Tag Archives: Audi

Let’s Talk Boost

I had a revelation today when I drove this Stage 1+ Audi RS3 and it put my sentiments on the Ferrari 488 I drove last weekend into perspective.

I’m not “anti-turbo” in the slightest. Boost has been in my life since I began driving. My first car was a 2004 Subaru STi, which I still have. I love boost!

But I think that’s actually the point here… if a car is turbocharged, then I want the full experience of boost, lag, surge, noises, etc. I want all of that, leave nothing out.

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Driving the Audi RS 3

I was able to spend a little time in this immaculate Stage 1+ Audi RS3 this week. Some details are still top secret, but what I can say is that I’m totally in love with this car.

I’ve driven hundreds of very cool and fun cars over the years and I’m struggling to think of a more complete package than this. Literally every aspect of the RS3 experience I’d categorize as “great,” not just “good.”

It’s got substantial power, the tune gets it into the 500bhp range, and it’s 5 cylinder engine is so unique. It feels so brilliantly turbocharged, with just enough spool time to let the anticipation build before all hell breaks loose. It also had AWE’s SwitchPath Exhaust on it, so it had a substantial 5 cylinder roar when I got on the gas and some lovely pops and burbles when I let off. The stock exhaust is okay, but the amount the AWE system opens it up both power and sound wise, it would be a must have for me.

In addition to the power and sound the RS3’s handling and driving dynamics are right on-point. A lot of cars out there are fast, but the real X-factor for me is the feeling of connection between me, the car, and the road. Through corners the RS3 felt telepathic with immediate steering and nice feel coming through from the road surface. It’s a proper rally-inspired back road attack machine.

The RS3’s S tronic gearbox is also crisp as can be. Part of me would still want a manual in a car like this, but it’d need to be a really great manual for it to be preferable to the S tronic. Normal shit just wouldn’t do.

I loved how special and hardcore the RS3 felt in Dynamic Mode, it’s a proper thrill ride experience. I also loved how it was able to relax in Comfort Mode and be a genuinely livable small sedan with a nice and comfortable interior. It never feels like a normal car, though. Its always a wolf, never a sheep, which is good.

This is one of the few cars I’ve driven where I have literally zero complaints. It may be a little small for some people, but that also allows it to drive and handle in a way that a bigger car just can’t match. For me, this is as close to the perfect single car as I’ve experienced.

– Nick

The Enthusiast Buyer’s Guide to the Audi RS 3 (8V)

Audi RS3 Sedan (2017) - picture 1 of 123 - Front Angle - image resolution: 1280x960

What is it?

The ultimate expression of the MQB platform, the RS 3 is Audi’s smallest RS model that may actually have one of the biggest bites. Just like their legendary Group B rally cars, it is a turbocharged 5-cylinder beast, but it’s also one you can drive on your daily commute for a very reasonable price. This is one of the hottest cars on the road right now, and it’s easy to see why.

Continue reading The Enthusiast Buyer’s Guide to the Audi RS 3 (8V)

Audi Delivers for America with the RS 5 Sportback

Audi RS5 Sportback NYIAS 1

The US market often doesn’t get the most desirable Audi models, but the success of the A7, S7, and RS 7 made it clear that the 4-door-coupe is something the Americans love.

It’s no secret that the average, boring car market’s interest is shifting toward crossovers. Only more enthusiast-minded buyers still want a car, and the standard sedan design leaves a lot to be desired in our modern era. The 4-door-coupe offers the added style of the classic GT car people dream about, but with the practicality of a sedan. It’s a way to have your cake and eat it too, and now you can have it in the flavor of the new Audi RS 5 with its 450hp twin-turbo 2.9L V6.

Don’t get me wrong here, I’m still devastated that Audi chooses to continue to deny us Americans the Avant models we crave, but the Sportback is a compromise I’ve been willing to accept.

Also, how about this green? I love it!

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Highlights From the 2018 New York International Auto Show

NYIAS 2018 Koenigsegg Regera and Agera RS

The New York Auto Show was stacked with tons of amazing cars and some interesting debuts this year. Here is a highlight gallery with more to come!

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$25K Used Car Shootout: Audi B8 S4 vs Lexus IS F

IMG_0354 IMG_0336

For $25K you have many great options for a high-performance daily driver. If you want a brand new car you can get a Honda Civic Si or a Volkswagen GTI, both great “hot hatches” with amazing handling and turbocharged power. Looking a couple years used, you can find a current-gen Subaru WRX, or variants of the Ford Mustang or Chevy Camaro. But what if you want something even more serious with more emphasis on luxury and even higher performance? For $25K, the cars will be a few years older, 8-10 years old in this case, but you are getting $60K worth of car for less than half the price.

I’m starting to look around in this general price range for my next step, and I have various options depending on what I decide to do with my current stable of cars. I decided to go have a drive in some of the cars I’ve been looking at to see what they’re really like from behind the wheel.

I went to a local dealer to check out two Audi B8 S4s, and low and behold, they had a Lexus IS F on the lot as well – it hadn’t been listed online yet. IS Fs are pretty rare, and this one was in my range, so I added it to my list to drive.

The S4 and IS F are a somewhat strange comparison, the Audi is AWD with a supercharged V6, and the Lexus is RWD with a 5.0L V8. When it comes to driving in bad weather, they don’t really do the same things. That said, both are midsize sedans that offer high performance with a lot of polish. Overall, they serve the same basic function for the same basic price, so, despite their vast differences in many areas, that means they compete.

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My take on the 2017 Geneva Motor Show

The Geneva Motor Show happened this week, and every year it’s like Christmas has come for the car industry.

Here are the highlights for me, and my thoughts on each…

Ferrari 812 Superfast

The front-engine V12 Ferraris are by far my favorite Ferraris. They have always been the ultimate expression of what a grand touring car can be, and their lineage goes all the way back to the beginning of Ferrari road cars in the early 1950s.

The 812 Superfast takes the insanity of the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, and takes it up yet another notch. With damn near 800hp on tap from its still-naturally-aspirated-V12 engine, the 812 Superfast is now the ultimate GT car (really more of a supercar) that money can buy. I also think it looks absolutely manic, yet somehow still in an elegant sort of way.

Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid

Do you think anyone ever imagined this when the Toyota Prius first came out? Hybrids were once pathetic little econo-boxes, but here is a 680hp Porsche Panamera with a hybrid system developed from the 918 hypercar. This is exactly how hybrid technology should be used. I want a 680hp bullet that can still get decent MPG when I’m not thrashing it. If nothing else, isn’t technology all about having your cake and eating it too?

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Car Magazine Pits the Ferrari 488 GTB against the McLaren 570S and Audi R8 V10 Plus

The Ferrari 488 GTB is one of the supercars to beat at the moment, taking everything awesome about the 458 and turbocharging it (quite literally). The question is, is it worth the price premium you pay over more “entry-level” supercars? (I really don’t feel right about saying it that way)

I mean, let’s face it, a Ferrari 488 GTB is going to run you over $300,000 when options and dealer premiums are added. Meanwhile you can have the McLaren 570S and Audi R8 V10 Plus, and keep around $100 grand in your pocket. Maybe buy something cheap, like an Audi A8, as a daily driver.

Is the 488 really worth it in context?

-Nick

Highlights From First Class Fitment 2015: Part 1

First Class Fitment Volkswagen Mk1 Golf Slammed

First Class Fitment is a stance/modified car show held at the Airport in Princeton, NJ every fall. People come from all over the region, bringing nicely done rides of all sorts. The event is mostly stanced cars, as you might expect, but there are a few other gems sprinkled in for good measure.

This year was quite good. Lots of really well built cars with interesting details. That’s one thing I love about modified car shows, each car has so much personality. They’d all stand out parked on the street alone, but the ones that catch my eye at the show are always extra cool.

I took quite a lot of photos at the event, so there is much more to come. Enjoy the first gallery!

Continue reading Highlights From First Class Fitment 2015: Part 1