The next generation of the raucous little Audi RS 3 compact sedan is coming for 2022, alongside new versions of the A3 and S3, and it promises even more fun and performance.

The RS 3 has always been a delightful oddball with its turbocharged 5-cylinder engine, and it continues down that path, but now with more power. The 2.5-liter turbo-5 ramps up to 401 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque from 394 and 354, respectively for the last model, and the U.S. version will have slightly more hp than the European model.

The horsepower comes on early at 5,600 rpm, and the additional torque, which hits its peak between 2,250 and 5,600 rpm, aids acceleration at low revs. That power vaults the RS 3 from 0-62 mph in 3.8 seconds and sends it to a top speed of 180 mph when equipped with the optional carbon-ceramic brakes. Other versions top out at 155 and 174 mph.

Power runs to all four wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission with what Audi calls a sportier gear-ratio spread.

The RS Torque Splitter replaces a simple limited-slip differential that lacked the ability to vector torque between the rear wheels. This is a Haldex differential with multi-disc clutches on each rear axle shaft that apportions power between the rear wheels, sending up to 1,290 lb-ft of torque (after torque multiplication from the driveline) to the outside rear wheel. The torque vectoring will surely provide better handling by combating both oversteer and understeer. It also enables Audi to add a new RS Torque Rear mode that allows the RS 3 to drift.

The RS 3 also has RS Performance, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, and RS Individual modes, plus a new Efficiency mode. The modes change the behavior of the torque splitter, engine and transmission, steering assistance, adaptive dampers, and exhaust flaps.

2022 Audi RS 3

2022 Audi RS 3

Audi says the RS Performance mode offers the best track performance and is calibrated for the newly available Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires, which amount to  R-compound semi-slicks.

The stability control also has standard, sport, and off modes. Sport mode automatically accompanies RS Performance mode.

A new modular vehicle dynamics controller captures data about the car's lateral dynamics and coordinates the torque splitter, available adaptive dampers, and torque at individual wheels to help improve the car's agility.

2022 Audi RS 3

2022 Audi RS 3

The RS 3 will offer a choice of suspensions. The standard version will come with new shocks with valves that react quicker on rebound and compression. An RS Sport suspension uses adaptive dampers with comfort, balanced, and sporty damping curves. To add more grip in turns, the suspension now has almost 1 degree of negative camper. Audi modified the pivot bearings for the additional negative camber, and used stiffer bearings, subframes, and stabilizer bars. The rear suspension has separate springs and dampers, and a four-link independent design. The car sits 0.4 inches lower than the forthcoming 306-hp S3, and the front track is 1.3 inches wider while the rear track is 0.4 inches wider.

Audi equips the RS 3 with variable-ratio steering that speeds up as the steering angle increases.

The RS 3 comes standard with 14.8-inch front discs, while the optional carbon-ceramic front discs are 15 inches in diameter. Both use 6-piston calipers and both have better cooling and larger brake pads. The iron brakes get red or black calipers, and carbon-ceramic buyers can choose from gray, red, or blue calipers.

2022 Audi RS 3

2022 Audi RS 3

Audi outfits the RS 3 with 19-inch wheels in a standard 10-spoke design or an available five Y-spoke design. Perhaps the biggest performance upgrade is the optional Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires. These R-compound semi-slicks will be a boon to track driving.

The RS 3 features the design changes from the standard A3, including a body that's longer by about 1.6 inches, a larger grille, and more body sculpting. New vents behind the front wheels look like gills and aid with cooling. The RS 3 also gets LED headlights and taillights, optional matrix LED headlights, and a checkered flag design in the daytime running lights. The checkered flag is part of a start-up and shut-off sequence, and it stays lit while driving.The honeycomb grille is available in gloss or matte black. Buyers can choose any color for their RS 3s as long as they are Kyalami Green or Kemora Gray.

Inside, the RS 3 has Audi's 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit digital gauge cluster with bar graph displays for power and torque. It also has a shift light when the transmission is in manual mode. The shift light can also be shown in the newly optional head-up display. An optional Virtual Cockpit Plus adds performance displays for g forces, lap times, and acceleration runs. The RS 3 also comes with a 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen that can also show additional gauges.

2022 Audi RS 3

2022 Audi RS 3

2022 Audi RS 3

2022 Audi RS 3

2022 Audi RS 3

2022 Audi RS 3

Other features of the RS 3's interior include a carbon-fiber instrument panel, a flat-bottom steering wheel, and diecast zinc shift paddles. The RS sport seats have the RS logo embossed into them. They are nappa leather and come with black, red, and now green honeycomb stitching.

The RS 3 sedan arrives in Europe this August, along with a cool-as-hell Sportback hatchback body style that recalls the BMW M Coupe of the late 1990s/early 2000s. There are no plans to bring the Sportback to the U.S., but the sedan will arrive here next spring. Look for prices closer to launch.

For more on the complete Audi A3 range, read the in-depth reviews at The Car Connection.