The Hunt for Unplowed Roads - Audi RS3


THE RS3 ENGINE COMES alive with throaty growl and brawny crackles. Inline five, 2.5-liter turbocharged engine produces addictive sonorous sounds when I rev it. Its glorious noise reverberates through the underground parking garage. Unique 1-2-4-5-3 cylinder firing order gives RS3 an addictive soundtrack.

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Audi has a very accomplished history with five-cylinder engine configuration. It started with 1970’s Audi 100. Between late 1970’s and early 1990’s, Audi used several variants of this five-banger; 1.9 liter, 2.1 liter, and 2.2 liter. Five-cylinder engine combines best attributes of four and six cylinder engines. It generates more power and torque than the four and it sips less fuel and has lighter weight than the six. Furthermore, a turbo charger transforms the five into a mighty machine.

In motorsport, Audi dominated World Rally Championship in 1980’s with five-cylinder Audi Sport quattro. Audi also dominated IMSA GT championship with five-cylinder Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO. Today, quattro GmbH has a specially trained team producing this very special engine in Gyor, Hungary.

The Transporter


I slept for less than 5 hours on my eleven-hour flight from San Francisco. From Frankfurt, I still had about three-hour drive to Nuremberg. It could be more if there were traffic on A3 autobahn. I had known prior to my leaving San Francisco that I would need a car that could rejuvenate me from the weariness of air travel.

After a swift process of getting the car key from Europcar ( rental car company, I walked through the long underground corridor under the massive Frankfurt airport to reach the Europcar parking garage section. There, my black “Transporter-TV-Series” car was shinning under the fluorescent light. I put my laptop bag and my 18” roller in the spacious trunk.

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Then, I climbed into the nicely sculpted 14-way adjustable leather seat. As soon as I pressed the start button, not only the engine and the instrument panels came to life but also my senses awoke. The slightly ascending middle console that hosts the HVAC and MMI controls gave the feeling that I was piloting a modern jetliner. Even before I started driving, this Audi A8 had already made me forget about my long and tiring flight.

It didn’t take long before I noticed the 425 lb-ft of torque under the hood. The sense of acceleration was accentuated by the sonorous sound of 240 hp V6 TDI. This A8 TDI engine was surprisingly quiet during idle and leisurely drive. But when I opened up the throttle, the sporty turbo diesel engine deep growl gave me the tingling sensation.