I’ll get right to it — This Week’s Press Car is back. And with a bit of a twist.
Allow me to explain.
When I started TWPC in August 2016, it was my intent for it to become a regular weekly feature here, and it was for two months — and then it stopped. It just went away without explanation last October, which was not my intent.
So what happened? Well, things got really hectic at the Ignition offices in Toronto with various projects last fall and TWPC, unfortunately, had to be put on hold. I planned to restart it sooner, but stuff happens, as they say.
With that said, regular car reviews (labelled as Driven, as they are in the print edition of Ignition) have been appearing in the intervening months, and they will continue to be posted here (you can get caught up here).
As for TWPC’s revival, I mentioned it comes with a bit of a twist, and here it is. The plan is for it to appear weekly with the focus to be on the vehicle of the moment, just as it was before.
However, unlike the previous incarnation, it will follow a bit of a looser posting schedule to allow for traveling, holidays and various other projects that will inevitably interrupt certain weeks.
What this means is TWPC will skip some weeks here and there. I’ll do my best to advise in advance, but I ask you to bear with me as I fire this feature back up.
On that note, because I have a bit of a backlog of cars I’m currently working through, there will be — for a time — new entries here and in the Driven review section. I will advise which car is appearing where.
Once the backlog is clear, TWPC will be the home for reviews, as was the original intent.
Sound good? Okay then, on to this week’s tester: the 2018 Audi RS 3.
I'll be brief—this small car is a rocket.
Powered by a 2.5L turbocharged five-cylinder engine mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic that drives all four wheels, the RS 3 produces 400 horsepower and 354 lb-ft. of torque, which launches the car to 100 km/h from rest in just 4.1 seconds with a top speed of 280 km/h.
Built on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB (Modular Transverse Matrix) platform — which underpins many of their products these days including, among others, the Audi TT and the Volkswagen Golf — the best way to think of the RS 3 is as a very fancy (and powerful) version of the Audi A3, with which it shares the same basic architecture.
That’s where the similarities end, however, as the RS 3 is sprinkled with all manner of magic dust from Audi Sport, the company’s in-house high-performance tuning arm. Suffice it to say, you can’t get this kit on an A3.
From the 2.5L turbo 5-cylinder and 7-speed S tronic gearbox to available ceramic front brakes and 19-inch wheels, to an RS sport suspension and model-specific bodywork, the RS 3 is no ordinary small car.
And it doesn’t drive like one either, but I’ll get into that when I post my impressions in the TWPC verdict.
I have the car until next Thursday (Oct. 12), so look for my final take on the RS 3 in a week’s time.
- 2.5L TFSI (turbocharged) 5-cylinder engine
- 7-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission
- front engine / all-wheel drive
- 400 horsepower / 354 lb-ft. of torque
- 0-100 km/h in 4.1 seconds
Photography by Lee Bailie