VIDEO: Do WLTP Emissions Filters Ruin the Audi RS3 Sportback?

European car enthusiasts are a bit annoyed with certain emissions regulations added due to new WLTP standards. While having cleaner emissions is a good thing, it’s always annoying when it hinders both performance and noise, for minimal emissions gain. Which is what new exhaust particulate filters do to modern performance cars. In this new video from Carwow, Mat Watson tests how the Audi RS3 Sportback is affected by these new emissions regulations.


To do so, Watson drives the new Audi RS3 Sportback, which is equipped with the new particulate filters required of new WLTP standards. While Yianni from YianniMize drives an older (pre-WLTP), but otherwise identical RS3 and they have a drag race. On paper, they both have the same power and performance but Watson has a suspicion that the new emissions filters have hindered the performance of modern Audis. So which car ends up being faster?


Turns out, it’s not as clear-cut as one car being faster than the other. While the particulate filter does change engine characteristics, it seems that Audi has done a good job of tuning the engine to keep relatively similar performance, depending on the scenario.


So in a standing drag race, the older pre-WLTP Audi RS3 jumps off the line a bit quicker but the new car actually catches back up quite well. However, in a rolling drag race, the newer car gains an early lead but the older car simply leaves the newer one for dead at higher speed.


After some dyno testing, we learn that the newer Audi RS3 has a flatter mid-range torque curve, which helps it at mid-to-high speeds. However, the WLTP particulate filter robs the engine of breathe at higher speeds, which allows the older car to easily jump ahead. So it’s quite interesting to see the differences between the two cars and how the new emissions filter actually changes the car’s behavior.

CategoriesRS3 Video
Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.