The Audi RS3 is in its third generation, gaining more power and technology over the years. A new video from Carwow pits the three generations against each other in a series of drag races, highlighting how the performance of the RS3 has changed.
A 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine powers all three versions. However, the trio have different releases. The Mk3 RS3 develops 400 horsepower (298 kilowatts) and 368 pound-feet (500 Newton-meters) of torque. The Mk2 produces the same power but is down in torque, delivering 354 lb-ft (480 Nm). The Mk1 is the weakest of the bunch, with its 2.5-litre engine producing 340 bhp (253 kW) and 354 lb-ft.
The RS3s all come with all-wheel drive and seven-speed dual-clutch gearboxes. Only the Mk2 and Mk3 however have launch control. The Mk3 and Mk1 are the heaviest models in competition, weighing 3,472 pounds (1,575 kilograms). The Mk2 is lighter at 3,328 lb (1,510 kg).
In race one, the Mk3 got off to the worst start of the field. However, its extra power and torque put it ahead of the other two, crossing the finish line first with a time of 12.1 seconds. The Mk2 came second with a quarter-mile time of 12.3 seconds, with the Mk1 needing 13.0 seconds to complete the race.
The first rolling race was tight between the Mk3 and Mk2, with the Mk1 falling behind early. The Mk3 was able to sneak past the Mk2 before the pair crossed the finish line. The second rolling race with the cars in their sportiest setting was even tighter between the Mk3 and Mk2, with the old Audi losing by half a car length. The Mk1 wasn’t even competitive.
The final brake test between the three ended with the Mk2 winning. It was the lightest of the group, allowing it to stop at a shorter distance than the other two. The latest generation RS3 is noticeably faster than its predecessors, but it is also significantly more expensive than older models available on the second-hand market. Is the performance boost worth the extra money? It’s not an easy decision to make.
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