The 2018 Audi RS3 is the smallest model from the German automaker's sport division. Based on the A3 sedan (and sharing more than a little with models like the Audi TT and Volkswagen Golf R), the 400-horsepower RS3 is more than just a small car with a big heart. Audi Sport has worked its magic on the car's suspension, interior and exterior. With its bright Catalunya Red Metallic paint and 19-inch wheels, it's hard to mistake the RS3 for one of its more pedestrian siblings. At the heart of every model is a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-five. The same engine is found in only one other model — the Audi TT RS. Our tester has quite a few options, pushing its MSRP up to nearly $70,000. Options include $875 for the paint, $4,800 for the dynamic plus package (fixed suspension, 174 mph top speed, carbon-ceramic front brakes), $3,200 for the technology package (upgraded infotainment, Audi virtual cockpit) and $1,000 for the upgraded RS interior. Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore: The RS3 is a well-tailored car that offers something unique in the ubiquitous small sedan segment. Specifically, its five-cylinder engine. Gimme 400 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque all day. It's quick from takeoffs, feeding plenty of low- and mid-range torque for acceleration, say (hypothetically) when stop lights are turning. Be careful when you do that. The RS3 is striking, especially in this shade of lock-me-in-jail red. The $9,300 Prestige pack adds glossy black window surrounds, full LED headlights and spoked, five-segment 20-inch wheels. I'm not sure it's worth that much coin, but it does look good. The RS3 is a tasteful blend of looks and power. Mindful of that, it's probably best to use the grabby brakes to time your deceleration appropriately. I'm driving the 2018 @Audi today. Here's my mini review. https://t.co/UvClxga6kh — Greg Migliore (@GregMigliore) December 6, 2018 Associate Editor Joel Stocksdale: The last time I drove one of these RS3's, I was on the fence whether I loved it or simply liked it. This time around, I'm definitely falling in love. The key is that five-cylinder engine. It's a howling, rasping beast, and it's amazing that anyone makes something like it nowadays. And I love how natural it sounds and feels. It's not perfectly polished. There's a bit of lag, and the exhaust doesn't put out a perfect set of pops and bangs with every lift of the throttle. It sounds and feels different in every scenario. Then there's the size. This is an ideally sized vehicle for flinging around anywhere, anytime. It's easy to thread through tight roads, and feels light enough to tackle corners with near reckless abandon. The all-wheel drive adds to this feeling, too. In some cases, it's maybe a little too easy to drive, but the benefit is that it doesn't wear you out. The ride quality, while firm, isn't punishing, and you could easily drive it on a daily basis. As for the price, the MSRP of over $56,000 still feels a bit much, …
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|MPG||19 City / 28 Hwy|
|Transmission||S tronic 7-spd auto-shift man w/OD|
|Power||400 @ 5850 rpm|
|Drivetrain||quattro all wheel|
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