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Thread: RS3 on the Black Mountain Pass with video

  1. #1
    MBK
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    RS3 on the Black Mountain Pass with video

    I'm lucky to live close to some of Wales best driving roads and earlier this week my 'commute' meant I could either go along the M4 or take the more direct route straight across the mountain. The A4069 Black Mountain Pass is one of those iconic roads used by Top Gear and evo magazine to test the true abilities of cars.



    I've written about the RS3 across this road in the wet before and rather than just my words this time here are the best sections of the road in video, accompanied by the glorious visceral 5 pot sound track. The initial uphill section is tight and twisty while the section at the end is more open, sweeping and little quicker.



    The early part of the Pass is tight and narrow, and as you'll see the local residents like to hang around close to the verge along with some sharp rocks that mean you concentrate that bit harder. The speed limit is of little concern as there are few places you could get close to it even in a car like the RS3.

    The initial uphill section is a real test of the mighty torque the RS3 has. Yet even on the steepest sections you are forced back into the bucket seat with the relentless stream of acceleration. As you'll hear in the video the seemless upshifts are the key factor in this. The throttle blipping downshifts remain as thrilling today as the first time I drove the RS3. Feeling your body being pinned against the side bolster of the seat and then firing out of the hairpins with ferocity is just addictive and the real party piece of the RS3.



    What impresses me most is the way the RS3 flows along this road, scything through the tight corners with ease and composure, the suspension is so settled that it just inspires confidence and dares you to get back on the throttle earlier. You wouldn't want anything wider along this road and I seriously doubt any supercar would be quicker along this type of tight twisting tarmac. The AP brake upgrade offers incredible stopping power to match the extra grip and balance of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres - but in truth even on this spirited drive the brakes are rarely tested. The extra feedback from the Michelin Pilot Super Sports is invaluable on a road like this, you can feel the limit of grip through the wheel and seat, the RS3 just feels more balanced and lets you know when the car is settled and ready for more throttle. Oh and you need the ESP firmly off to enjoy these sensations you will be amazed how early it interferes and spoils the fun if you leave it switched on.

    When you drive the RS3 every day on normal roads it is all too easy to forget just what it is capable of. I live for this type of road where I'm forced to recalibrate my senses, where I'm pushed into the seat under acceleration and hanging against the belt under braking, enjoying testing my own limits as much as the cars.

    I've driven many cars along this road and the RS3 is, wet or dry, the best by far. I'm still amazed by the depth of ability, the endless grip and almost unbreakable traction. Over a year into ownership I still finding myself grinning from ear to ear after a drive like this which is testament to just how good the RS3 really is.
    Last edited by MBK; 15th June 2013 at 11:17.

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    45bvtc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MBK View Post
    I'm lucky to live close to some of Wales best driving roads and earlier this week my 'commute' meant I could either go along the M4 or take the more direct route straight across the mountain. The A4069 Black Mountain Pass is one of those iconic roads used by Top Gear and evo magazine to test the true abilities of cars.



    I've written about the RS3 across this road in the wet before and rather than just my words this time here are the best sections of the road in video, accompanied by the glorious visceral 5 pot sound track. The initial uphill section is tight and twisty while the section at the end is more open, sweeping and little quicker.



    The early part of the Pass is tight and narrow, and as you'll see the local residents like to hang around close to the verge along with some sharp rocks that mean you concentrate that bit harder. The speed limit is of little concern as there are few places you could get close to it even in a car like the RS3.

    The initial uphill section is a real test of the mighty torque the RS3 has. Yet even on the steepest sections you are forced back into the bucket seat with the relentless stream of acceleration. As you'll hear in the video the seemless upshifts are the key factor in this. The throttle blipping downshifts remain as thrilling today as the first time I drove the RS3. Feeling your body being pinned against the side bolster of the seat and then firing out of the hairpins with ferocity is just addictive and the real party piece of the RS3.



    What impresses me most is the way the RS3 flows along this road, scything through the tight corners with ease and composure, the suspension is so settled that it just inspires confidence and dares you to get back on the throttle earlier. You wouldn't want anything wider along this road and I seriously doubt any supercar would be quicker along this type of tight twisting tarmac. The AP brake upgrade offers incredible stopping power to match the extra grip and balance of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres - but in truth even on this spirited drive the brakes are rarely tested. The extra feedback from the Michelin Pilot Super Sports is invaluable on a road like this, you can feel the limit of grip through the wheel and seat, the RS3 just feels more balanced and lets you know when the car is settled and ready for more throttle. Oh and you need the ESP firmly off to enjoy these sensations you will be amazed how early it interferes and spoils the fun if you leave it switched on.

    When you drive the RS3 every day on normal roads it is all too easy to forget just what it is capable of. I live for this type of road where I'm forced to recalibrate my senses, where I'm pushed into the seat under acceleration and hanging against the belt under braking, enjoying testing my own limits as much as the cars.

    I've driven many cars along this road and the RS3 is, wet or dry, the best by far. I'm still amazed by the depth of ability, the endless grip and almost unbreakable traction. Over a year into ownership I still finding myself grinning from ear to ear after a drive like this which is testament to just how good the RS3 really is.
    SO GOOD it's worth posting twice!!!....
    Veneeringman and Kelza like this.

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    45bvtc's Avatar
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    And how do you like your sheep Mark, with or without the mint sauce?.....

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    MBK
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    They are tasty but hopefully not on the grille! They weren't too bad on this run sometimes they seem to be special laser guided suicide squad sheep!

    I've only hit one once at low speed in a Westfield, the sheep was fine, got up and ran away the Westfield needed a new nose cone and steering realigned!!

  6. #5
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    Mint sauce in the demi glace with i hint of honey and marsala hits the spot

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    Quote Originally Posted by RS3-KEL View Post
    Mint sauce in the demi glace with i hint of honey and marsala hits the spot

    A respectful correction RS3-KEL: Mint sauce in the demi glace with i hint of honey and marsala (plus a 'smear' (sorry) of painted Westfield nose cone) hits the spot...

    I think we need a meet to do this road!
    .........
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    MBK
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    the A4059 'Dead Sheep Mountain' a wide open mile plus viasbility mountain road , A4061 Rhigos Mountain - more technical mountain road, this A4069 Black Mountain Pass - narrow hairpins and a run up the Devil's Staircase (narrow and slow but jaw dropping stunning views) to Lynne Brianne near Llandovery make a great day out.


  9. #8
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    Mmmmm.... Nice scenery think ive been over that route on my motorbike a couple years ago. ITS QUITE A CHALLENGING RUN WITH ALL THE TWISTY BITS.

    RS3 sounds sweet when your giving it the beans mate..
    MBK likes this.
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  10. #9
    MBK
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    Yep it's a popular route with the bikers on a weekend. I like this road because it's a proper challenge at quite sensible speeds it requires good thought and planning ahead or you just lose momentum or go in too hot to the next set of bends.

    I'd have thought the sheep would concentrate your mind on a bike!

  11. #10
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    Mark, thanks for the video, looks a great road, nice scenery for a leisure drive. Car sounds amazing. I will need to look at a map and see how far it is from Cardiff. x
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    I think you should be banned posting vids like this on the forum!!



    ….Showing and telling people how awesome the roads around here are?


    Loved watching that MBK, as you know i was driving that pass a few weeks back and cannot wait to drive it again soon.

    Tbh I had grinn ear to ear too, just watching it.



    I know why you cut the vid at 60 seconds in… you stopped for an ice cream?
    45bvtc and MBK like this.

  13. #12
    MBK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandra View Post
    Mark, thanks for the video, looks a great road, nice scenery for a leisure drive. Car sounds amazing. I will need to look at a map and see how far it is from Cardiff. x
    Thanks Sandra, there are plenty of good roads within an hour of Cardiff (but it's a great City with loads to see and do these days so you'll probably be well entertained there!) I'd highly recommend heading out toward Brecon then you can take a run across roads like the A4059 which are just jaw dropping the first 100 or so times you drive them!

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    Sounds like Another meet

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    Quote Originally Posted by MBK View Post
    Thanks Sandra, there are plenty of good roads within an hour of Cardiff (but it's a great City with loads to see and do these days so you'll probably be well entertained there!) I'd highly recommend heading out toward Brecon then you can take a run across roads like the A4059 which are just jaw dropping the first 100 or so times you drive them!
    Quote Originally Posted by RS3-KEL View Post
    Sounds like Another meet
    yes I'm up for a meet around Wales I live 20mins away from the Brecon pass to merthyr actually drove it last night but in my mums Q3, still great views and the road is great to. Also the road to Swansea is a interesting one also. So think we should get a meet sorted since its lovely British summer time
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    MBK
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    Sounds like a great plan, if the sun ever comes back out!

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    Just let me know...
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    MBK
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    I've got a couple of busy weeks coming up but a weekend run out over a few of these roads in July would be good. An Irish MX5 club and a group of new Minis are buzzing around here today on a similar meet up.

    Is there an ASN regional organiser for Wales? (I've seen the write ups on the Scottish meets etc).

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    I've lived in Cardiff my whole life and still haven't ventured up onto those roads... I think a road trip is in store when I pick up my S3!
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  20. #19
    MBK
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    It's often the way, very few people visit the places close the them! All the roads mentioned and many more are well worth a run and only 1-2 hours out of Cardiff.

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    And maybe include the dyno iv posted in another thread?
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    MBK
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    Great idea, I can make a good run of roads just getting to there.

  23. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by MBK View Post
    I've got a couple of busy weeks coming up but a weekend run out over a few of these roads in July would be good. An Irish MX5 club and a group of new Minis are buzzing around here today on a similar meet up.

    Is there an ASN regional organiser for Wales? (I've seen the write ups on the Scottish meets etc).
    Yes Mark they are FranA3 and drmole. Ut feel free to start your own meet thread, section is there for every member to use. x
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morells View Post
    And maybe include the dyno iv posted in another thread?
    As an engineer; ok, and old and (way) past it engineer; the dyno (with several cars to compare) has me 100% hooked... Whenever you're ready, Neil... whenever you're ready...
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    Like I said in the other thread this would be great
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    In an attempt to not let this fracture into 2 seperate discussions about the same thing, we can discuss the dyno on the other thread started by Morells and lets not hijack Marks excellent post.
    45bvtc likes this.

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