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Motoring News

A HAPPY RETURN FOR AN AUDI ICON

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Audi RS 3
The expressive exterior is only a taste of what the Audi RS 3 Sedan has to offer. 

A HAPPY RETURN FOR AN AUDI ICON

By DEREK OGDEN

Audi RS 3

Audi RS 3 Sportback, featuring the legendary 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine.

The Audi RS 3 went AWOL more than 18 months ago due to delays that Audi said were brought about by the implementation of new WLTP homologation rules in Europe.

Now the Audi icon, truly a thing of worship to some enthusiasts, is back with its 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine fired up and ready to go. With a heritage that dates back to the legendary Sport quattro S1 Group B rally car of the early 1980s, the RS 3 makes a return as a Sedan and Sportback, the latter, Audi’s take on a performance hatchback.

The RS 3 develops 294 kW and 480 Nm from its 2480 cc capacity engine to offer outstanding performance, sprinting from zero to 100 km/h in 4.1 seconds, while returning a combined fuel consumption of 8.5 litres per 100 kilometres.

Prices start at $83,800 for the Audi RS 3 Sportback, RS 3 Sedan tips the scales at $86,500, both without on-road costs. Capping off the dynamic duo, the RS 3 offers exclusive Carbon editions for $3400, featuring a range of styling elements in gloss black to enhance their sporting characteristics.

STYLING

Based on A3 architecture, the exterior design of the RS 3 Sedan that Audi tells us is  aimed to give an aggressive stance. Up front, bold ‘quattro’ branding takes pride of place beneath a modern single-frame grille, while large intakes feed more air to satisfy cooling demands of the powerful engine.

Thin beams of light projected by LED headlamps and taillights are also there to emphasise the car’s attitude.

Metallic paint comes standard. Also adding further to the RS 3 character are 19-inch Audi Sport alloy wheels in five-arm blade design in matt titanium look, gloss turned finish with 235/35 tyres.

INTERIOR

The RS 3 Sedan cabin puts the enthusiastic driver in the box seat from the start with RS sport front seats, upholstered in Nappa leather, with diamond-patterned stitching, while the flat-bottom sports steering wheel features an Alcantara and leather combination that’s comfortable to grip.

An acoustic windscreen is standard, while further measures to reduce interior noise, even at high speed, include wheel housing shells made of non-woven material.

INFOTAINMENT

Audi took the traditional dial-based instrument panel and replaced it with the virtual cockpit, which allows the driver to control what information, navigation data and infotainment functions are displayed in high-definition.

A selectable sport mode features a central rev counter and performance-oriented secondary displays such as lap timer, power/torque output or charge pressure. This is supplemented by RS-specific functions such as G-Meter, shift light and tyre pressure.

Infotainment is provided through an electronically retractable colour display, including MMI navigation plus and the Audi smartphone interface for easy connection. There’s wireless phone charging, two USB ports and DAB digital radio and a Bang and Olufsen sound system with 14 speakers.

ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS

The transverse five-cylinder engine develops a 294 kW and 480 Nm from its 2480 cc capacity. It has a lot of advanced technology, with an aluminium crankcase, dual injection, the valve-lift system and a high-pressure 1.35 bar turbocharger.

Coupled to an advanced seven-speed S tronic transmission with its virtually instantaneous gear changes and quattro all-wheel drive system are capable of redirecting huge power and torque in milliseconds to the wheels with the most traction for more dynamic, safer and involved handling.

SAFETY

The RS 3 Sedan brings a host of advanced driver assistance safety systems as standard, including side assist, active lane assist, adaptive cruise control (with Stop & Go) and rear cross traffic assist. The range has been awarded a five-star safety rating by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program.

Audi RS 3

Audi RS 3 Sportback, featuring the legendary 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine.

DRIVING

With an output of 294 kW and peak torque of 480 Nm on tap as low as 1700 rpm and constant all the way to 5850 revs, the new turbocharged engine is capable of spearing the RS 3 Sedan to 100 km/h in 4.1 seconds and to the top of the class.

Audi claims a combined urban / highway fuel consumption of 8.5 litres per 100 kilometres. On test the RS 3 Sedan recorded 9.6 litres per 100 kilometres on a mix of city work and highway hauling.

The sound of the powerplant, with its 1-2-4-5-3 firing order, is amplified through the standard RS exhaust system, with active baffles in the rear muffler that can be activated via Audi drive select.

The Audi RS 3 Sportback and RS 3 Sedan utilise a seven-speed dual-clutch S tronic transmission, delivering speedy shifts. The transmission will operate automatically or with the driver manually shifting gear through steering wheel-mounted paddles.

There are two driving modes in automatic – D mode is optimised for stop / start traffic, while S mode has the vehicle in more agile mood with changes at higher revs. Here launch-control is at optimum traction getting the best out of the car’s acceleration.

The tuning of the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system is integrated into the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, where the torque delivery is distributed quickly and precisely via an electro-hydraulic multi-plate clutch, automatically sending more drive to the rear wheels during dynamic driving, to ensure ideal cornering balance.

The RS 3 Sedan features RS sport suspension and Audi magnetic ride as standard. RS 3 Sedan occupants can take advantage of Audi Drive Select which will dial up a range of handling characteristics from comfort, or auto to dynamic or individual, while also working on the accelerator pedal, steering and exhaust flaps.

In dynamic mode, the Audi magnetic ride resists braking and cornering forces on the car’s attitude, heightening agile and responsive handling. It’s strictly for trackwork.

As for ‘comfort’, it’s comfort, Jim, but not as we know it. On anything but a billiard table-top smooth road surface the RS 3 Sedan bumps and bangs its way over even minor blemishes.

Black eight-piston brake calipers clamp (and I mean ‘clamp’) 370 mm ventilated rotors at the front of the RS 3, with 310 mm discs at the rear, providing powerful stopping performance inside 19-inch alloy wheels that are wrapped in 235/35 tyres as standard.

The RS 3 Sedan is capable of carrying 315 litres of luggage in the boot, or 770 litres with the rear bench seat back folded.

SUMMARY

Nothing much has changed since the RS 3 Sportback and Sedan first appeared in 2017, which may be quite a comfort to its army of admirers, who will no doubt not be put off with the near $2000 price rise due to currency movements.

AT A GLANCE

MODEL LINE-UP

Audi RS 3 Sportback: $83,800

Audi RS 3 Sedan: $86,500

Audi RS 3 Sportback Carbon Edition: $87,200

Audi RS 3 Sedan Carbon Edition: $89,900

Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Audi dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Audi RS 3 2.5L TFSI Turbo 5-cylinder petrol, 7sp automatic Quattro Sedan)

ENGINE:

Capacity: 2.480 litres

Configuration: Five cylinders in line

Maximum Power: 294 kW @ 5850-7000 rpm

Maximum Torque: 480 Nm @ 1950-5850 rpm

Fuel Type: Petrol 98 RON

Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 8.5 L/100km

CO2 emissions: 194g / km

DRIVELINE: Seven-speed automatic, Quattro AWD

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:

Length: 4479 mm

Wheelbase: 2631 mm

Width: 1960 mm

Height: 1399 mm

Turning Circle: 11.0 metres

Kerb Mass: 1510 kg

Fuel Tank Capacity: 55 litres

BRAKES:

Front: Ventilated disc

Rear: Ventilated disc

STANDARD WARRANTY:

Three years / unlimited kilometres

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2022 FORD MUSTANG CALIFORNIA SPECIAL ADDS EXCITEMENT

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2022 FORD MUSTANG CALIFORNIA SPECIAL

2022 FORD MUSTANG CALIFORNIA SPECIAL ADDS EXCITEMENT

The blacked-out grille on this Mustang Special pays respect to the original Mustang.

2022 FORD MUSTANG CALIFORNIA SPECIAL

The blacked-out grille on this Mustang Special pays respect to the original Mustang.

Based on the 2022 Mustang GT fastback and convertible models, the latest California Special Appearance Package pays respect to the original version’s blacked-out grille, lower bodyside accent stripe and rear fender scoop.

The heritage-inspired GT/CS side stripe trademark traces from the front guards to the signature rear scoop. A California Special badge in Ebony Black and Race Red script decorates the bootlid, while the honeycomb grille with GT/CS badge provides a unique look.

A performance rear wing is available for the fastback model, while spoiler delete is standard for the California Special convertible.

The California Special wears new design five-spoke 19-inch painted machined wheels. Interior appointments include rich black Miko suede door trim inserts and suede-trimmed seats with the embossed “GT/CS” logo and red contrast stitching.

The instrument panel is finished in carbon hex aluminium with a signature California Special script badge on the passenger side.

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2021 PORSCHE TAYCAN TURBO S

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2021 PORSCHE TAYCAN TURBO S

2021 PORSCHE TAYCAN TURBO S


By EWAN KENNEDY

BODY COPY
The German car makers are all very serious about the need to lower the emissions of greenhouse gases, so are working hard on reducing them by designing electric vehicles. As a high-performance marque Porsche is one of the leaders in the field.

Hence the introduction of the all-electric Taycan high-performance sedan – yes sedan, this is a four-door family car, not a two-door coupe.

Porsche tells us the name Taycan is composed of two terms of Turkic origin and can be roughly translated as “soul of a spirited young horse.” Porsche tells us its first fully-electric model will be: “lively, impetuous, vigorous, light-footed on long stretches without tiring, and free-spirited.”

Okay, this may sound like a bit of over-blown waffle to we down-to-earth Aussies, but once we drove it, we did tend to agree with the way the Porsche Taycan felt. See our comments on this in the Driving segment of this report.

STYLING
Taycan looks slightly odd at the front to my eyes, with its slightly bulbous “bonnet” and the vertical lines beside the headlights. Beauty is of course in the eyes of the beholder and others may love it.

I reckon the rear is much better from a styling point of view, with a swooping coupe-like tail and a large black sunroof which merges beautifully with the black glass of the rear window.

INTERIOR

2021 PORSCHE TAYCAN TURBO S Interior

2021 PORSCHE TAYCAN TURBO S Interior

There’s a very wide dash array, with three screens. The one in front of the driver is large and contains plenty of information on the Taycan’s state of play. The centre screen gives access to numerous features, including speed, current power consumption, distance to empty, navigation and temperature control.

The left screen is in front of the passenger and lets them keep an eye on the map to assist with navigation.

There more space inside than you might expect, partly due to the fact that it’s almost five metres long. There’s seating for four and those in the back won’t have to ask those in front of them to give up any of their space. However, tall people in the back might brush against the roof.

The front seats are heated and cooled and are nicely shaped to support without being too aggressive.

INFOTAINMENT
A 14-speaker Bose audio provides excellent output and we found it easy to adjust it to our preferences.

POWERTRAIN
There are two electric motors one at the front the other at the rear. The front has a 175kW/400Nm on the Turbo S, the rear provides up to 335kW and 550Nm when it’s over boosted to give even more grunt.

The range of the Turbo S is rated as 390 to 416 kilometres by Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure.

As a strong selling point the Taycan in Australia is that it comes with a free three-year Chargefox subscription.

SAFETY
Porsche Taycan was awarded a five-star safety rating by Euro NCAP in 2019.

DRIVING

2021 PORSCHE TAYCAN TURBO S Interior

2021 PORSCHE TAYCAN TURBO S Interior

We have always enjoyed the way electric powered vehicles leap off the line and have tremendous torque – but the Taycan is something else again. Zero to 100 km/h in 2.5 seconds!

The first time I did it my head was thumped back into the headrest and my neck felt strained. I didn’t make that mistake again, making sure it was against the headrest – thereby avoiding the neck strain and enjoying to the full the dragster-like performance.

Back when I was a young fella road testing high-performance cars in the 1970s anything under six seconds to 60mph (97 km/h) and quicker than 15 seconds for the quarter mile was the goal. And that need a large hot V8.

This electric Porsche is well under three seconds to 100 km/h, and single figures for the quarter mile. How times have changed.

On the road Taycan has clever electronics to assist cornering by feeding just the right torque front and rear and side to side. You can feel it happening but we didn’t have access to a race track to test it to the limits. Maybe some other time…

Comfort is good for a high-performance car and keep in mind that this is a four-door sedan not a two-door sports coupe. On some surfaces there a fair bit of tyre noise, on others it’s as peaceful as any upmarket mid-size luxury vehicle.

THE FIRST PORSCHE ELECTRIC CAR

Egger-Lohner C.2 Phaeton

Egger-Lohner C.2 Phaeton

The Taycan isn’t the first Porsche electric car. In 1898 Ferdinand Porsche designed the Egger-Lohner C.2 Phaeton. The vehicle was powered by an octagonal electric motor with three to five horsepower. It had a top speed of 25 km/h.

AT A GLANCE

MODEL RANGE
Taycan RWD sedan: $156,300
Taycan 4S AWD sedan: $194,700
Taycan Turbo AWD sedan: $276,300
Taycan Turbo S AWD sedan: $345,800
Taycan Cross 4 Turismo: $176,600
Taycan Cross 4S Turismo: $205,300
Taycan Cross Turbo Turismo: $279,000
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Porsche dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Porsche Taycan electric four-door sedan)

ENGINE:
Capacity: Not applicable
Configuration: Not applicable
Maximum Power: 560 kW
Maximum Torque: 1050 Nm
Fuel Type: Not applicable
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): L/100km
CO2 Emissions: g/km

DRIVELINE: Two-speed automatic

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4963 mm
Wheelbase: 2900 mm
Width: 1966 mm
Height: 1378 mm
Turning Circle: Not supplied
Kerb Mass: 2295 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: Not applicable litres

BRAKES:
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc

STANDARD WARRANTY:
Three years / unlimited kilometres

RATINGS
Looks: 7/10
Performance: 10/10
Safety: 9/10
Thirst : 6/10 **
Practicality: 8/10
Comfort: 8/10
Tech: 9/10
Value: 7/10

** Note that we have rated Thirst low because its range is well under that of a conventional car.

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KIA’S FIRST PURE ELECTRIC VEHICLE IS UNDER TEST DOWNUNDER

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KIA'S FIRST PURE ELECTRIC VEHICLE IS UNDER TEST DOWNUNDER

KIA’S FIRST PURE ELECTRIC VEHICLE IS UNDER TEST DOWNUNDER

By EWAN KENNEDY

Slim front bold tail are an indication of the future of all-electric Kias.

Kia’s first dedicated BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) has been subjected to Kia Australia’s rigorous Ride and Handling Program.

The company’s Australia’s Ride and Handling Engineer, Graeme Gambold, who has localised the ride of over 50 Kia models during the last 10 years, came away astonished by the performance of the EV6.

“I just love driving the Kia EV6, it’s a car that just wants corners. It is so engaging and so rewarding to drive.

“Personally, as a chassis dynamist, I think the biggest part of that enjoyment is the width of the battery in the car. A typical ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle has an engine and a drivetrain that has a high centre of gravity but it’s all in the centre of the vehicle therefore it works like a moment in roll. But with a dedicated BEV, it has a big flat battery in it, so it has to lift the energy on the inside to actually upset the car, creating a very flat roll dynamic. This makes the EV6 feel very light, nimble and responsive.”

KIA'S FIRST PURE ELECTRIC VEHICLE IS UNDER TEST DOWNUNDER

Australia’s Ride and Handling Engineer, Graeme Gambold

“One of the things we are always tuning for in Australia is large body movements on country roads at 100 km/h and that is always manifested with a high centre of gravity roll dynamic in conventional cars. Electric cars don’t have as much of that, they have a lot of vertical movement, because of the weight but they don’t have the lateral roll, so we can use that as a bit of a tuning tool.” Graeme explained.

General Manager of Product at Kia Australia, Roland Rivero, is very proud of Kia Australia’s commitment to its Local Ride & Handling Program.

“Our local tuning program is part of our DNA and a key component to Kia’s success in Australia. We’ve aimed to inject a fun-to-drive character in our products, but most importantly give drivers the feeling of control and confidence when driving a Kia in a variety of conditions.” said Rivero.

Kia EV6 is the first dedicated Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) produced by Kia using the all-new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) and forms the first part of Kia’s transition to the new era of electrification under the new brand slogan, ‘Movement that inspires’.

EV6 is the first of 11 new BEV models due from Kia arriving by 2026 with seven built on E-GMP architecture and four derivative EVs based on existing models.

2022 KIA EV6

Along with the EV6, the Concept EV9 represents the brand’s recent leadership in designing and developing desirable, high-tech, zero-emissions vehicles and recently set out its vision to become a truly sustainable, responsible, and innovative mobility solutions leader, announcing a commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045.

Around 500 units of the EV6 have been earmarked for Australia during 2022 and the allocation will be staggered throughout the year. Kia Australia says it’s in continuous dialogue with head office about this number with hopes of increasing it.

The EV6 will be sold through the Kia dealer network and over 90 per cent of the Kia dealer network is currently set up to sell and service EV6.

Kia EV6 will initially be introduced in Australia with the long-range (77.4 kWh) high-voltage battery pack only and offered in two grades; base in rear-wheel drive only and GT-Line with RWD or all-wheel drive AWD options, the latter offering enhanced dynamic capability in even the most challenging conditions.

The performance ‘GT’ version of the EV6 with follow in late 2022 or early 2023.

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