Half-hearted but fullthroated
The five-cylinder powerplant in the hot Audi hatch started life as a Lamborghini V10
AFTER you’d heard it once, you’ll never forget it. The sound of a Lamborghini V10 sucking in prodigious volumes of air.
Floor the throttle and you can hear tiny actuators clear the airway to the V10 by opening the intake flaps in a millisecond.
At the other end of the car is an almighty bark followed by a crackle every time you change gears. It’s one of the automotive world’s most glorious sounds, generally savoured only by those who can afford a $500,000 Lamborghini.
But now a very large dose of that experience has been fed into a very small car.
The Audi RS3 puts exactly half the Lamborghini’s 5.0-litre V10 into what was originally a city runabout. It is so devilish it’s genius.
The highly strung 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine under the bonnet came about because a boffin at Audi headquarters in Germany had the audacious idea to saw the V10 in half, almost literally, and squeeze it into a hatchback.
This created — as incredible as it may sound — the world’s second-fastest hot hatch. The new RS3’s claimed 0-100km/h time of 4.3 seconds is 0.1 sec shy of the updated Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG due in December.
By virtue of going on sale here this week, for now the Audi is the fastest hot hatch on Australian roads.
Priced from $78,900 plus onroad costs it is by far the most expensive A3 sold locally. Audi likes to counter by saying it’s the cheapest RS model it’s had.
Appealing to the same buyers, the A45 AMG is