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Car of the Week: Audi RS3 Saloon 2.5 TFSI Quattro S tronic

Car of the Week: Audi RS3 Saloon 2.5 TFSI Quattro S tronic - Price: £53,395

IT’S NOT every day that you drive around London in a Viper Green vehicle. But I did just that recently when I test drove the standout Audi RS3 Saloon.

At over £50k this rapid German offering will get you noticed for many reasons and not just the colour.

When you fire up the engine the exhaust makes a rumble of thunder that would do itself justice at Silverstone or Brands Hatch.

This very rapid vehicle is the revised RS3 packing a whopping 394bhp from the manufacturer’s TT RS-sourced five-cylinder engine. Power is sent to all four wheels, and both the car’s suspension and four-wheel drive system have been fettled in the hope of making the handling a little more entertaining.


INTERIOR: Inside you get all the sexy trimmings you’d expect from an Audi at this exorbitant price

With 354lb of pulling power available from just 1700rpm, the RS3 is seriously quick off the mark. It gets to 62mph in a claimed 4.1sec – a figure that feels entirely achievable from behind the wheel. Indeed, there are few cars on sale in any class that are capable of such effortless performance.

Inside you get all the sexy trimmings you’d expect from an Audi at this exorbitant price. There’s no mistaking this is a cabin from the range-topping version of the A3. Open the door and you step over aluminium door sills to see plenty more aluminium-looking bits and pieces all over.

The flat-bottomed steering wheel is a lovely thing to hold, embossed RS logos on the Nappa leather seats add a touch of class and you get Audi’s Virtual Cockpit – a digital display that sits behind the steering wheel in place of conventional instrument dials – as standard.

You can add a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo, diamond-quilted super sports seats and a wireless smartphone charger for compatible devices.

Apart from being a great drive (and colour) the the RS3’s boot is one of the biggest of any hot hatch, and it has a nice wide opening. The boot is also fitted with a height-adjustable floor that reduces the load lip and ensures there’s no step up to the rear seats when they’re folded down.

The RS3 saloon may be more expensive, but it can’t match the Sportback’s practicality. While rear leg room is virtually identical, the roof sits lower eating into head room.

Boot space also suffers; the opening is nowhere near as big as the Sportback’s and capacity takes a big hit, too. If you’re planning on lugging around bulky items, I’d definitely go for the hatch.

As far as I’m concerned, the stunning Audi RS3 Saloon is already a contender for The Wheel Deal car of the year.

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