Audi test driving guru, Frank Stippler, has done it again, setting a new record around the Nürburgring Nordschleife, this time in the new Audi RS 3.
4 August, 2021
Officially revealed to the world just weeks ago, the new Audi RS 3 has etched its name in the record books, becoming the fastest compact model around the famed Nürburgring Nordschleife. Long considered the benchmark for high-performance testing, the Nürburgring Nordschleife – affectionately known as the Green Hell – is the acid test for manufacturers, and a fast time around the 20.38 kilometre track is essential for any true high-performance model.
The Audi RS 3 – which is available as a Sportback and Sedan – not only set a fast time, but in the capable hands of Audi Sport development driver, Frank Stippler, smashed the previous class record by a massive 4.64 seconds.
The result was a blindingly fast 7:40.748 minutes, and prior to the record-setting run, Stippler and his development team did nothing more to the RS 3 Sedan than adjust the tyre pressures of the Pirelli P Zero ‘Trofeo R’ semi-slicks to best suit the prevailing track conditions.
“When we started development, we didn’t know just how quickly our compact sportscar would really be on the Nordschleife,” says Technical Project Leader for the RS 3, Marvin Schwätter.
“But over the course of endurance testing, we determined that we could reach very good times and set a new record.”
With its potent combination of high-performance five-cylinder powerplant and the new torque-splitter technology, the RS 3 Sportback and Sedan represent a giant-killing package and lead the compact class in terms of acceleration and top speed. Demolishing the 0 to 100km/h sprint in an extraordinary 3.8 seconds and with a top speed of 290km/h, the RS 3 is not just fast, but occupies the rarified atmosphere of the genuine supercar. Put a driver of Stippler’s pedigree in the driver’s seat on his beloved Nürburgring Nordschleife, and the record is no stretch whatsoever.
“In general, the new RS 3 is much more agile when driving from the middle of the curve to its end and when accelerating out of the curve,” says Frank Stippler, who also set the record for fastest SUV around ‘The Ring’ in the RS Q8 at the end of 2019.
“For me, the torque splitter is a quantum leap in terms of agile driving,” says Stippler of the system that allows the torque to be fully adjusted between the rear wheels – controlled via a multiple disc clutch on each of the drive shafts.
The torque splitter works in concert with the newly developed RS Performance driving mode, which, with its own engine and transmission characteristics, is specially calibrated for the racetrack.
The performance setup is completed by the aforementioned Pirelli P Zero 'Trofeo R’ semi-slick rubber, which are now optional ex factory for the first time, along with the 19 inch ceramic braking system on the front, and the RS sport suspension plus with adaptive damper control. It individually and continuously adjusts each damper to the road conditions, the driving situation, and the mode selected in Audi drive select. RS Performance mode is equipped with two setups for different racetracks – one is adjusted for comfort on even or smooth racetracks, while the other is best suited to uneven tracks like the Nordschleife.
The results speak for themselves with the record run around a track renowned for its off-camber corners, varying surfaces and elevation changes. Indeed, given the sheer length of a Nürburgring Nordschleife lap, drivers often encounter different weather at different parts of the track.
Happily for Frank Stippler and the development team, that was not the case for this record attempt and the RS 3 was right at home on the famous track as it set its blistering time.
The new RS 3 Sedan and Sportback models are due in Australia in 2022. Visit Audi Australia to register your interest and receive updates, specification and pricing ahead of the Australian release.
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