Supercar killer: The Audi RS3
The Audi RS3 has been a long-time favourite due to its ability to be both practical for everyday use as well as its uncanny ability to decimate just about everything double its value. Offered in both sedan and sportback guise, the latest RS3 brings a host of new driving technologies while retaining that sublime 2.5-litre in-line 5 cylinder. We spent a day behind the wheel of this new speed machine to see what it is like.
The new RS3 develops 294kW and 500Nm of torque. It will also hit the 100km/h mark from stand still in around 3.8 seconds. So what makes the RS3 so special, apart from its glorious motor?
Well, this 8Y model looks absolutely fantastic- with preference to the sedan. Key highlights include the aggressive front design with striking LED headlights, the large Audi grille and equally as functional air-intakes on either side. The gloss black treatment adds the overall menacing look.
Just behind the front wheels are air-vents which not only add to the bolstered wheel arch design but they allow for air to move from the wheel housing, along the side of the car and out towards the rear. The RS3 has a wide stance, when viewed from the front one will notice a negative wheel camber which improves grip-levels on the racetrack. The rear of the car is equally as wide with an imposing rear bumper which houses the iconic RS oval exhaust pipes. We think the RS3 looks absolutely divine and it is available in a wide variety of colours to suit its obnoxious character.
The interior continues the theme of sportiness. The standard equipped 12.3-inch Audi virtual cockpit plus displays the revolutions per minute in the “RS Runway” design. The 10.1-inch touch display in the instrument panel also displays the coolant, engine, and transmission oil temperatures, as well as the g-forces and, optionally, the pressure of the tyres. The infotainment system is pretty much standard Audi and supports Wireless Apple CarPaly. Truth be told, we didn't fiddle with the system all that much because this car demands your attention at all times.
The expressive look is further enhanced by the carbon-fibre trim in the instrument panel and RS sport seats with RS embossing and anthracite contrast stitching. The seat upholstery is optionally available in fine Nappa leather with RS honeycomb stitching and glossy black, red, or, for the first time, green contrast stitching.
The RS3 now offers 7 driving modes which include the standard 4 plus three new modes. The RS torque splitter, installed for the first time in an Audi, makes the driving experience even more exhilarating and provides a dynamic balance. It replaces the previous rear axle differential with an upstream multiple disc clutch package.
An electronically controlled multiple disc clutch is used on each of the drive shafts that distributes torque between the rear wheels in a fully variable manner. This results in even greater stability and agility. During dynamic driving, the torque splitter increases torque delivered to the outer rear wheel with the higher wheel load, which significantly reduces the tendency to understeer.
Another new addition is the RS Torque Rear mode, which makes drifting possible. It is designed for use on closed roads. In this mode, the torque splitter induces considerable oversteer by transferring all of the rearward drive torque to the wheel on the outside of the curve a.k.a Drift Mode…in an Audi.
The RS3 offers a different driving experience to that of other Audis. It feels more agile, more hardcore, more special. You can attack corners with confidence and the front 375 x 36mm perforated disks combined with the now 310 x 22mm rears do a fine job in slowing you down. There is, for the first time on RS3 a carbon ceramic option.
All-in-all, we can bang on about this car all day. Fact of the matter is that this RS3 lapped the infamous Nurburgring in 7:40.748, the original 1000hp Bugatti Veyron did it in that time as well. That speaks for itself, it also explains the price…