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2017 Audi RS 3 First Test: Power and Prejudice

We’ve praised the Audi A3’s driving dynamics, but one thing we have struggled to embrace is its stubby proportions and muted styling. The sedan looks much the same in RS 3 form, just tacking on a sportier grille and new side sills, diffuser, and exhaust tips almost as part of a costume.

The diminutive sedan makes an unlikely Mufasa. You’d never guess it had such a commanding roar until you turn on the ignition. Although maybe not as throaty as the engine in the Jaguar F-Type R, the RS 3’s powerplant is at least worthy of being discussed in the same sentence. Because the engine note, particularly when paired with the optional sport exhaust, might be the most enticing part of the car. From its 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine, the RS 3 produces 400 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque.

How did it perform in our battery of tests? The red rocket hit 60 mph from a standstill in just 3.6 seconds, significantly better than the 2015 A3 2.0T, the quickest new A3 we’ve ever tested with a time of 5.4 seconds, as well as our long-term S3 at 4.4 seconds. The RS 3’s key competitor, the 2017 BMW M2, managed the run in 4.2 seconds—although to be fair, it only packs 365 hp.

A 2016 Ford Mustang GT, with 35 more hp than the Audi, made its mark in 4.6 seconds. If we continue to reach for comparable models, we’ll notice the V-6-powered Jaguar F-Type S set a time of 4.3 seconds.

In the sector mile, the RS three recorded a time of 12.1 seconds at 112.Nine mph. That?S ahead of the M2, which completed the assignment in 12.9 seconds at 107.1 mph. The RS three managed 24.4 seconds at an average of 0.Eighty two g inside the parent 8, this time bested by using the M2?S 23.9 seconds at a median of 0.83 g.

Not most effective did the RS three carry out nicely in our acceleration and dealing with tests, however the car additionally proved quite plausible on a every day basis, even whilst you maintain it in Dynamic mode maximum of the time, which we did. Although stiff, the suspension feels composed and handles street imperfections with tact, unlike a few different organization vehicles that sense brittle over harsh surfaces. At slight to excessive speeds, street noise penetrates the cabin, however wind noise barely makes an affect.

Braking became the most hard thing to get used to inside the RS 3. The carbon-ceramic brakes reply sharply when you press the pedal, even though as road take a look at editor Chris Walton talked about, that chunk trails off as the car slows down. Still, the RS 3 was capable of brake from 60 mph to a standstill in a first rate 109 ft.

The maximum mature version in the A3 circle of relatives, the RS three exhibits a confident ride and unique guidance that contrasts with the particularly-shaky and indistinct S3. The interior additionally stands other than the rest of the road, from the tender Alcantara at the guidance wheel to the usual Nappa leather recreation seats with diamond sewing. Those are our favourite components of the interior, at the side of Audi?S elective 12.Three-inch digital cockpit digital device cluster that presentations splendid maps proper in the front of the driver. Perhaps our least preferred component is the tight back seat, although we didn?T expect some thing exclusive on a vehicle this length.

As there need to be for $fifty four,500, there are an excellent quantity of preferred features which includes the leather seats, heated the front seats, panoramic sunroof, LED headlights, a parking assist machine, and heated mirrors. Other goodies?Including the ceramic brakes, the aforementioned game exhaust gadget and Virtual cockpit, an RS constant game suspension, and lane trade help and rear pass-traffic help that alert drivers of forthcoming boundaries?Are non-obligatory. Unfortunately, there?S no head-up show to be had. All in all, our model rang in at $66,775.

We suspect most purchasers looking for a subcompact sedan will find their fit with the already-peppy A3. But the RS three passed my expectancies and proved both a stealthy launch missile and a polished road automobile. That?S awesome considering that it stocks bones with an access-stage sedan.

The post 2017 Audi RS 3 First Test: Power and Prejudice appeared first on Motor Trend.

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