The Audi Rs3 Is Taking The Hatch Into A Whole New Realm - Men's Health Magazine Australia

The Audi Rs3 Is Taking The Hatch Into A Whole New Realm

Just try not to make it angry.

For the longest time, hot hatches have been the car for the man who doesn’t have everything. Uppermost on that list of things he doesn’t have is the huge vats of money required to buy a proper, truly frightening sports car

A hot hatch, of course, has always been more affordable, more practical and yet designed with the goal of being almost as much fun as a Porsche.

The French were among the first to get the idea, with Renault and Peugeot making some absolute craquers over the years, but, of course, the Germans had to step in and throw their Teutonic weight around, arguably perfecting the breed with the Volkswagen Golf GTI and, later, the even more wondrous Golf R.

Audi Rs3 hatch review
MY22 RS 3 Sportback.

Today, though, it seems the hot hatch is crossing over, stepping up and clearing its throat with a deep, burbling bellow as it shoulders its way into the paddock filled with serious sports cars. It’s also had to ditch the ‘affordable’ tag to reach those heights.

Meet the Audi RS3, a hatch so hot it looks like it’s caught fire while parked next to a factory making bright-green jelly, which has then swathed its muscular flanks in look-at-me, I-glow-in-the-dark paint (they call it Kyalami Green – I call it Hulk Smashed).

“Meet the Audi RS3, a hatch so hot it looks like it’s caught fire while parked next to a factory making bright-green jelly”

There’s no doubt that it will get you the kind of attention that far more expensive machines usually garner because its design is wildly over the top, and strangers will gather to look at the giant rear carbon wing on the roof, and to debate whether it has any point beyond causing debate.

Personally, as long as I was wearing protective eyewear, I liked the Audi RS3 a lot, although it was definitely more pleasant from the hugely comfortable, and gripping, driver’s seat. From there your hands fall on a delectable, Alcantara covered wheel, which gives you access to the kind of steering feel – light yet muscular, pointy enough to cut holes in a corner, talkative to the point of deafening – that you’d expect to find on one of this car’s more distant cousins, made by Lamborghini (Audi effectively owns the Italian super car brand).

Audi Rs3 hatch review

The RS also surprises with the sheer whack of its unusual 2.5-litre five-cylinder, turbocharged engine, which makes 294kW and a hefty 500Nm of torque. If that sounds like a lot of grunt for a hot hatch, it is, so much so that it will fire you to 100km/h in 3.8 seconds. Seriously, anything under four seconds was considered a super car not that long ago, and even today it’s faster than a base Porsche 911.

So, yes, the Audi RS3 is every bit as fast as it looks, and that unique five-cylinder layout makes it sound gruff and serious as well. My only criticism is that I wish it was even louder, because the cabin is typically Audi, refined and sound proofed. 

This kind of burning-hot hatch performance is going to cost you a little more, of course, and the RS3 hatch starts
at $91,391 (with a very attractive four-door sedan also available for $93,891).

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