2018 AUDI RS 3

Automobile - - All - Stars 2018 -

The taut, lively Audi RS 3 played foil to its larger but less in­spir­ing S4 stable­mate at this year’s All-Stars roundup, prov­ing that a well-fo­cused fighter can be a more grat­i­fy­ing weapon than a jack-of-all-trades (mas­ter of none) mul­ti­tool. “This seemed a quin­tes­sen­tial sport sedan,” de­sign edi­tor Robert Cum­ber­ford stated.

“The cabin was spa­cious enough, but the pack­age was tidy and res­trained, mak­ing it a be­liev­able ve­hi­cle with not too much pre­tense.”

Those un­can­nily hon­est un­der­pin­nings made the RS 3 a joy to toss around the slith­er­ing up­hill passes along Mount Charleston and a plea­sure to fling around at Speed­ve­gas.

De­spite the gen­eral af­fec­tion for its crisp per­son­al­ity, some be­lieved its per­for­mance mis­sion was out of step with its sedan lay­out, cit­ing a lack of rear legroom, a stiff ride, and a rel­a­tively loud cabin as un­for­tu­nate side ef­fects of its fo­cused mis­sion. Still oth­ers ar­gued that a hatch­back lay­out, like the prior-gen­er­a­tion

A3’s, might have been a more sen­si­ble con­fig­u­ra­tion. And then there was the is­sue of price. While some saw the RS 3’s pack­ag­ing as clean and ef­fi­cient, oth­ers couldn’t es­cape the op­pos­ing forces of its com­pact foot­print and not so com­pact as-tested pre­mium of $66,775. “That sticker is pretty stiff,” St. An­toine said, with Nel­son chim­ing in that the price was “pretty darn steep … I don’t know if the juice is worth the squeeze, as en­joy­able as squeez­ing may be.”

In spite of its mi­nor short­com­ings, this car of­fers com­pelling dy­nam­ics and a dis­tinctly pointy per­for­mance edge that adds an­other ar­row in the quiver of the RS sub­brand. The RS 3 cer­tainly shines a strong light of its own. — Basem Wasef

A Sharply Honed Per­for­mance Penknife

PRICE: $55,450/$66,775 (base/as tested) EN­GINE: 2.5L DOHC 20-valve turbo I-5/400 hp @ 5,850-7,000 rpm, 354 lb-ft @ 1,700-5,850 rpm TRANS­MIS­SION: 7-speed dual-clutch au­to­matic LAY­OUT: 4-door, 5-pas­sen­ger, front-en­gine, AWD sedan EPA MILEAGE: 19/28...

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.