Despite having the “Quattro” badge on their trunks, no Audi A3/S3/RS3 model has ever actually used proper Quattro all-wheel drive. Audi pioneered Quattro with a Torsen limited-slip diff in the center of the drivetrain, which sent power to the front and rear axles. For smaller transverse-engine Audis, such as the Audi RS3, Haldex systems are use, which have multi-plate clutches to send power to the rear wheels. It’s essentially the same system as Volkswagen’s 4Motion, just with Audi’s own calibration.
Now, though, it seems as if the next-gen Audi RS3 might actually get calibration from Volkswagen. It’s rumored that the next-gen RS3 might get the same version of Haldex as the all-new Volkswagen Golf R, which comes with a ‘Drift Mode’.
According to AutoBild, the next-gen RS3 will use the same Haldex setup as the VW Golf R, more specifically the same rear diff.
The new Golf R uses a trick rear differential that can vary the torque split between the rear wheels, thus allowing it to drift like a rear-wheel drive car. It’s a similar system to the one used in the Mercedes-AMG A45 S and it seems that the RS3 will get the same system as well.
To be honest, this isn’t shocking news. The RS3 and Golf R are based on the same new MQB chassis and have essentially the same all-wheel drive systems. Considering Drift Mode is one of the VW Group’s latest tricks, it only makes sense to put it in its most expensive hot-hatch. Plus, the RS3’s main competitor is the aforementioned AMG A45 S has a Drift Mode, so the RS3 would be outgunned, from a marketing perspective, without such a mode. So it only makes sense to the Audi RS3 to get the same trick diff out back.
AutoBild also claims that the exact power output of the Audi RS3 will be 414 horsepower (420 PS) and 369 lb-ft (500 Nm) of torque. That would make it a bit more powerful than the 400 horsepower, 354 lb-ft of torque seen in the current car. There could also be a higher performance version on the way, packing 444 horsepower (450 PS).