Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. This week: the Audi RS3 returns to prove there’s no such thing as too much of a good thing, Porsche updates the Macan so they can print more money, Subaru’s new BRZ is technically cheaper than the old one, Ford Bronco’s hardtop woes continue, and your news for the week.
2022 Audi RS3
On the short list of compacts that kick ass is Audi’s RS3. Turbocharged-five-cylinder power sent to four wheels in a small saloon body is about as close to old school Audi performance as it’s possible to get these days. And from the 2022 model year and on, it’s getting even better. A new generation RS3 delivers more power, improved driving dynamics, and the latest tech features from Audi’s parts bin.
The 2.5-liter TFSI five-cylinder, which they say has won the “International Engine of the Year” award nine years running, has seen enough upgrades to eclipse the 400 horsepower mark for the first time. It makes 401 horsepower and 369 lb.-ft. of torque. They’re not huge increases by the numbers, but engine tuning allows it to kick in much earlier than before and at a wider rev range. The seven-speed dual clutch transmission amplifies that with a shorter gear ratio spread. 0-62 mph occurs in 3.9 seconds which is a few tenths quicker than before.
Along with the usual sport suspension goodness and Quattro, the RS3 debuts a new torque splitter, a first for Audi. It replaces the rear axle differential and the previous multiple disc clutch package on the rear axle with an electronically controlled multiple disc clutch on each of the drive shafts. During moments of #dynamism, this increases the torque to the outer rear wheel to significantly reduce the tendency to understeer. Conveniently, this same tech is used to induce the opposite of understeer. That’s right, the RS3 has a drift mode now. For reasons.
Some of the more noteworthy features are its big ass brakes which can be ceramic as an option, RS3-specific shocks with available active damping, and revised suspension geometry with more camber. Probably the coolest feature though lies within the optional Matrix LED headlights. An extra section of the daytime running lights will display a checkered flag pattern while driving and then flash ‘R-S-3’ when the car is locked or unlocked.
The 2022 Audi RS3 looks aggressive and should have all the performance to back that up. The last car was a fan-favorite for a reason and this new model only builds on that further. US pricing isn’t available yet but it’s quoted at 62,000 European money units for the sedan (US won’t be getting the sportback) and goes on sale basically now. Enjoy these kinds of cars while you still can.
2022 Porsche Macan
Porsche has updated their bestseller because they like printing money. The Macan has been a huge hit with customers who want a Porsche but also want to sit higher in traffic. For 2022 and beyond it’ll look a bit different and have some general improvements across the board.
It sports a new front end with larger and more aggressive integrated cooling air intakes and front trim. At the back is a new black diffuser that has been stretched upwards. Along the side, the side blade trim piece now features a 3D, textured structure element. Lighting elements have been altered as well and there are seven new wheel designs ranging from 19”-21”.
All 2022 Macans will have the latest seven-speed PDK, all-wheel drive, and powertrains that are more powerful than before. The base Macan with its 2.0-liter turbo four now has 261 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque. Step up to the Macan S and its 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 375 horsepower and 383 lb.-ft. – you’ll also get PASM as standard on this model. Porsche has shuffled some things around at the top of the Macan lineup as the GTS is now the top model (pictured in red), replacing the Turbo. It’ll get a modified version of the Turbo’s 2.9-liter tt V6 but with 434 horsepower and 406 lb.-ft. The upgrades don’t end there as it also gets Porsche Surface Coated Brakes, adaptive air suspension with a 10mm drop, increased suspension stiffness for reduced body roll, and recalibrated dampers. You can take that even further with a Sport Package for the GTS.
The interior of the Macan is updated as well. The analogue clock is now standard and the center console has new haptic touch elements so you too can experience what it’s like to have to press the same button twelve times for it to do anything. There’s a larger center infotainment screen which still doesn’t support Android Auto.
The 2022 Macan will arrive early next year with an MSRP of $54,900 plus $1,350 for delivery.
2022 Subaru BRZ pricing revealed
The much-anticipated second-generation Subaru BRZ has had its pricing info revealed and you’ll be happy to know that it’ll still be within the realm of possibility for most people. An MSRP of $27,995 plus $960 or more for delivery means it’s technically cheaper than the outgoing model as Jalopnik points out.
That price is quoted for the BRZ Premium with the six-speed manual transmission. The automatic commands an additional $1,600 on this model. Step up to the BRZ Limited with more comfort and convenience features and MSRP climbs to $30,495 minus destination. Meanwhile, the same exact automatic transmission upgrade which costs $1,600 in the Premium will cost $1,800 for the Limited trim, for some reason.
Weird automatic transmission pricing aside, the BRZ will still offer a great driving experience at a great price. It should be out later this year.
[Source: Subaru, Jalopnik]
The Bronco hardtop curse continues
Some new Bronco owners on BroncoG6 are reporting that their First Edition Broncos with the hardtop are developing some odd issues. Larger than normal panel gaps, sagging headliner, and a “snakeskin” pattern that’s begun to appear on the outer skin of the optional hardtop. The same hardtop that’s caused numerous delays for people who placed orders for them when reservations opened up last year like Kamil… poor guy.
Per Jalopnik, the supplier to blame for basically all of this is Webasto who are well experienced in building tops and other components for brands like Jeep, BMW, and Mazda. They’ve faced issues keeping up with production because of the new shop they set up in Michigan just for the Bronco and all the covid-related delays and issues they’re facing to get it fully up and running. They’re experienced enough to get this sorted, but nobody really knows when that will happen. And these emerging issues certainly aren’t helping their case.
So if you’ve got a hardtop Bronco on order or your name is Kamil… uh, I guess be patient but also happy that you don’t have to deal with this.
What’s your automotive news?
That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so now it’s your turn. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.
Have a good weekend.