WHILE 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 Audi RS3 – now available as a booted, and backseat-friendly sedan.
It also comes with the updated, force-fed 2.5-litre engine which made it’s debut in the TT RS. So this represents an interesting matchup if you want a fast, soulful Audi with room to spare. Of course, you’ll 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.
The RS3 will sprint to 100km/h in just 4.1 seconds – 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 sedan’s lighter weight and extra torque wins.
However, the B8 RS4 shouldn’t 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 – if only it didn’t 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 it’s 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 – just keep your poor dog out of the back.
|2017 Audi RS3 Sedan||2013 Audi RS4 Avant|
|Engine||2480cc inline-five, DOHC, 20v, turbo||4163cc V8, DOHC, 32v|
|Power||294kW @ 5850-7000rpm||331kW @ 8250 rpm|
|Torque||480Nm @ 1700-5850rpm||430Nm @ 4000rpm|
|0-100km/h||4.1sec (claimed)||4.7sec (claimed)|