A New RS3 is in Town : Tom's Opinion
Have Audi have made the best new rocket for the pocket?
There has been a long-awaited disruption in the realms of the hyper-hatch. A new generation of an old challenger has dropped onto the scene, with a funky camouflage and 4 rings. The new Audi RS3 is a highly anticipated car that has a lot to live up to. Firstly, is the old adage that you are your greatest competitor, so this new RS3 will be compared to its former self, the 8V generation. This new car will keep the heavenly 2.5L inline 5 and come as both a saloon and a hatchback, like the previous generation. On top of a risk of self-criticism, it will also be subject to a ruthless game of trumps with three-pointed star and their hyper-hatch. So, let the game begin.
I’ll begin with the tricky subject of looks. Yes, I know the new RS3 has yet to properly be revealed, but since the human brain can roughly see past a bit of black and red, I believe we can sort of comment on the exterior. It’ll be looking very similar to the S3 but a bit more enraged and their usual of two oval exhausts for the RS model, compared to four circular ones for an S model. In my opinion, the Audi has the AMG beat in aesthetic terms. Even though the 8Y generation of A3/S3/RS3 is a bit unusual on the eye for me, it is definitely growing on me. I do like the sharp, angular lights, with their little geometric intricacies and I'm also partial to an extensive grill. On the other hand, I’m generally not a big fan of the droopy face of the A45S. However, as I am writing this, there are spied images of a possible face-lifted version, which may improve upon the looks. Moving onto interior looks, there is a very strong case for both. They share the brushed metals, soft leather and expensive materials, as well as both having impressive infotainment systems with big vivid displays. This really is a close call, and I simply cannot choose, since I will certainly have a different view after I finish this sentence. I did.
Now, everyone’s favourite bit. The part with all the numbers and stuff. Let’s jump straight in by saying that the new RS3 is down on power by 20 horsepower. Not a huge amount there, since it’s 421 to 401, nothing to really shake a stick at. I guess there is a hint of bragging rights there, but that’s where it ends. An extension to these numbers is the torque figure, which they share at 369 lb-ft (500 Nm). However, this creates a question mark for our next figures, being top speed and 0-60 times. The dash to 60mph is very similar with the RS3 and A45S achieved a time of 3.8 and 3.9 respectively, which is a minute difference and that would be expected from the similar power. Although, there is a bit of a jump when we get to the top speed with the two German hyper-hatches getting up to 168 mph for the Merc and 180 for the Audi which is quite a considerable gulf.
I will now move on to my slight issue with this new innovation from Ingolstadt. There seems to be a trend in the formula of creating a new, fast hatchback. This equation comprises of a lot of power and torque, all four wheels receiving said power, a dual-clutch gearbox and some flashy technology inside and out. The value that results from the calculation is often a lot of people playing a game of trumps like I just have, which is all well and good, since us car nerds love a nice collection of facts and figures. However, I am going replicate the usual whine that us enthusiasts have, being a lack of a manual gearbox option. Note the word “option”, since I can also admire a rapid gear change. I am not screaming for all. Ars to have a manual gearbox, rather just politely asking that we are given the choice. A lot of my spare time consists of scrolling through AutoTrader, looking at things I can’t afford. Whilst browsing, I have found fondness for Audi’s performance hatchbacks, especially the 8V generation. This appetite has caused me to prefer the S3 to the RS3, purely because of the transmission. I would sacrifice that orgasmic 2.5L 5-cylinder engine for a bit of involvement and really feel like I’m the one driving. I have no doubt that this car will be successful, and I will internally and possibly externally squeal if I saw one in person. I just think they might’ve just missed the spot for a perfect hot-hatch. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this too. Do you agree, or am I just an OAP in the body of a teenager?