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? Subscribe to our YouTube channel http://bit.ly/11Ad1j1 Subscribe to the mag http://subscribe.autoexpress.co.uk/yt 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 characters. 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 seconds. 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.
Audi A7 v Mercedes CLS v Porsche Panamera review - Auto Express
For more videos visit: http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/videos/ It's the car that takes Audi into yet another niche, but has the A7 got what it takes to outmanoeuvre quirky rivals like the Mercedes CLS and Porsche Panamera? Watch our group test video above to find out.
Audi RS6 vs Ducati 1199 Panigale R - car vs bike track battle
Audi now owns Ducati, so we decided to race the brands' most powerful models, the Audi RS6 and the Ducati 1199 Panigale R. Subscribe to our YouTube channel http://bit.ly/11Ad1j1 Subscribe to the mag http://subscribe.autoexpress.co.uk/yt Audi now owns Ducati - so we thought it'd be fun to have a track battle between the most powerful Audi you can order and the most powerful Ducati you can order. The 1199 Panigale R has a 1.2-litre V-Twin with 195bhp. There is an even hotter Superlegera version but it’s sold out, so this R is the most powerful Ducati you can buy. The Audi RS6 has a 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 with 560hp – that’s 10 horses more than an R8 V10 Plus, which is why we have chosen the estate for this track battle. Auto Express’s Owen Mildenhall will be in the RS6 while Alastair Fagan from Fast Bikes magazine will be on the Panigale. With 1032bhp per tonne the Ducati did 0-60mph in 3.2 seconds and the standing quarter in 10.5 seconds compared to 4.3 and 12.4 seconds for the 289bhp per tonne Audi. The bike clearly ruled in a straight line- but let’s see what happens when we add some corners... For a two-tonne car it's pretty impressive. It's got loads of grip, and the fact that the fan was still going a long time after we finished the race is an indication of how tightly packaged everything is under this bonnet, with a big V8 in there. There's loads of grip and massive straight-line performance. It's not the most thrilling car to drive on track because you can't really do much with it, it's not very adjustable. It just grips and that's it. You can't disable the stability control either, but there's no doubting it's really fast. The bike feels fast no matter what you do and no matter how fast you ride it, you always think you'll come back to a lap record - but as proven in the past it's not always correct. On this occasion, the bike beat the car - but in the car's defence, there's one thing you can do with it that you can't do with the bike: take the whole crew out for a hot lap!
Mercedes S-Class Coupe review
Mercedes has a tradition of building fast, elegant coupes and traditionally it's always launched them with some sort of ground breaking technology. And it's the same story with the S-Class Coupe. Subscribe to our YouTube channel http://bit.ly/11Ad1j1 Subscribe to the mag http://subscribe.autoexpress.co.uk/yt The Mercedes S-Class Coupe is based on the new S-Class saloon and replaces the old CL. If you want one, it'll cost you from around £100,000. The bodywork is all new with sharp creases and a long bonnet, sloping roof and a neat spoiler integrated into the boot lid. The range topping S63 AMG model has a body kit and forged alloy wheels. All S-Class Coupe models feature intelligent headlamps, and the daytime running lights and indicator repeaters feature Swarowski crystals to produce a clearer light. They also get a glass panoramic sunroof which in no way impedes on rear practicality. The sunroof can also be specced with Mercedes' 'Magic Sky' sunroof, which darkens the glass at the touch of a button. It's clear than Mercedes has gone all out with the interior on the C-Class Coupe, and the cabin is different in terms of layout to the saloon. The S63 AMG models also benefit from some sporty add ons, but rest assured - every model in the line-up oozes quality. Like the S-Class saloon, the S-Class Coupe is supremely comfortable thanks to its air suspension, and the Magic Body Control improves this further. However, the S-Class Coupe features some new ground breaking technology called Curve Tilt Control. This system uses the car's computer controlled suspension to lean into the corner like a motorbike does in order to Boost comfort. The S-Class Coupe is also supremely quiet, despite being powered by a 5.5-litre biturbo V8 and being able to go from 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds. The S63 AMG Coupe also comes with upgraded suspension, upgraded brakes and an MCT gearbox. The latter isn't the smoothest system in the world, but overall, it handles very well. It's not an SLS though, but it's not supposed to be. It's been designed to be a very quick, gadget laden cruiser which is the most comfortable of its type on the market - and that's exactly what it is.