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    Audi RS3

    Drove a RS3 (latest version with 400 hp) yesterday and would like to share some impressions:

    1. Engine feels very powerful but throttle/turbo response is the tradition of old school "meh, then boom" turbo cars. Probably a very nice Autobahn car but when you start off from standstill, there is around a second(!) of lag and then the turbo kicks quite violently. Not my cup of tea if I'm honest, especially since I have a comparison with my R8.

    2. Exhaust sound with sport exhaust is quite nice for such a small car, it is not spectacular and very loud but pretty noticeable (people turn heads when I approach) but mostly in Dynamic driving mode (sport exhaust). The sound is also very special, not as boring as a farting 4-cyl. and not as unspectacular as a V6 Biturbo, so quite good for such a car. It reminds me a little bit of the V10 sound of my R8 but less loud, not that trumpet-like and with a bit of rougher tone.

    3. Steering feel is fantastic for such a car, I really like it, very direct and sporty (in Dynamic mode).

    4. Chassis setup feels sporty but also a bit "bumpy" in Dynamic mode.

    5. Quality look and feel is OK, not even close to my R8 though. Virtual cockpit is a nice touch on this car, so is the Alcantara steering wheel (I like it a lot) but overall, quality is good but nothing special in this class. The controls already look a bit outdated I have to admit.

    6. Brakes are great but I haven't driven the car on the track, so I can't say how good they are under heavy load.

    7. AWD can fully cope with the power, very good setup (even in Dynamic mode, the behavior is pretty neutral).

    Overall, an interesting offer for the money (lease would be around 700 EUR incl. VAT per month, no down payment, 3 years, 10k km per year) and there are some nice slightly used dealer cars available for around 60k and less, so not bad. For someone who is looking for a small(er) and powerful daily commuter with AWD, this car is perfect.


    --

    RC (Germany) - Rennteam Editor Porsche 991 Carrera 4 GTS Cabriolet (2015), Porsche Cayenne S Diesel (2017), Audi R8 V10 Plus (2016), Mini JCW (2015)


    Re: Audi RS3

    Interesting analysis of the RS3 PI.  A couple of months ago, I had the opportunity to drive the new TT RS and the R8 plus at the Autobahn Country Club near Joliet-a small city near Chicago, Illinois, as a guest of Audi Sport.  I came away rather impressed with the TT RS and am placing an order for one based on its track performance.  I drove on the south circuit at Autobahn which is more technical than the north track with a number turns and a handful of short straights.  The TT RS more than held its own against the R8 on this course; however, on the straight sections the R8, as expected, did perform better than the TT RS.  

    In some ways I was a bit disappointed in the R8 that I drove on track.  Firstly, this car was incredibly loud, dominating the sound ways over the TT RS, which is no slouch in the noise department either.  My biggest complaint, and it seems more apparent on this particular example than mine, was a harmonic buffering across the lower side windows.  The few adjustments, such as partially raising the windows, did little to quell the vibrations. which was even more vocal than that exhaust.  

    From a practicality standpoint, the TT RS is unrivaled and it is a better city DD than a 911 or even that RS3 you drove, albeit for only two passengers.  What's great about the car is that it supremely quick, handles well, is luxurious, and practical,  Most on the streets remain oblivious to it; the same cannot be said about the R8.  While its track prowess will degrade at the limit, it is more than a 90% match of the R8 at half the price of admission.  It is also much closer to the 911 than many here will be willing to admit.

     


    Re: Audi RS3

    Many thanks for the review RC! Must admit if I was to ever give up my Boxster GTS for something a bit more practical the RS3 would be on the short list - SWMBO lives the normal A3 and I like the idea of that interesting engine. My one concern would be the ride quality which historically is always very hard on sporty Audi’s, that would kill it for me - or at least The Boss as with her hip and back issues it would be intolerable for her.


    --

    Porsche Boxster GTS Carrara white / Volvo V40 D4 R Design daily drive


    Re: Audi RS3

    CGX car nut:

    Interesting analysis of the RS3 PI.  A couple of months ago, I had the opportunity to drive the new TT RS and the R8 plus at the Autobahn Country Club near Joliet-a small city near Chicago, Illinois, as a guest of Audi Sport.  I came away rather impressed with the TT RS and am placing an order for one based on its track performance.  I drove on the south circuit at Autobahn which is more technical than the north track with a number turns and a handful of short straights.  The TT RS more than held its own against the R8 on this course; however, on the straight sections the R8, as expected, did perform better than the TT RS.  

    There is no way a TT RS could keep up with a R8 on the track (I have experience) but I think thats a different story. It always comes down to the tires and of course driver skills. The TT RS also seems to have some breaking issues after hard tracking, Audi Sport is currently working out what the problem is.

    In some ways I was a bit disappointed in the R8 that I drove on track.  Firstly, this car was incredibly loud, dominating the sound ways over the TT RS, which is no slouch in the noise department either.  My biggest complaint, and it seems more apparent on this particular example than mine, was a harmonic buffering across the lower side windows.  The few adjustments, such as partially raising the windows, did little to quell the vibrations. which was even more vocal than that exhaust.  

    Yes, the R8 is loud. The buffering is a well known issue and it may be related to the glass engine cover. I never had it until last summer when it seems to have appeared suddenly under great heat (outside temp was around 40°C, engine was pretty heated up after a fast Autobahn run). Not really an issue for me since I usually don't drive faster than 120 kph with the windows down and that buffering appears usually at 120 kph and higher speeds. Could be probably fixed if I cared about it (dealer said they could adjust the engine cover with more pressure) but I don't really care because I don't encounter this issue often.

    From a practicality standpoint, the TT RS is unrivaled and it is a better city DD than a 911 or even that RS3 you drove, albeit for only two passengers.  What's great about the car is that it supremely quick, handles well, is luxurious, and practical,  Most on the streets remain oblivious to it; the same cannot be said about the R8.  While its track prowess will degrade at the limit, it is more than a 90% match of the R8 at half the price of admission.  It is also much closer to the 911 than many here will be willing to admit.

    Trust me, you can do stuff with the R8 you cannot do with the TT RS and that turbo lag is the most annoying thing. Straight line performance is of course impressive for such a small car (TT RS) but even there, when the TT RS start to spool up and offer boost, I am already gone 50 meters when the TT RS actually starts moving from standstill. Smiley The R8 throttle response is just amazing, especially in Dynamic or Performance mode.

    Anyhow, from a performance/value point of view, the TT RS is really unbeatable for it's price. My dealer offers a TT RS for around 800 EUR a month (incl. VAT), no down payment. This is quite affordable for a car in this performance class. I have to admit however that I would be more intrigued by the RS3 sedan because it is more stealth and even cheaper (around 700 EUR per month).

     


    --

     

    RC (Germany) - Rennteam Editor Porsche 991 Carrera 4 GTS Cabriolet (2015), Porsche Cayenne S Diesel (2017), Audi R8 V10 Plus (2016), Mini JCW (2015)

     


    Re: Audi RS3

    Why are $75k cars compared to a $200k car? Sorry but no one will be cross shopping these... And for close to triple the price, the R8 better be on a whole other planet of performances.


    Re: Audi RS3

    RC:

    Drove a RS3 (latest version with 400 hp) yesterday and would like to share some impressions:

    1. Engine feels very powerful but throttle/turbo response is the tradition of old school "meh, then boom" turbo cars. Probably a very nice Autobahn car but when you start off from standstill, there is around a second(!) of lag and then the turbo kicks quite violently. Not my cup of tea if I'm honest, especially since I have a comparison with my R8.

    2. Exhaust sound with sport exhaust is quite nice for such a small car, it is not spectacular and very loud but pretty noticeable (people turn heads when I approach) but mostly in Dynamic driving mode (sport exhaust). The sound is also very special, not as boring as a farting 4-cyl. and not as unspectacular as a V6 Biturbo, so quite good for such a car. It reminds me a little bit of the V10 sound of my R8 but less loud, not that trumpet-like and with a bit of rougher tone.

    3. Steering feel is fantastic for such a car, I really like it, very direct and sporty (in Dynamic mode).

    4. Chassis setup feels sporty but also a bit "bumpy" in Dynamic mode.

    5. Quality look and feel is OK, not even close to my R8 though. Virtual cockpit is a nice touch on this car, so is the Alcantara steering wheel (I like it a lot) but overall, quality is good but nothing special in this class. The controls already look a bit outdated I have to admit.

    6. Brakes are great but I haven't driven the car on the track, so I can't say how good they are under heavy load.


    Thanks for your input, RC. Very interesting to hear your opinion, I was also strongly contemplating to get a RS3 sedan. I have only driven my friend´s pre-facelift RS3 Sportback and the engine and its sound would be reason alone to buy this car. Have to say that I found the power delivery, once the boost has built up, to be a bit too linear for my taste. I personally don't mind if a turbocharged car feels like a turbocharged car, I still think that is more honest than pretending the car is naturally aspirated when it just is not.

    Other than that, I agree with your findings. In the end, it is still an A3 in size and market position, I just can't see myself driving 280 kph regularly with such a car. Since the lady prefers to drive her Mini, I am bound to the family car which would be an A4 or A6 and not necessarily this car. As a third car, on the other hand, there are more dedicated sportswears available. Even for less money.

    Regarding the virtual cockpit, I am a huge fan but don't find all the graphical layouts to be entirely convincing. On top of that, on the A3 the display on the instrument panel is far simpler and with lower resolution than the virtual cockpit. Looks a bit odd...

    Nonetheless, still tempted by the car but not sure what to use it for. Other than listening to the sound... Smiley


    Re: Audi RS3

    SciFrog:

    Why are $75k cars compared to a $200k car? Sorry but no one will be cross shopping these... And for close to triple the price, the R8 better be on a whole other planet of performances.

     Really just no one other that Audi Sport and Stephan Reil.  From the following interview this Spring in Road & Track magazine: http://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/first-drives/a33286/2018-audi-tt-rs-first-drive/ 

    I ask Reil what he sees as the TT RS's raison d'être. "It is light, powerful, and understated. Super sports cars have a 'look at me!' image. Here you have a toy that performs in the same league, but it's underestimated because it's a compact. It's unbelievably fast on a racetrack. On the Nordschleife, in the hands of a pro driver, the R8 V10 Plus is 15 seconds faster. But with just a good driver, he'll be faster in the TT because of the accessibility of performance."

    Additionally, the driver instructors hired by Audi Sport at Autobahn were similarly surprised by the potency of the TT RS compared with the R8 and these drivers have spent vastly more time driving both cars than many posters here.


    Re: Audi RS3

    Nice for the RS3, that said still few will cross shop these two cars...


    Re: Audi RS3

    SciFrog:

    Why are $75k cars compared to a $200k car? Sorry but no one will be cross shopping these... And for close to triple the price, the R8 better be on a whole other planet of performances.

    Maybe because the TT RS really offers a good value for the money, same goes for the RS3? Smiley


    --

    RC (Germany) - Rennteam Editor Porsche 991 Carrera 4 GTS Cabriolet (2015), Porsche Cayenne S Diesel (2017), Audi R8 V10 Plus (2016), Mini JCW (2015)


     
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