Road Atlanta Gets Beaten Up By R8, RS3, and TTRS
Slideshow: Audi Sport’s production-car lineup already offers a roster full of vehicles that deliver high-powered performance, but there’s more that will be added soon: most notably, the TT RS, RS3 LMS, and R8 LMS GT4. Recently, the folks at Automobile Magazine had the opportunity to test them out on Road Atlanta. Click through to see how they performed. Story and photos via Automobile Magazine
What is Road Atlanta?
Road Atlanta is a two-and-a-half-mile road course located just north of Braselton, Georgia, United States. It’s used for a ton of different events, including professional and amateur sports car and motorcycle races, racing and driving schools, and more.
It features excellent flow, some pretty tricky road corners, and challenging elevation changes that make it a fantastic place to test new cars.
How did the TT RS perform on Road Atlanta?
The $65,875 TT RS features a 0-60MPH time of just 3.6 seconds. Impressive, sure, but how did it feel on the track? In the Automobile Magazine review, it’s noted that the TT RS performed quite similarly to the more conservative RS 3 vehicle. In fact, the driver said that probably the only advantage the TT RS holds over the RS 3 is that it is close to 300 pounds lighter and slightly faster on initial takeoff. He summarized that the TT RS is a “certified, overachieving giant killer.” Other things noted about the TT RS: Beyond its straight-line power, the car has an excellent chassis that allows for easy corner-entry rotation, plus reliable brakes, fantastically comfortable seats, and well-tuned suspension and steering.
How did the RS3 LMS perform on Road Atlanta?
The $137,500 front-drive RS3 LMS is quick—there are four different power maps available, either 290, 310, 330, or 350 HP from the 2.0-liter turbo-four. It has no problem crossing curbs and has impressive cornering speeds thanks to its ability to generate up to 800 pounds of downforce. The driver noted that the car’s baseline chassis setup was a bit soft, but it didn’t prevent him from accelerating quickly. Shifting in the RS 3 LMS is as quick as expected from a double-clutch automatic. While the brakes do not feature ABS, they work well. Modulation while trail-braking into slower corners is no issue, and the car’s downforce means you can use a lot of brake pressure at the end of the straights with no worries about locking up. It is worth noting that since the car weighs only 2,712 pounds, it has a true nimble race-car feel.
How did the R8 GT4 perform on Road Atlanta?
The $249,500, 3,153-pound R8 GT4, meanwhile, is a mid-engine 5.0-liter V-10-powered car capable of generating approximately 495 HP. Its driver noted that the R8 GT4 felt stable and hooked-up right from the get-go. The steering is not too quick and with about 500 pounds of downforce, the car offers less aerodynamic grip than the RS 3 LMS. Still, though, you can feel it working. This is important because it allows for the driver to carry speeds through some of the track’s quicker turns. The car’s ABS brakes offer massive stopping power. Traction control is adjustable and you can turn it off though, the driver did note that the system was barely noticeable in the least aggressive setting. One of the major selling points for the car is that its rear-end is well-planted, which is great for less experienced drivers and separates the R8 from other GT4 race cars. For context: It is possible to lap the aforementioned RS 3 LMS around Road Atlanta faster than a production Porsche GT3 RS or Corvette Z06 with Z07 package (sub 1 minute, 30 seconds). The R8 GT4 is even quicker, by about 4 seconds per lap, in fact.
What was the final say on both Audi race cars?
What stood out most for the drivers is the overall turnkey nature and accessible performance of the cars; that is, when they’re delivered, they’re ready to go. That means, if you own one, you can take it to your favorite racetrack, do a quick performance check on it, run it for 50 or so laps, then go out to grab a bite to eat. It’s a worthwhile selling point for racers of all skill levels and should give these cars a broader reach to.
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