Audi’s RS 3 breaks compact class lap record during development on Nordschleife

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With a time of 7:40.748 minutes, the new Audi RS 3 Sedan has become the current fastest compact model around the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Audi Sport says that in June, its racing and development driver Frank Stippler beat the previous lap record in that class by 4.64 seconds.

“I’m proud of the whole team. Everyone worked hard for this day,” said Audi RS 3 technical project leader Marvin Schwätter. “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.”

Before the record-setting lap, the team only adjusted the tire pressure of the Pirelli P Zero ‘Trofeo R’ semi-slicks to suit the track conditions. “We don’t have unlimited opportunities to try for a record like this,” said Stippler. “That’s why a little is always necessary on the day when it matters – particularly with respect to tire pressure, because that also affects how the torque splitter functions. We succeeded. It was a triumphant day all around.”

Audi is claiming that its new, active rear differential, is the key to the car’s pace. It distributes torque between the rear wheels – controlled via a multiple disc clutch on each of the drive shafts.

“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,” said Stippler.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he oversees Automotive Powertrain Technology International and Professional Motorsport World magazines as editor.

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