Nov 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving to me, I got me an Audi RS3 (that rhymes)

I cashed out my 401K and  spend the kids college money and look what I got! 
New plan, die young and the  kid can go to trade school.  Woo hoo!!!!!!

Nothing validates one’s stupidity better than affirming our perspective via the internet.  I’ve gone and bought a brand-new car, my first actually.  I’ve owned about 25 cars and never a new one.  Anyway, the point is I need a serious blog to rationalize this decision and since I couldn’t find one, I’m writing it myself. 

If you are looking for a real article there is a good example:  https://www.automobilemag.com/news/2018-audi-rs3-review-first-drive/ .  I won't be offended if you read it too.

 Audi RS3.  A 5-cylinder, turbo charged micro machine with 400hp that does ¼ Mile in 12.1 seconds and 0-60 in a blistering 3.6 seconds. Now that’s all Motor Trend data but the “blistering” part is all me

As a pillar of the automotive world, I know everyone is desperate to know what I chose and why.  Understandable.  Like most famous automotive journalists, I have only “room” for one-car in my life.  So my choice here is of paramount importance for multi-tasking as well as satisfaction. Satisfaction that I hope will last beyond my first late payment to Audi Financial. 

I have no idea what most of this crap does.
I just hold on here when I use launch control 

I can justify any car purchase at any time for any damn reason. It’s one of my many, many gifts. Let’s just say It’s been a tough couple of years and leave it at that.  Suffice it to say, I felt yet another stupid indulgence was in order, since the last 3 purchases did nothing to solve my, or the worlds, problems. This came as a shock to me, since everyone knows any problem can be solved with a vehicular acquisition.  Perhaps my owning a brand-new car would be just the thing to set the universe right.   I’m doing this primarily for mankind, not myself. 

I didn't intentionally opt for the sport suspension package, just overlooked on the build sheet.  
The drama about the stiffness is overblown, it's luckily a pretty a reasonable ride I guess,.


For once I want to F*#K up my own automobile instead of having the previous owners do it.  I’m tired of worn out seat bolsters and steering wheels.  I’m tired of broken radios and bad speakers.  Tired of broken pixels on dash displays, tired of tracking down refurbished seat belt retractors.  Tired of discovering poor body work I missed during initial inspection.  This time I can be the jerk who messes the car up.

What was my criteria? 

I wanted 4 doors.  You probably think it’s not a sports car unless it has 2 doors. Shame on you, intolerant bastard!  America will never be great again with that kind of thinking.  I love opening a back door and easily tossing something there.  Be it a briefcase, backpack, my son or a Mossberg 500,  It’s just so damn convenient.  Small sedan doors open easily in tight parking lots.  When your sports car’s a daily driver too this kind of crap matters. 
The stiffness of 4-door chassis was proven by M3 sedans becoming track day favorites.
Selling was a bone-headed move for sure, perfectly balanced sports car perfection.

It prefer something quite small, ie narrow w/a short wheel-base for illegal u-turns and such.  I like a tiny car so I can make believe I’m in a 356 Speedster.  But wait there are more benefits.  Tiny cars are less likely to get door dings since they don’t crowd the parking space.  Everyone knows you can drive like a jerk if your car is small too, that’s good news.  Yes, there are great “super sedans” out there that are quite impressive, but those are long, big and heavy.  That just won’t support the lies I’m trying to tell myself like I’m young, handsome and driving a Corvette.

It’s gotta be all wheel drive.   Ever since the Porsche 959 (forefather of all Carrera-4’s) I’ve been enamored with AWD.   Tail wagging shenanigans are great, but high speed peace of mind is where I’d rather be.  In the Colorado mountain roads any shady switch back can have unexpected ice, so AWD keeps me driving irresponsibly more months out of the year. 

Audi RS3 - Bild: 208252821

Is it as  cool as  rear wheel drive w/front wheel assistance like Porsche or BMW? Probably not.  A hard exercise for car people is to shop for what they actually do rather than what they think they do.   I don't race as often as I drive in the snow to work,  so Haldex will do nicely.   
I thought this time, I’d try something crazy.  What could be crazier than a warranty?  I’ve owned cars I couldn’t afford using various techniques, but they were all gambles of one kind or another. Frankly I’ve done better than most amateur enthusiasts, I guess.  But in the words of Kenny Rogers, you’ve got to know when to fold ‘em.   So, no gambling this time at all.

Buying the 2010 Raptor for $14,500 with 175,000 miles seemed a good idea.
But that good idea was $10,000 ago,  the next owner, he's the one that got the deal.

I need something fast as bloody hell.   To me, that means 0-60 in under 4 seconds.  5 seconds used to be fast but not these days. These days texting moms in Honda Accords can blow away a 289 Shelby Cobra while the kids watch Frozen in the headrests.  Oh, and someone explain to me why pickups and SUVs are fast now too, WTF?  It used to be a car guy proved speed mattered most to him by giving thing up like: safety, comfort, cargo space, air conditioning or back seats. The more they gave up the faster they went.  This modern world disgusts me.   So, I had to find a car faster than fast just to keep up.


My Carrera -2 996 was plenty fast and plenty new with just 36,000 miles.
It was the incessant whining from many 996 members online that ultimately.
drove me to sell. Yes they have flaws, that's all they ever talked about. 


It had to have boost.  Colorado’s elevation is high, and turbocharging your car corrects the oxygen shortages at elevation.  Modern tiny motors get great mileage, and turbocharging is the only way to actually stand them.   Oh, and boost is freaking fun as hell too.  There’s that!

 Fancy interior for a fancy guy.
I needed that 3rd pedal of a stick shift. Well, I guess “needed” is the right way to put is since it is past tense.  I don’t need it any more.  I just couldn’t pull the trigger on any of the remaining stick shifting mighty sedans. The Focus RS, Subaru STI and Golf R are all great cars, but for me I’d being chasing that 400hp mark and ruining my warranty.  The sober truth is I traded that 3rd pedal for 400hp and a really fancy interior. 




Here is where I get my nostalgia,   But that will be the subject of another blog.
Get ready this is going to hurt people. We have evolved away from 3-pedals and shift levers. Like corded phones, bias-ply tires and Jiffy Pop they are disappearing for a reason.  I don’t care about emissions and economy, though I know they are factors. I do care that I can’t get the most out of a car this fast while using old-school controls. Things happen way too fast and the less you must do in the car the faster you actually will go (stolen from driver Don Kitch or Ross Bentley, I don’t recall).  Yes, I do miss the clutch pedal but not as much as I expected. When faced with nostalgia vs winning, winning wins. 




  Selling my 993 C2S was the dumbest mistake ever.  That said, I am a very dumb guy,
 so it was going to happen eventually. 


I needed something rare and interesting.  Something very exclusive.  Something that draws crowds when you pull up for gas.  Something that causes screams from young and old ladies.  Something that makes we worshiped like a god at Cars and Coffee………………..

Eager to test the AWD performance, but sad to discover the clearance wasn't ample today.
Hey, it's not my fault we got  18" of snow.   Perhaps some air ride suspension?

Okay perhaps my monologuing got out of hand, the RS3 isn’t rare or very exclusive.  But I feel pretty fancy, and that counts for something.  The car guy’s nod is really what we are all looking for. I want to be understood and appreciated by the most important people in the world.  Car people.



What’s next?   I’ll break down my buying experience, what I like and don't like and what is going to happen once the new is worn off this car.

Hint we are going to embrace this cars-rally car roots.  .   

Mudflaps (haven't bought yet, but soon) https://www.amazon.com/SPEEDLONG-Splash-Guards-Mudguard-2017-2019/dp/B07PX1DVTH

Paddle Shifters (bought):https://www.ecstuning.com/b-racingline-parts/vwr-billet-dsg-gearshift-paddles-midnight-black/vwr493000~vwr/

Black Roof Rack (waiting on a sale or lotto): https://www.thule.com/en-us/roof-rack/roof-racks/thule-evo-wingbar-_-am711xxxb?car=audi-rs3-4dr-sedan-_-3MBz

Re-tune by APR (waiting on warranty  to expire) :  https://www.goapr.com/products/ecu_upgrade_25tfsi_mqb.html

Interesting wheels for mud, gravel, snow duty.