The Audi RS3 is in its third generation, gaining more power and technology over the years. A new Carwow video pits the three generations against each other in a series of drag races, highlighting how the RS3's performance has changed.
A turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine powers all three versions. However, the trio have different outputs. The Mk3 RS3 makes 400 horsepower (298 kilowatts) and 368 pound-feet (500 Newton-meters) of torque. The Mk2 makes the same horsepower but is down on torque, delivering 354 lb-ft (480 Nm). The Mk1 is the weakest of the bunch, with its 2.5-liter engine producing 340 hp (253 kW) and 354 lb-ft.
Gallery: 2022 Audi RS3: First Drive
The RS3s all feature all-wheel drive and seven-speed dual-clutch gearboxes. Only the Mk2 and Mk3 have launch control, though. The Mk3 and Mk1 are the heaviest models competing, weighing 3,472 pounds (1,575 kilograms). The Mk2 is lighter at 3,328 lbs (1,510 kg).
In the first race, the Mk3 got the worst start of the bunch. However, its extra horsepower and torque allowed it to claw back ahead of the other two, crossing the finish line first with a 12.1-second time. The Mk2 came in second with a 12.3-second quarter-mile time, with the Mk1 needing 13.0 seconds to complete the race.
The first rolling race was close between the Mk3 and Mk2, with the Mk1 falling behind early. The Mk3 was able to sneak ahead of the Mk2 before the pair crossed the finish line. The second rolling race with the cars in their sportiest setting was even closer between the Mk3 and Mk2, with the older Audi losing by half a car length. The Mk1 wasn't even competitive.
The final brake test between the three ended with the Mk2 claiming victory. It was the lightest of the bunch, allowing it to stop at a shorter distance than the other two. The latest RS3 generation is noticeably quicker than its predecessors, but it's also far more expensive than the older models that are available in the used market. Is the performance boost worth the extra cash? That's not an easy decision to make.
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