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2022 Audi RS 3 Sportback Review: Unleash the Beast

Ben Chia
29/04/2022
2022 Audi RS 3 Sportback exterior front driving CarBuyer Singapore

Audi’s latest RS 3 Sportback blends usable everyday performance with a hidden monstrous personality that is just waiting to be unleashed


2022 Audi RS 3 Sportback

Launched: April 2022, Price S$363,075 with COE (April 2022)
Small five-door high-performance hatchback, five seats
400hp 2.5-litre petrol engine, VES C2, 9.8L/100km


PROS
Insanely fast
Lots of fun to drive
Practical enough as an everyday car

CONS
Expensive
Quite wide for a hatchback


Photos: CarBuyer Team

It’s easy to get intimidated by the new Audi RS 3 Sportback. As Derryn and Ju-Len found out during the car’s launch earlier, the new RS 3 is capable of some truly wild drifting antics, with its ability to kick its tail out at will, thanks to its trick RS Torque Splitter differential.


Watch our young rookie try to drift the Audi RS 3 against a pro racer!

But that was on a closed circuit, under controlled conditions. What is the RS 3 really like then when you actually have to take it out on the road and deal with normal, everyday traffic? As it turns out, when the RS 3 is not shredding tyres and browning your pants, it actually can function as a reasonable everyday car.

2022 Audi RS 3 Sportback exterior front driving CarBuyer Singapore

Of the seven different driving modes available, the one that you’ll probably use most of the time is Auto or Comfort. And when operating as such, the RS 3 feels not much different from a regular A3. The ride quality is decently well-sorted, if slightly firm, and there’s surprisingly not a whole lot of noise if you’re gentle on the loud pedal, so the RS 3 is actually quite refined when you’re just milling about your regular business.

2022 Audi RS 3 Sportback interior central screen CarBuyer Singapore

Make no mistake though, the RS 3 can still rip your face off (and your licence to shreds), thanks to its 2.5-litre five-pot turbo that puts out a hefty 400hp and 500Nm of torque. 0-100km/h comes up in a mind-bending 3.8 seconds, which is enough to put some pesky Teslas in their place. Being turbocharged, it does take a short while for the boost to come on, but when it does, you find yourself essentially drop-kicked forwards at a velocity that will leave your screaming in excitement/agony/fear. It makes a hell of a noise too, with the bassy five-pot soundtrack a true aural delight when at full chat.

2022 Audi RS 3 Sportback exterior rear driving CarBuyer Singapore

But the RS 3 is not just a one trick pony (albeit a hugely impressive trick). Show it a set of bends and the car is fully capable of showing you a good time too. The quattro all-wheel-drive system means there’s plenty of traction, and you’ll find yourself being able to corner at remarkable speed, with seemingly endless amounts of grip. There’s no real opportunity in Singapore to see what the RS 3 can really do though, but we imagine that the Sportback will be an immense ball of fun over, say, some winding Malaysian B-roads.

2022 Audi RS 3 Sportback exterior front CarBuyer Singapore

That’s if you don’t get into trouble in the first place, which could be hard to do given the RS 3’s eye-catching exterior. The test car’s Python Yellow paintwork is certainly attention-grabbing, but the rest of the car does their part too. The massive black front grille is flanked by large air intakes on each side, and the flared wheel arches, which help to accommodate the wider front wheels, tells you in no uncertain terms that this car means business. The rear is more subtle, but there’s a carbon fibre roof spoiler to tell folks you’ve just overtaken that this is no ordinary A3 hatchback.

2022 Audi RS 3 Sportback exterior front CarBuyer Singapore

An unfortunate consequence of the wider track however is that the RS 3 Sportback ends up somewhat annoyingly tricky to park. Inclusive of the door mirrors, the car is 1,984mm wide, which is comparable to some large SUVs, and it means that you’ll often find yourself edging too close to the car parked beside you. The problem is exacerbated somewhat by the wide turning circle of 12 metres (an average car is about 10 metres), which means you end up having to make extra manoeuvres to get in or out of the lot more often than not.

2022 Audi RS 3 Sportback exterior rear CarBuyer Singapore

But that’s just a minor quibble really, as the rest of the RS 3’s package makes it feel like it’s worth the small trouble. The interior manages to offer a right balance of everyday normalcy with enough sporty touches to remind you of the car’s specialness. Highlights include the steering wheel wrapped in Dinamica (a suede-like microfibre material), red design details on the air con vents and seat belts, as well as the bucket seats up front that look the part and cocoons you in snugly as you power on.

2022 Audi RS 3 Sportback interior CarBuyer Singapore

All in, the RS 3 Sportback does feel like a very complete everyday performance car, albeit a rather expensive one at S$363,075 with COE. It perhaps doesn’t have the sort of hysterical drama of the Mercedes-AMG A 45 (its closest current rival on sale right now), but there’s no question that the RS 3 Sportback is fully capable of delivering its own brand of fun. The more impressive achievement though is that the RS 3 Sportback manages to strike a fine balance between a car you can live with every day, and a car that can very well make you quiver in excitement should you choose to unleash the beast.

2022 Audi RS 3 Sportback exterior badge CarBuyer Singapore

Audi RS 3 Sportback

Drivetrain typePetrol 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$363,075 with COE
AvailabilityNow
Verdict Able to switch between everyday hatch and vicious beast at a drop of a hat, the RS 3 Sportback is an insanely entertaining performance machine

Tags:

Audi Audi Sport high performance quattro rs rs3 small hatchback Sportback

About the Author

Ben Chia

CarBuyer's senior staff writer went out to explore the Great Big World, including a stint working in China (despite his limited Mandarin). Now he's back, ready to foist upon you his takes on everything good and wonderful about the automotive world. Follow Ben on Instagram @carbuyer.ben

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