Today was a fun day. A friend of many years came to an event I was running today and agreed to bring along her, yes you read that right, GTR. This GTR is a little special too, running the Litchfield Stage 4 620 bhp upgrade, Y-pipe and louder exhaust, improved discs and pads and a great choice in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres.
It's been poring with rain here all day so just a quick snap of the cars together.
I've only experienced the GTR on track at Silverstone before but that was with a helmet on and in the unnatural world of a wide open track. This was my first longer on road experience. We took the RS3 out for a blast first, my car is running perfectly at the moment, it has just got better and better over the last 2000 miles or so. Nia (the GTR driver) enjoyed drving the RS3 with it's APR Stage I goodness and the mighty AP stoppers reigning everything in when needed. Despite the weather traction was perfect and we were able to get a few good bursts of acceleration on the wise open roads in these parts. Nia doesn't hang about and we were able to get a nice little neutral slide on a wide roundabout exit to induce a fit of the giggles for both of us.
The GTR is something else. The thunderstorm of noise on start up just gives a taste of what follows. To give an idea of the difference I couldn't hear the ticking over RS3 when the GTR started up. Slot a gear and whines and clanks greet the request (I didn't notice these on track) as first engages. It took just the first 10 feet of the RS3 test drive to know it was the car for me and now I can say the same for the GTR. Even at 30mph the GTR feels fast, it's a real experience to sit in and as you'd expect it gets attention everywhere you go, it is an imposing machine. Ride quality in comfort is fine, about the same as the RS3, though the GTR seats are a little more comfortable than the Audi buckets so that might account for the similar feeling. The exhaust noise is clever too, when cruising or coasting the GTR exhaust noise is quiet, though the gearbox clunks and whines remain. Even on a light throttle though the GTR makes more noise than the standard RS3 exhaust at full wail. You could never describe the GTR as relaxing but I think that's the point. By comparison the RS3 is pure refinement. Even the fastest gear change in the RS3 isn't one tenth of the thump of the GTR change. As for wet grip well it's fair to say the GTR has quite a bit more than the RS3.
Now the RS3 is still a special place to sit and wins the interior quality contest but I also love all the technology in the GTR, all those screens and readouts just appeal to the inner child in me. Yes there are downsides, the GTR is too big and the RS3 would be more fun on a b-road. The running cots of the GTR are high and it screams look at me to the subtlety of the RS3. The engine and transmission noise are raw and unfiltered. Yet all those are also reasons that I absolutely love it, it is properly mad.
I'm glad I avoided a longer road GTR experience until now because it extended my time with the RS3 but now when the right deal comes along a GTR with a few choice modifications will be my next road car for sure.