Best cars & vans

Audi RS3 Sportback - best performance cars

Here's our round up of the top 10 best performance cars on sale now.

Audi RS3

Audi says the Audi RS 3 Sportback boasts the most powerful engine of any hot hatch, but in reality its combination of 362bhp and Quattro four-wheel-drive thrust the model into the realms of true high performance machinery.

It might be the smallest of Audi’s RS models, but it packs a mighty punch with 465Nm of torque from 1,650rpm to 5,500rpm. The upshot is a 0-62mph time of 4.3 seconds, aided and abetted by the VW-group’s rapid-fire seven-speed DSG gearbox and the limpet-like traction of the 4x4 system.

There’s an optional adaptive damping system if you want to be able to soften the ride a little, but the standard sports suspension suits the hardcore nature of the power delivery and delivers massive grip. The steering is direct and the body well controlled, although the RS 3 defaults to understeer as you reach the limit so experienced rear-wheel-drive enthusiasts may find an M2 more entertaining.

For ordinary mortals though, the RS 3 will feel almost unbeatable across country – and if you’ve opted for the sports exhaust, progress will be accompanied by a visceral soundtrack, which pops and bangs on the overrun with the ferocity of a (domesticated) Group B quattro.

Best of all, when you’re not in the mood, the remarkable RS 3 reverts to a practical A3 five-door hatchback… although never an ordinary one, as you’re cossetted in its superb leather-trimmed wingback sports seats, with the grippy alcantara trimmed sports steering wheel in your hands.

Top 10 best performance cars on sale now

  1. 1. Ford Focus RS
  2. 2. Mercedes AMG C63
  3. 3. BMW M2
  4. 4. Volkswagen Golf R
  5. 5. BMW M3
  6. 6. Lexus GS F
  7. 7. Audi RS3 Sportback
  8. 8. Mercedes AMG CLA 45
  9. 9. Vauxhall VXR8
  10. 10. Subaru WRX STi

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