What is the definitive four-wheel driven sports sedan in the market? CAR Editor Steve Smith and journalist Kyle Kock compares the new Audi S3 Sedan with the latest Subaru WRX. Which is better... the Teutonic executive, or the rally-bred street machine. We find out...
Read more about the WRX in the June issue of CAR - on sale NOW! http://bit.ly/1mqsjlu
Subaru WRX STi vs Audi S3 Saloon
Does the new Subaru WRX STi live up to its predecessors - and can it match
the new Audi S3 Saloon?
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The Subaru WRX STi and Audi S3 Saloon may not seem like obvious rivals, but
both have the same power output and distant rally heritage to call upon for
their performance kudos.
At £33,245 with a six-speed manual gearbox, the Audi S3 is more expensive
than the Subaru, but the £28,995 WRX clearly doesn't have the premium
badge and upmarket cabin of its Audi rival.
With 407Nm, the Subaru has a fraction more torque than the 380Nm Audi, but
it's where that torque arrives that really makes the difference. In the
Subaru you've got to wait until 4,000rpm to get peak torque, whereas in the
punchy Audi it arrives at just 1,800rpm. These cars have got very different
There was a time when we thought the new WRX wasn't going to come to the UK
but fast Subaru fans can relax - it's finally here. In an age when cars are
accused of all looking and feeling the same, there's no doubting that a WRX
doesn't feel or look like anything else on the road.
Performance car fans will forgive the Subaru's cabin because this car is
all about the driving experience and if you've driven a WRX before then
this new car will feel very familiar. First of all the boxer engine sounds
the same, you've got that unique sound from about 4,000rpm as you start to
work it hard.
You've got a gearbox that's got quite a short shift on each change, with a
slightly notchy, quite mechanical feel, and the steering is very fast but
at the same time quite light - which can be a bit disconcerting. It's also
got quite aggressive self-centring, but once you get used to it you realise
that that's a contributing factor to what makes this car feel so agile.
This is a car that you really will enjoy on the average British road.
The first thing you notice is when you get into the Audi S3 is the upmarket
interior is in a different league to the Subaru. It's a real contrast to
the dated cabin of the Subaru.
The driving experience is completely different, too. Where the Subaru is
really vigorous all the time, the Audi is very relaxed: it drives like any
other well-sorted fast Audi.
But the performance is there: it's got the same power as the Subaru's
engine. In the Audi you've got really instant power all the time so you
don't feel like you've got to work the engine so hard.
And the handling's pretty accomplished as well. The steering's not as sharp
and the way that the diffs work is not as aggressive but there's plenty of
traction, decent body control and the car turns in nicely. It's not a
thrilling car on a road like this but it's just very accomplished.
Off the line, both cars have superb traction, but the Audi is nearly 100Kg
lighter than the Subaru, and that shows by the time we reach 60mph. The S3
punches to 60 in 5.4 seconds, whereas the Subaru is 2 tenths behind at 5.6
So which car comes out on top in our test? Well, Subaru fans will love the
sound of the WRX's boxer engine and the car's unique character. But the
Audi has a much nicer cabin, it was faster in the drag race and it's a nicer car
to live with day-to-day. Yes, it's more expensive, but if you want a fast,
comfortable and stylish performance saloon, the Audi S3 is the one for us.
2014 Audi RS5 vs 2014 Mercedes-Benz C63 507 Coupe! - Head 2 Head Ep. 51
On this episode of Head 2 Head, Jonny Lieberman sets out to discover which
German hot-rod-personal-luxury-coupe is the best you can get. The 507 Coupe
is the last iteration of the W204 C63. With the exception of the very
limited-run Black Series, it's the best C63 that AMG has ever done. Under
its hood sits a hand-built, 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V-8 good for 507
more do you want? Perhaps something more high-tech, and that's where the
Audi RS5 comes in. The sexy coupe from Quattro GmbH in Neckarsulm features
a 4.2-liter V-8 that spits out 450 hp. That¹s less power than the 507
Coupe makes, true, but the Audi also features AWD, a dual-clutch
transmission, bigger wheels and tires, plus a trick torque-vectoring rear
differential. Which one is quicker? Which one is more fun to drive? Which
one is best? Watch and find out!
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2014 Audi RS7 vs 2014 Porsche Panamera Turbo! - Head 2 Head Ep. 49
On this episode of Head 2 Head, Jonny Lieberman looks at a type of car that
Germany does better than anyone else: the Super Sedan. The Porsche Panamera
turbo has long been one of Motor Trend's
favorites. Massive, ferocious, surprisingly nimble, and if your checkbook's
got the overhead, totally luxurious. But don't discount Audi. Ever since
the S8 showed up, Audi has shocked the car world by making such a big car
so dang fast. The only thing that could even compete was the Panamera turbo. The RS7 comes with an even more
powerful version of the familiar 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 -- 560 horsepower to be exact. For
2014, Porsche's seemingly underrated 4.8-liter twin-turbo V-8 is up 20 hp to a more-than-modest 520
hp. Faced with tough choices after the two hit the test track and a canyon
road, Jonny enlists the help of resident Motor Trend Hot Shoe Randy Pobst
to figure out which super sedan is best.
Head 2 Head appears every other Wednesday on the Motor Trend channel.
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