New Audi RS3: torque splitter and drift mode

New Audi RS3: torque splitter and drift mode

New Audi RS3

Looking at the new Audi RS 3 it is evident how the German manufacturer has made school with its sports division, offering everyone emotions reserved only for the track and the world of extreme tuning. If once it was necessary to intervene on differentials and rear wheel drive to adapt the car to drifting, now you can buy cars that leave the factory ready to blow up the rear wheels.

In fact, most of the presentations focused on the new torque splitter, a mechanism that coupled with the already known torque vectoring promises to give the user total control over the rear wheels. In practice, through the touch screen of the center console, we will be able to choose when and how to distribute the engine torque in the RS Performance and RS Torque modes. If the former keeps the car's behavior close to normal, the latter discharges all the engine power to the rear wheel outside the corner.

The result, as you can imagine, is the start of endless drifting and counter-steering worthy of a music video, provided that the driver has adequate reflexes to "tame" the new RS. In fact, 400 horsepower and 500 newton meters of torque are announced: not bad, especially on the track thanks to the standard presence of sports shock absorbers and launch control.

The latter allows a stop shot of less than 4 seconds in 0- 100 for a top speed that would reach 290 km / h. Staying on the specifications, the engine is confirmed as a 2.5-liter turbo five-cylinder, flanked by a 7-speed “car only” transmission. Of course, given the high technology in the distribution of torque to the wheels, the only traction system is the famous Quattro all-wheel.

Looking at the photos, you might wonder which model will arrive on the market: simple, both the classic sedan and the sportback version, better known as the “extreme station wagon”, are available. But the price? The indiscretions speak of at least 60,000 euros and, as always, it remains the latest information to be disclosed by the parent company.

2022 Audi RS 3 promises five-cylinder power and a drift-happy differential

a car driving on a road: Farewell, Haldex. Audi © Provided by Roadshow Farewell, Haldex. Audi

The forthcoming 2022 Audi RS 3 will mix a bit of the old with a bit of the new. While the sedan and its five-door Sportback sibling won't be officially revealed until later this summer, Audi dropped a few big details about what to expect.

The first thing you'll probably notice is the '1-2-4-5-3' sequence slathered across the sides of both cars' camouflaged exteriors. That alludes to the five-cylinder engine hiding under the hood. Power will be improved from 394 horsepower to 401, and it will be spread across a wider rev range, while torque gets a boost from 354 pound-feet to 369. It should rocket its way to 62 mph in just 3.8 seconds, which is impressively quick for Audi's tiniest RS variant, and it'll keep going until it tops out at 180 mph.

a car parked on the side of a road: The forthcoming 2022 Audi RS 3 will mix a bit of the old with a bit of the new.

The forthcoming 2022 Audi RS 3 will mix a bit of the old with a bit of the new.

© Provided by Roadshow

That's cool in and of itself, but there's also a new piece of technology tucked into the drivetrain that Audi's proud of. It's called the RS Torque Splitter, and it dramatically alters how power is delivered.

Previous versions of the RS 3's all-wheel-drive system used what's known as a Haldex system. This system was front-axle biased and used an electronically activated clutch to couple and uncouple the whole rear axle as traction permitted. The new RS Torque Splitter puts an electronically controlled clutch on each rear output shaft, allowing Audi to determine exactly how much torque should go to each rear wheel. This permits for greater traction in cornering, but for the hooligans out there, this allows Audi to include a mode that will shove as much power to one of the rear wheels as possible.

Yep, that's a drift mode. Which, mind you, Audi only wants you using on closed roads.

a close up of a toy: Here © Provided by Roadshow Here's a peek at the inner workings of the RS Torque Splitter. Audi

RS Torque Rear, as it's so Teutonically named, is just one of seven different modes available on the new RS 3, in addition to the usual hits like Comfort, Dynamic and Individual. In addition to fudging how the torque splitter delivers power, the vehicle modes will also adjust steering weight, shift points, damping strength and exhaust note.

While the idea of a torque-vectoring rear differential isn't exactly revelatory, it's a big upgrade for the RS 3 -- and its sister vehicle, the upcoming 2022 Volkswagen Golf R that we already adore -- which some believe has been held back by its front-biased Haldex system. Keep your eyes peeled to Roadshow for the full reveal later this summer, hopefully followed by lots of tail-happy seat time. 

a car driving on a road: Farewell, Haldex. © Audi

Farewell, Haldex.

This was originally published on Roadshow.

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