its end and when accelerating out of the curve,” he said. “For me, the torque splitter is a quantum leap in terms of agile driving.”
While the RS Torque Splitter certainly played a big role in its lap time, there were a few other factors as well. Obviously, the hyper-aggressive semi-slick Trofeo R tires played a huge part, allowing the RS3 to stick all of its power to the tarmac. Another, though, was its RS Performance mode; which adjusts the dampers, throttle response, gear changes, and the RS Torque Splitter. The RS Performance mode comes with two different track settings as well; one for tracks with bumpier, more uneven surfaces, such as the Nürburgring, and another for smoother tracks. The idea is that, on a bump track like the ‘Ring, you want a bit more compliance, so as to not lose grip over bumpier surfaces.
I also personally like how it was the Audi RS3 Sedan that actually set the lap record, being that the Sedan is the version we’re going to get here in the ‘States. I can’t wait to drive it.