This new Audi RS3 Sportback is said to be the best one yet. We haven’t yet driven it, so we can’t say ourselves but the reviews are mostly glowing. However, if there’s one area where it isn’t that much better than its predecessor, it’s straight line speed. The new RS3 use the same engine as the last one and barely brings anymore power, so its 0-60/quarter-mile times aren’t hugely improved. Are they, however, improved enough to take on one of the fastest accelerating cars on the road, the Tesla Model 3 Performance?
In this new video from Carwow, we get to see that very drag race. It’s a bit of an unusual one, as the Model 3 Performance is an all-electric sedan, versus the gas-powered hatchback that is the Audi RS3 Sportback. Also, the Model 3 typically competes against cars like the Audi RS4, BMW M3, and Mercedes-AMG C63, which are classes above the RS3. Still, it’s an interesting race. If the RS3 can keep up, it will be impressive. So what happened?
First, let’s check the specs. The Audi RS3 Sportback uses a 2.5 liter turbocharged inline-five, making 401 horsepower and 369 lb-ft (500 Nm) of torque, paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch auto and all-wheel drive. While the Tesla uses dual electric motors to make 490 horsepower and 487 lb-ft (660 Nm). The Audi RS3 is lighter, at 1,570 kg (3,461 lbs), than the Tesla, which tips the scales at 1,850 kg (4,079 lbs). The Tesla is also about £10,000 ($13,000) more expensive.
Off the line, the Tesla is faster and it beats the RS3 to the quarter mile, doing it in 11.7 seconds, versus the RS3’s 12.0 seconds. That’s honestly not surprising, given how hard EVs launch and how fast the Model 3 Performance is. Sure, in the rolling race, the Audi RS3 beat the Tesla past the mile mark but it took the full mile to catch up and win. There are a few other tests in this video, so it’s worth watching, but the fact is, folks — if you’re an RS3 owner, stay away from the Model 3 Performance.
That’s not to say the Audi RS3 Sportback isn’t the car to get. It’s more exciting, handles better, has a dedicated drift mode, looks better, and is typically a bit cheaper. But if you want straight line speed, the Model 3 Performance is almost unbeatable.