Categories: News

Test Audi S3 vs. Volkswagen Golf R: why premium isn’t always better or hotter

The same ingredients are used for the Audi S3 as for the Volkswagen Golf R. That does not mean that the sauce is eaten as hot as it is prepared. The Golf R has a power of 320 hp and a torque of 420 Nm. The S3 remains stuck at 310 hp and 400 Nm. Yet the Audi with its price of 68,668 euros is more than 2000 euros more expensive than its Wolfsburg cousin in basic trim (66,390 euros). We’re curious to see if the Audi can somehow compensate for that price difference. We are especially curious about the driving characteristics.

Volkswagen Golf R impresses

In July we drove like a child with the Volkswagen Golf R. At the same time, we had our doubts about the daily usefulness of this all-rounder. This comparative test has not really changed that opinion. We were, however, even more impressed by the dynamic properties of the Volkswagen Golf R. On the autobahn and on our test track, ultra-fast hatchbacks simply come into their own better than on the public road in the Netherlands.

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Audi S3 has a ‘simpler’ chassis

All-wheel drive is standard on the Golf R, as is a limited slip differential. With the help of electronically controlled disc clutches and torque vectoring, it ensures a particularly effective power distribution over the rear wheels and you notice that. The new 400 hp Audi RS3 also has this system. The Audi S3, on the other hand, has to make do with ‘simple’ power-regulating braking interventions. How come, premium?

The Audi S3 is fast…

Yet the Madame Jeannette yellow test Audi is capable of very high cornering speeds. Slightly understeered, it finds its way to the intersection of the bend. There he wants to push his ass to the side a little bit when you get back on the gas. But before you know it, the Quattro drive puts the S3 back on track and continues on the set course. You feel like this is all going very fast. Until you drive the same round with the Golf R…

… but the Volkswagen Golf R is faster

At the point where the Audi ‘suffers’ from understeer, the Golf overtakes it on the inside. Thanks to the optimally dosed power and the unprecedented suction power of the Michelin rubber, ‘the fastest Golf of all time’ does not deviate for a moment from the ideal line. The gas can be turned on very quickly and you are gone. At such a moment, the Audi driver must feel like a slow train driver being overtaken by a speeding TGV. It doesn’t get any faster and more efficient! We also see that on the test track. That rrraffelt the Golf R 2 seconds faster than the Audi S3. Such a time difference seems little, but behind the wheel you really experience it very differently.

Do you want to know how the Audi S3 and the Volkswagen Golf R do on the other test items? You read it in the comparison test Auto Review 11/2021. You will also find all measurement data there. Now on sale!

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