The Audi RS3 is in its third generation, gaining more power and technology over the years. The 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, all three have different outputs. The Mk3 RS3 produces 400 horsepower (298 kilowatts) and 368 pound-feet (500 Newton-meters) of torque. The Mk2 makes the same horsepower but the torque drops, making 354 lb-ft (480 Nm). The Mk1 is the weakest of the bunch, with a 2.5-liter engine producing 340 hp (253 kW) and 354 lb-ft.
The RS3 all feature all-wheel drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Only Mk2 and Mk3 have launch control. The Mk3 and Mk1 are the heaviest competing models, weighing 3,472 pounds (1,575 kilograms). The Mk2 is lighter at 3,328 lbs (1,510 kg).
In the first race, Mk3 got the worst start. However, his extra horsepower and torque allowed him to again outpace the other two riders, crossing the finish line first in 12.1 seconds. The Mk2 was second with a quarter mile time of 12.3 seconds, with the Mk1 taking 13.0 seconds to complete the race.
The first rolling race was very close between Mk3 and Mk2, with Mk1 trailing early. Mk3 was able to slip ahead of Mk2 before the pair crossed the finish line. The second rolling race with the car in the sportiest setting was even closer between the Mk3 and Mk2, with the older Audi losing half the length of the car. The Mk1 isn’t even competitive.
The final brake test between the three ended with Mk2 claiming victory. It was the lightest of the bunch, allowing it to stop at a shorter distance than the other two. The latest generation of RS3 is noticeably faster than its predecessor, but also significantly more expensive than the older models available on the used market. Is the performance increase worth the extra money? That’s not an easy decision to make.