Audi RS3 the fastest compact car on the Nordschleife – 7:40.748, beats W177 Merc-AMG A45S by 8 seconds!

It’s official – the Audi RS3 Sedan is the quickest compact car on the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Audi Sport racing and development driver Frank Stippler hit the track earlier in June, setting a time of 7 minutes 40.748 seconds, beating the previous lap record by 4.64 seconds.

Just to give you an idea, the RS3 Sedan is quicker than the Audi RS Q8, BMW M2 CS, Mercedes-AMG C 63 AMG S Coupe, Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, and BMW M3 GTS. Its rival, the W177 Merc-AMG A 45 S 4Matic+, had set a time of 7 minutes 48.80 seconds – a full eight seconds behind.

Key to its performance, Stippler said, is the torque splitter technology. The latest RS3 is the first Audi model to be fitted with the system, allowing torque to be distributed (fully adjustable) between the rear wheels. During dynamic driving, it increases the drive torque to the outer rear wheel with the higher wheel load. For example, on right turns, there is more torque on the left rear wheel, and the opposite happens on left turns. This enables the RS3 to turn into the curve and follow the steering angle more precisely.

“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,” said Stippler. He also added that “the torque splitter is a quantum leap in terms of agile driving.”

Regarding the setup, the record-setting RS3 was fitted with Pirello P Zero Trofeo R semi-slick tyres, which are now available for customers to specify for the first time. It’s also equipped with 19-inch ceramic braking system up front, and RS sport suspension plus with adaptive dampers.

Stippler made full use of the RS Performance driving mode, which Audi said is specially calibrated for the racetrack. There are two main setups – one is adjusted for comfort, designed to tackle uneven tracks like the Nordschleife, and the other is a sporty setup for even racetracks like the Hockenheimring.

Audi RS3 technical project leader, Marvin Schwatter said: “I’m so proud of the whole team. Everyone worked hard for this day. When we started development, we didn’t know just how quickly our compact sportscar would really be on the Nordschleife. But over the course of endurance testing, we determined that we could reach very good times and set a new record.”

In case you missed the debut story, the RS3 – available as a hatchback or sedan – is powered by a 2.5 litre inline-five TFSI engine that produces 400 PS and 500 Nm of torque. Power is sent to all four corners (quattro) via a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission, allowing the car to do the century sprint in 3.8 seconds, or 0.3 seconds quicker than their predecessors. Top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h, or optionally raised to a maximum of 290 km/h.

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