This new generation of Audi RS3 punches above its weight grade. With only 401 horsepower, the RS3 is capable of performance typically seen from cars with at least 100 more horses. However, does that mean it’s a good enough performance car to take on the best sport sedans in the world? In this new video from Autocar, they find out by pitting it against the all-new BMW M3 Competition.
I’ve driven the new M3 Competition quite a bit and it’s a brilliant driving car. It might look a bit funky (I still can’t get used to that grille) but I have no complaints about the way it drives. I haven’t driven the new Audi RS3 yet, so I’ll have to defer to the opinions of Autocar in this video, to see if it’s capable of taking on the new, and excellent, M3.
First, though, let’s look at the specs. The BMW M3 Competition is a much more powerful machine, with 503 horsepower and 479 lb-ft from its 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged I6. Compare that to the Audi RS3, whose 2.5 liter turbocharged five-cylinder makes 401 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. Both cars get automatic transmissions; the Audi uses a seven-speed dual-clutch, while the Bimmer uses an eight-speed auto. In this test, they’re also both all-wheel drive, as the M3 is offered with four driven wheels for the first time in history. This RS3, though, is also the most rear-driven front-wheel drive Audi in history, with a very clever all-wheel drive system and rear differential.
So which is better to drive? You’ll have to watch the video to find out, so we don’t spoil the work Autocar put into it but it’s an interesting test for sure. The Audi RS3 is less powerful and less premium inside but it’s also quite a bit cheaper. The new M3 is more powerful and a bit faster but is its drive worth the extra money?