In the recent decades, Audi has established itself as a household name both in motorsports and on the luxury car market, where it blends trackside know-how with straightforward design and low-key luxury to create some of the safest and most engaging cars money can buy.
Audi’s performance division Audi Sport grew accordingly, offering instant icons across all market segments. Nowadays, RS cars span from SUVs of all sizes to more traditional compact sedans, coupés, supercars and even all-electric models. What unites them all is that they have pure performance DNA and are often surprisingly utilitarian. After all, Audi Sport built its fame on blisteringly fast wagons before expanding the RS family to other cars within the range.
We’re taking a peek at what Audi Sport offers on the North American market, and which cars wearing the RS badge sport the most impressive numbers. So, without further ado, these are five fastest 2022 Audi sports cars on the market.
#1: Audi RS e-Tron GT – 3.1s
When it comes to sprinting, nothing beats electric in Audi’s portfolio, as this zero emission sports sedan offers astounding figures thanks to its dual synchronous electric motors powering each axle independently. With a maximum output of 637 horsepower in boost mode and 612 lb-ft of instantly available torque, the e-Tron GT RS can go from a standstill to 60 in 3.1 seconds and all the way to the electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.
In RS trim especially, the Audi e-Tron GT is a technological tour de force showcasing the true capabilities of electric sports cars. In addition to straight line sprinting, the RS e-Tron GT was hailed for acting like a traditional petrol-burning sporty grand tourer, in part thanks to features like e-torque vectoring plus, unique quattro system, rear wheel steering, optional RS-specific carbon fiber roof, and optional ceramic brakes.
Starting from $142,400, the Audi RS e-Tron is also one of the costliest RS cars, and since electrics are still not everyone’s first choice for a performance car, let’s explore some other fast 2022 Audis.
#2: Audi R8 V10 Quattro – 3.1s
The third generation Audi R8 comes in two distinct trims, both powered by a 5.2-liter V10 and each offering a unique driving experience. The entry-level $148,700 Audi R8 performance RWD model has a naturally-aspirated V10 producing 562 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque, and it caters to customers who prefer a contemporary take on the traditional mid-engined, supercar layout. With the 0-60 mph acceleration of 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 204 mph, this R8 is an impressive car, but then there’s the other one.
For a starting price of $199,800, the 2022 Audi R8 V10 quattro boasts a power bump to 602 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque, also employing the front axle. In addition to contributing to greater overall performance, this set of upgrades shortens the 0-60 mph sprint to 3.1s, while the top speed is 205 mph.
Since its inception onwards, the R8 has been holding a singular position in the supercar world, delivering incredible performance when needed, all while offering refinement in regular driving conditions. Although it now looks sharper and more aggressive than its predecessors, the R8 still possesses a big dose of understated elegance, elevating it from the competition in this highly competitive market segment.
#3: Audi RS6 Avant – 3.5s
Audi’s signature power wagon finally got to the United States in 2021, and for a starting price of $116,500, it is one of the most versatile sports cars on the North American market, combining supercar-grade performance with a utilitarian, family friendly longroof body style. Still, despite being a family hauler, the 2022 Audi RS6 is far from inconspicuous, as its looks are clearly there to reflect its capabilities.
Thoroughly redesigned and fitted with a mean-looking RS7 fascia to further differentiate it from the regular Audi A6 Avant, the RS6 packs a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 pushing 591 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque, sent to both axles via 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission.
An abundance of power, a quick-shifting gearbox, and quattro all-wheel drive all translate to impressive numbers, as the RS6 sprints from a standstill to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. For an additional $8,500, you can add ceramic brakes and an optional package which also lifts the electronic limit, unlocking the RS6’s actual 190 mph top speed.
Besides these stats, the RS6 is more than just a straight line sprinter, with systems like rear wheel steering and torque vectoring greatly improving its cornering abilities on winding back roads and demanding tracks (preferably).
#4: Audi RS3 – 3.6s
The RS3 might be Audi’s entry-level RS car, but this little rascal is nothing short of amazing. Historically, the North American market missed out on some iconic A3 series cars, yet Audi more than made up for it by continuing to offer the range-topper for the new generation too. That being said, the all-new spritey 2022 Audi RS3 is here from $58,900 (albeit only in sedan form again).
What makes the Audi RS3 particularly captivating is that it still sports a turbocharged inline-five engine. Once a trademark Audi Sport powerhouse, this idiosyncratic engine has been reimagined for the 21st century and offers phenomenal performance paired with a distinctive soundtrack harkening back to the iconic Sport Quattro and RS2.
In the RS3, the 2.5-liter five-cylinder produces 401 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque distributed between both axles via a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission. The power is good for a 0-60 time in 3.6 seconds and a top speed of either 155 mph or 180 mph. The RS3 recorded a rather spectacular 7:40.748 Nürburgring lap, setting a record in its class and proving that its straight line abilities are just a tiny fraction of its full potential.
#5: Audi TT RS – 3.6s
Sporting the same basic layout as the RS3, but in a dynamic two-door two-plus-two-seater package, the Audi TT RS is one seriously fast coupé. At a hefty price of $73,200, the TT RS actually brings a lot to the table, courtesy of its lightweight construction, compact dimensions and Audi Sport wizardry that went into turning the TT into an RS model.
In the TT RS, the same turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder is detuned compared to the RS3, as it’s good for 394 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque, yet the 0-60 mph launch takes the same 3.6 seconds while the top speed is 155.
In addition to being one of the top 5 fastest 2022 Audis, the TTRS is also among the most collectible ones. Celebrating the brand’s rich sports heritage and inline five’s role in creating it, Audi launched a very special Heritage Edition, limited to 50 examples nationwide, ten in each of five colorways inspired by the Sport Quattro.
The special edition brings only cosmetic upgrades and also waves goodbye to the TT RS on the North American market. That being the case, 2022 might be the last chance to get the TT RS in North America—if not forever, then at least for now.