Audi’s marketing department has certainly got something right with the RS 3, as quite unbelievably everywhere I went in this white RS most people seemed to know more about it, than I did; its power output, cost, engine etc. Neighbours came out to have a look around it, there were gatherings by the side of it at the supermarket and a couple were spotted peering through the window while it was parked at Manchester Airport car park.Not only does the RS 3 look great, it drives great with its high powered engine and road holding Quattro four-wheel-drive system. It is so planted to the road and I mean sticks to it like glue; it’s like it’s using Velcro and all the other sayings connected with great handling.
I took the RS 3 over the moors on the A635 between Yorkshire and Lancashire, on the way to the airport. This stretch of road is very twisty and has some interesting cambers on the corners. The car behaved perfectly well and took everything beneath its feet with ease.
The brakes are very much up to the job of stopping this hot hatch too, the huge discs ensure that it will stop safely in no distance at all.
The RS 3 is powered by a 2.5 litre in-line 5 cylinder TFSI engine that produces a whopping 367ps. It accelerates from 0 to 62mph in just 4.3 seconds and it has a restricted top speed of 155mph, it has a true top speed of 174mph, that’s if you could ever find somewhere to legally travel at that speed.
When you start the RS 3 it has a very distinctive exhaust note. I had an Aston Martin Vanquish recently, that too made a fantastic noise on start-up and the RS 3 is almost as noisy, probably to the detriment of your relationship with your neighbours if you leave home early in the morning. Somebody who lives close by actually came round to my house to “have a look at the Aston” as he put it; he genuinely thought I had a supercar on the drive.
When you’re out on the road and the automatic gearbox changes up or down, the exhaust crackles and pops and makes a gorgeous sound, a real head-turner.
The official Combined fuel consumption figure is 34 mpg, but during the time we had it, (which equates to around 28 hours of driving) it averaged 23.6mpg. On one journey which was mainly on the motorway it went up to 34.6mpg although, this was driving it very sensibly and keeping well within the speed limit. The speed limits would have been so easy to exceed, you have to be so careful in this type of car or else you could end up in a lot of trouble!
The beauty of this high-powered sports hatch is the simple fact it is so good and so surefooted that you feel extra safe in it. If you drive a high-powered super car, then you feel a bit nervous about the rear stepping out around some corners, with the RS 3 you just know it will remain precisely where you want it to be on the road. The steering is so precise, it goes exactly where you point it. It feels so solid and despite its sports suspension, it is fairly comfortable. The seats hug you and keep you well and truly in place.
All this power does come at a fairly hefty price; the basic retail is £38,820.00 however, add on a few nice options such as the ones fitted to the car we had: 19 inch 5 arm rotor alloy wheels, red brake callipers, fine nappa leather with supersports seats, dynamic pack plus, technology pack with telephone preparation and you can soon get the price to over £51,000. You must not forget annual VED is £490. So the Audi RS 3 is a very quick and safe car, but does come at price.
The RS 3 sounds like a supercar, performs like a supercar, handles like a supercar but is around half the price of a supercar… you really can call it a super-car.
|Engines||Petrol 2.5 367 PS|
|Gearboxes||7 Speed S Tronic|
Options & Features:
|Brake calipers in red – £325 Option|
|Audi magnetic ride – £995 Option|
|High performance braking system – Standard|
|Audi drive select – Standard – 3 Driving style modes to pick from|
|Bang + Olufsen advanced sound system - £750 Option|