WATCH: New Audi RS3 breaks Nurburgring lap record for compact cars
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NURBURG, GERMANY - Audi’s new-generation RS3, which was revealed late last month, might not come with any extra ponies, but the engineers in Ingolstadt have paid considerable attention to the chassis, with Audi’s new Torque Splitter making its debut. But what does this all mean in the real world? A new lap record, of course.
Audi says the new RS3 Sedan has just broken the compact car lap record on the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Achieving a lap time of 7:40.748 minutes with Audi Sport racing driver Frank Stippler at the wheel, the RS3 broke the previous record, held by the Renault Megane RS Trophy-R, by 4.64 seconds.
“When we started development, we didn’t know just how quickly our compact sportscar would really be on the Nordschleife,” said RS3 technical product leader Marvin Schwätter. “But over the course of endurance testing, we determined that we could reach very good times and set a new record.”
As a reminder, the new Audi RS3 is powered by Audi’s renowned, and insane sounding, 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbopetrol engine, which produces 294kW and 500Nm and which gets the performance flagship from 0-100km/h in just 3.8 seconds, according to factory claims.
But it’s the chassis that really makes the difference in the new-generation Audi RS3. Audi’s RS Torque Splitter sends more power to the rear wheel with better grip, enabling it to turn more sharply, and presumably eliminating some of that understeer that the previous generation model had a reputation for.
There’s also a newly developed RS Performance driving mode, which has been specifically calibrated for race track performance.
“For me, the torque splitter is a quantum leap in terms of agile driving,” driver Frank Stippler said. “In general, the new RS3 is much more agile when driving from the middle of the curve to its end and when accelerating out of the curve”.