Forget hot hatches, the 2016 Audi RS 3 is a hyper hatch
Hot hatches, we love them.
They are for real-world practicality, subtle looks, most of the time, and the kind of performance most people dream about.
Look at the Ford Focus ST, it's 250 horsepower is ample for most.
The Gulf GTI's 220 or 230 is enough, don't you think?
However, the era of the hot hatch is quickly being superseded by something more.
That's the hyper hatch.
Now some of the current crop of hot hatches are tackling that magical 300 horsepower barrier.
Things like the Civic high power and the Gulf are to name but A couple.
However, they're not enough to really be hyper.
The MERC A45 AMG was the king of the hyper hatch hill.
But, now there's a new hyper cat in town.
The Audi RS3.
The good old Rennsport treatment given to Audi's family hatch can only mean one thing.
Silly power, silly speed, and lots of fun for the mortal.
Despite its massive front air dams and vast twin oval pipes, it's quite an understated car.
You could arguably drive it through town and not cause a single batted eyelid.
That means on the looks front it's not hyper, but Audi's reserved the silliness for elsewhere.
That's the engine.
Like its predecessor, the first RS3, this one has a 2.5 liter, 5 cylinder turbo charge unit on the bonnet.
The old car had 335 odd horsepower.
This one has more than that.
362 to be precise, torques up as well 11 pound feet, for 343.
Note the 62 take 4,3 seconds and if you take the right options box this thing will top 174 miles an hour and as he says if you're a good little driver, it'll manage 34.9 miles to the gallon.
To get all that power to the road, there's a seven-speed S Tronic gear box, which we all know works very well, and Quattro all-wheel drive.
This means it's not only fast, but accessible.
A manual-only front or rear-drive car would be adored by purists, myself included.
But for your average punter, how's about your motor doesn't get tricky in the wet or if you make a mistake?
It's one of the things I like about the RS car over the [UNKNOWN] is the AMGs are a bit too mad.
M cars, they're very precise Nice and they reward precision and they reward playing.
Whereas the RS cars, because they're inherently quite stable and because they have ballistic power in every bind, you get in.
You click yourself in.
You stick in your index finger to drive and you just fire yourself down the road.
And when you want to say, steer around a tight Bend.
Yeah, the steering probably won't be the most precise feedbacktastic you'll get, but, it works, it gets you around.
The car works with you, works for you, and allows you to get around those bends, and this thing has more grit than I would probably ever use.
Would I feel comfortable with it on a track?
Do I really care, will any of these ever actually see a track?
You tell me if you're going to buy one.
Personally, though, this isn't a track car.
This is your daily weapon.
And it's a very changeable car to allow it to be so.
It has Audi's drive select thing, which means you can have it in all All manner of loads, be they comfortable or automatic or just normal or individual.
Which means you can have a comfortable rocket if you wanna get home quickly but not feel bad for it when you get back.
Tech wise it's got all the Audi MMI stuff.
It's got the amazing thin slivery screen.
It's got fast nav that just works.
Everything is Everything's lovely, any fault really for me is made up for by this thing's sheer pace.
Let's have a talk about power.
This thing has over 360 horsepower.
When the R8 launched way back when, the V8 model had 414 horsepower as a 4.2 liter V8, naturally aspirated.
This has 360 odd at a two and a half liter five cylinder turbo.
With a little bit of fiddling, this could be a just as powerful as a V8 Audi R8.
And it's almost as quick as one, already.
And that's the bizarre thing about this, it's mammothly fast, it's unexpectedly fast.
Comparing it to other cars, other hot hatches, say a Civic Type R, a Civic Type R an angry shouty beast, it's manual only.
One of those on a cross country trip would probably be quite tiring, where as this you can just stick it into comfort mode and the car will waft you as waftily as something with an RS badge can.
And if you want to drive like a nutter, it'll let you do that too.
I'm a big fan of it, because it's so easy, and I like things that are easy, it's why I own a microwave, it's why I don't cook very often on the hot because there's the microwave to do it.
This is microwaveable power.
When you're making the leap from super car to hyper car, it's a matter of being Faster, not just a little bit, but a lot faster than the established paradigm.
Take a look at the Portia 918 Spider, that's proof that it isn't all in the looks, because when it's quite restrained, but it still works the floor with a 911 Turbo.
The likes of the A45 AMG and the RS3 route They don't just make the established hot hatches look slow, they make them look a bit sad as well.
This is a car about numbers, speed and having everything you want.
You can do over 170 miles an hour if you want to, daily.
You can take the kids to school in it too.
It's faster to 62 than a Porsche 911, a Lotus Evora, and even an F-Type.
Yet it costs far less and has room for stuff in it.
Where a regular hot hatch offers decent speed and everyday practicality, the RS3 takes that take decent speed, throws it out the window, and gives you the kind of pace that, well Humble some supercars from recent memory and definitely some of 2015's sports cars.
This thing is a serious bit of kit, the latest addition to one of the rarest vehicles on the roadscape.
It's a hyperhatch.
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