The Audi RS3 has claimed a Nurburgring lap record for the compact class.
Times are all unofficially measured by manufacturers, but the German firm is claiming a time of seven minutes and 40.748 seconds.
The lap time was set by Frank Stippler, a racing and development driver for Audi, beating the previous record by almost five seconds.
Say hello to the all-new Audi RS 3. Powered by our infamous 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine it develops 400ps and 500Nm of torque – making it possible to hit 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds and a top speed of up to 180mph. Full details and images: https://t.co/YcJSxwaZAN pic.twitter.com/kdsvrzSxnw
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Under the bonnet of the new RS3 sits a 394bhp five-cylinder engine that results in a 0-60mph time of 3.6 seconds and a 180mph top speed.
The firm says the key update that contributed to the lap record was the torque splitter, which can distribute power between the rear wheels individually. In corners, it distributes power to the wheel on the outside with the most grip, improving cornering performance.
Coupled with the new performance driving mode, which has unique engine and transmission characteristics optimised for track driving, Stippler says the difference between the new car and the previous generation is ‘a quantum leap in terms of agile driving’.
Marvin Schwätter, Audi RS 3 technical project leader, said: “I’m proud of the whole team. Everyone worked hard for this day.
“When we started development, we didn’t know just how quickly our compact sports car 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.”
The car is the same as the one that customers can buy, but an important upgrade is the Pirelli P Zero ‘Trofeo R’ tyres, which are an optional extra. Other equipment includes ceramic brakes in the front and adaptive suspension.
The Audi RS3 is available in the UK from mid-August, with prices starting at £50,900 for the Sportback and £51,900 for the saloon.