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2022 Audi RS 3 Sedan Review: The Sleeper of the Streets

Lionel Kong
14/06/2022
2022 Audi RS 3 sedan in Singapore

The small RS 3 sedan could be one of Singapore’s most complete performance cars of 2022


2022 Audi RS 3 Sedan

Launched: May 2022 – Price S$384,395 with COE & VES (June 2022)
Four-door, small sports sedan, five seats
400hp, 2.5-litre turbo, petrol engine, VES C2, 9.8L/100km


PROS
Very smooth power delivery
Family-friendly package
A real sleeper sports car

CONS
Poor backseat headroom
Large turning circle at low speed



SINGAPORE

The new Audi RS 3 was launched in Singapore with two body styles in mid-2022, and the thing is, if you’re interested in one, your choice will completely be dictated by what kind of car you want or need to be driving.

2022 Audi RS 3 sedan in Singapore

That’s because the RS 3 Sportback and the sedan are technically identical, and as we fully explored at the car’s initial preview, both also come with Audi’s wild new Torque Rear mode. It’s a drive mode that sends massive amounts of engine power to the rear wheels for hanging the tail out and showboating sideways drifts, only a closed circuit or race track of course. 

2022 Audi RS 3 sedan in Singapore

It’s a big deal because with only a few exceptions like the R8 RWD, Audi’s sports cars have traditionally always had quattro all-wheel drive, which is all about traction to all four wheels rather than spinning the rear ones to absolute tyre destruction with the car hanging sideways. 

2022 Audi RS 3 sedan engine in Singapore

And here now Audi is big on pushing the fact that the new RS 3 is quite capable of being a hooligan in all directions with its 2.5-litre, five-cylinder turbo engine punching out 400 horsepower. We’ve covered plenty of ground in our launch story and also the earlier RS 3 Sportback review, and the sedan is very much the same thing in a different shell.

So rather than stomp over old ground, let’s focus on what makes the sedan different. 

2022 Audi RS 3 sedan in Singapore

The three-box sedan body shape is fitted with plenty of aerodynamic add-ons, though in the usual German style they are subdued and don’t stick out too much. The rear bootlid spoiler is a very nice piece of carbon fibre, and the front fenders are vented at the trailing edges to shape the airflow passing by the front wheels. 



The huge disk brakes with chunky six-pot calipers on the front wheels hint at the car’s potential, but for most bystanders with no interest in cars this could very well just be another bog-standard small Audi sedan with some different badges.

2022 Audi RS 3 sedan in Singapore wheel and brakes

Its exhaust note is practically identical to the RS 3 Sportback though the different shape of the cabin gives it a tonally different drone from inside. A point of inconvenience here is that the sedan has a lower roofline, so if you’re over 1.7 metres in height you do actually need to slouch in the back seat. At least there’s good legroom, so tall passengers can shuffle their knees forward without worry. 

2022 Audi RS 3 sedan boot in Singapore

Boot space is good for a car of this size and the rear bench folds down in sections to expand it into the cabin. 

The front seats are suitably shaped for serious sporty driving and actually have a similar form to those in the Volkswagen Golf GTI and Skoda Octavia RS. They are all part of the Volkswagen Group anyway, but the RS 3 seats have the stitching and padding at a whole other level. 

2022 Audi RS 3 sedan seats in Singapore

Like Mercedes-AMG is so fond of doing these days, the steering wheel is wrapped in alcantara. It’s a love-it or hate-it affair because the material works best with gloves and many people find it slippery when driving with bare hands.

2022 Audi RS 3 sedan steering wheel in Singapore

The carbon fibre trim along the width of the dashboard isn’t a structural part of the car but a panel that’s been fitted on, so it’s entirely cosmetic and has no weight-saving purpose. 

2022 Audi RS 3 sedan in Singapore

The drive mode selectors and interface menus are all software triggered so there’s a fair bit of faffing through menus to get the car set up just right, but at least it’s a decently user-friendly interface.

2022 Audi RS 3 sedan cabin in Singapore

The real fireworks start when you get the 400 horsepower turbo engine to really work, if you can find some room to stretch its legs. In standard drive mode the power delivery is very linear as the gearbox keeps to higher gears as much as possible and the car maintains civil, but incredibly speedy progress. Toggle it to dynamic mode and it’s a rocketship, with explosive noises to match. The car’s traction and composure is never in question, with crazy cornering ability that very few other cars can hope to match. You can expect real world fuel economy to hover around 10.9l/100km, though if you push engine into the upper reaches often (and why would you drive this and not rev it now and then), all bets are off. 

2022 Audi RS 3 sedan in Singapore

The track-only RS modes that really turn up the wick and loosen traction control come with multiple warnings that require you to acknowledge them on the instrument cluster. ‘Track Use Only!’ is the gist of it, and if you attempt to use it on public roads and crash, it’s all your fault because the car has already warned you.

2022 Audi RS 3 sedan in Singapore


The car has an interesting negative in that its turning circle at parking speed is very wide for a car of this size, largely due to its clever quattro all-wheel drive system not allowing the front wheels to turn to very sharp angles. Which means that in practical use the car feels bigger than it actually is. 

2022 Audi RS 3 sedan in Singapore

On the whole though, this is a very complete everyday ICE performance car. The sedan is around S$9k more than the Sportback but we found that it has a slightly more composed character at the limits of adhesion on a closed test circuit.  

Its closest rival is probably the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S, which is actually more powerful but has one cylinder and 500cc less in the engine. It’s all down to a matter of preference between these two, because on the road there’s very little between them in outright performance. 

2022 Audi RS 3 sedan in Singapore

2022 Audi RS 3 Sedan

Drivetrain type Petrol engine 
Engine2,480cc, inline 5, turbocharged
Power400hp at 5600-7000rpm
Torque500Nm at 2250-5600rpm
Gearbox7-speed dual-clutch 
0-100km/h3.8 seconds 
Top Speed250km/h
Fuel Efficiency9.8L/100km
VES Band C2 / +S$25,000
AgentPremium Automobiles
PriceS$384,395With COE and VES
AvailabilityNow
Verdict Quick, sure-footed, supercar devourer with space for a small family too

Tags:

A3 Audi rs 3 S3 sports sedan

About the Author

Lionel Kong

An old hand from the bad old days of crazy COEs, the straight-shooting, ex-CarBuyer editor is back in the four-wheeled world. Rumours that he went to another country to start a Judas Priest tribute band are unfounded.

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