New v Used Performance treasure hunt
2480cc inline-five, DOHC, 20v, turbo 294kW @ 5850-7000rpm 480Nm @ 1700-5850rpm 1440kg 4.1sec (claimed) $84,900 vs
E N G IN E 4163cc V8, DOHC, 32v POWER 331kW @ 8250 rpm TORQUE 430Nm @ 4000rpm W E I G H T 1795kg 0 -1 00KM/H 4.7sec (claimed) P R I C E $149,400 (new)
HILE it might not be an obvious comparison, both of these pragmatic RS-badged Audis come with a glorious soundtrack. And with the upcoming RS4 to add two turbos, but lose two cylinders from its Porsche-sourced 2.9-litre V6, they could be some of the last truly aurally special Audis.
Except, that concept is largely blown apart, thankfully, by the five-pot screamer in the RS3 Ė now available as a booted, and backseat-friendly sedan. It also comes with the updated, force-fed 2.5-litre engine which made itís debut in the TT RS. So this represents an interesting matchup if you want a fast, soulful Audi with room to spare. Of course, youíll also need about $85K to play with; and steer clear of the expensive options list if you take the new-car route.
Such is the rate of progress that the new kid on the block offers oomph akin to a supercar of the not-too-distant past.
W The RS3 will sprint to 100km/h in just 4.1 seconds Ė or, 0.6 seconds faster than the RS4. Both are aided by venerable quattro all-wheel drive, dual-clutch gearboxes and launch control, but the sedanís lighter weight and extra torque wins.
However, the B8 RS4 shouldnít be forgotten so quickly as experiencing the undersquare 4.2-litre V8 hitting its 8250rpm crescendo is a truly epic automotive event. Fitted with the optional sports diff it also attacks corners with abandon Ė if only it didnít do the same with potholes.
The RS3 sedan, with its wider front tyres compared to the rear, makes a solid case as an effortlessly fast compact sedan. Its warbling heart is reason enough, yet itís also entry into the realm of RS for less than $100K.
Although, as a last bastion of naturally aspirated V8 Audis, the sonorous RS4 makes a compelling case for a future classic Ė just keep your poor dog out of the back.
74,334km, S tronic, $86,990 LOW-kilometre MY15 examples are still fetching prices north of $120,000, however, this run-in, Ibis white MY13 RS4 is a tasty offering. Fitted with contrasting matte grey 19-inch alloys, itís sure to be a hit in the school car park.