The new Audi RS3 is actually faster than most supercars from the 2000s
0-60 in 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 180 mph
We can complain about downsizing and EVs and interior and technology and ADAS all we want but there's no getting away from the fact that cars are getting faster. When I was a kid we used to play trump cards and compare car performance figures. Any car with a top speed in excess of 124 mph would be considered fast and vehicles that were able to reach 186 mph were considered other-worldly at the time. Now, I say 'at the time' because it feels like it's been a while but in truth, I'm only talking about 15-odd years ago.
These days, even the most basic hatchback can accelerate to 60 in less than 10 seconds and the vast majority of vehicles on the road can get to 124 mph or close. Meanwhile, we've got the Bugatti Bolide, which does 500 kph (310+ mph), and the Lotus Evija, which does 0 to 186 in 9 seconds. And crucially, you can visit your local Audi showroom, right now, and order a 2022 RS3, with a top speed of 180 mph and a 0-60 time of 3.8 seconds. In a hot hatch.
In the best tradition of downsizing (gah), the RS3 is powered by a minuscule 2.5.-litre 5-cylinder engine, which produces 400 hp and 368 lb-ft. Even Jeremy 'I'm-Now-A-Farmer' Clarkson would call that 'adequate. The problem with that amount of power and torque in a hot hatch is you need sensational engineering skills to actually turn that into performance, especially in the corners. Fortunately, Audi has given the RS3 an all-new torque splitter, which utilises two electro-hydraulic multi-plate clutches.
Now, I have the mechanical engineering abilities of a macaque but I went on the internet and found out how it works. You accelerate, you get to a corner and the car automatically sends more (or less) torque to the rear wheel that needs it the most so that the car does not oversteer or understeer.
In pure Teutonic fashion, the car is actually limited to 155 mph but Audi will charge you more, upon request, to remove the limiter so you can move to Germany and hit 180 mph on the Autobahn. Fortunately, the Dynamic RS package also includes carbon-ceramic brakes, which will help you slow down in time to stop before the next Ausfahrt. Don't laugh, that's just German for [motorway] exit.
Audi hasn't said anything about pricing [yet] and since we're talking about supercar level performance, I reckon it's not gonna be cheap.