It follows in the footsteps of the successful first-generation RS3 LMS.
The Audi RS3 is a cracking small performance sedan that brings the hallowed RS badge within reach of a wider audience. With its 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbocharged engine producing 394 horsepower, it makes an unmistakable sound and can reach 60 mph in below four seconds.
The previous RS3 spawned a racing version of the same car known as the RS3 LMS. Now, Audi has announced the world premiere of the new Audi RS3 LMS customer racing car. With dramatic looks, a new chassis, and improved safety components, this entry-level touring car will take over from its hugely successful predecessor and represents a more accessible racer than the insane Audi R8 LMS GT4.
The first-generation Audi RS3 LMS made 3,105 appearances in 1,051 races around the world. It achieved 764 podium places in regions like Africa, Australia, and North America, while registering no less than 279 victories. In 2018, it was named the TCR Model of the Year.
With such a strong foundation, the new RS3 LMS was always going to be something special. It looks ultra-aggressive thanks to a big rear wing and Audi Sport livery. It uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 340 horsepower that goes to the front axle; like the previous LMS, the road-going RS3 is significantly more powerful.
A new six-speed sequential transmission with pneumatic actuation is said to be especially robust, and it can be controlled via paddles on the steering wheel. The uprated suspension includes a front McPherson design that allows for faster alterations to the kinematics than before.
At the back, the four-link rear axle gets standard track rods that improve agility on turn-in. Audi says that the stabilizers now have a quick-release fastener so can be replaced more easily than before. Audi has paid special attention to safety standards with the latest LMS. The driver gets a six-point safety belt in addition to a roll cage containing steel tubes.
Elsewhere in the cockpit, there is a center console with 12 unique functions that allow for quick access to features like the lights and the available windshield heating. Another feature you won't find in a road-going RS3 is a mechanically-adjustable pedal box to more easily accommodate drivers of different heights.
"Whether it's about running times or setup options, safety or cockpit ergonomics: we want to offer the teams a car that's even more of a race car than before," said Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. The new RS3 LMS will be put through a testing season before going into production. It will be available for customers at the end of this year.