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M4 Competition vs RS3 FL

zaka7 Oct 14, 2018

  1. zaka7

    zaka7 Well-Known Member Team Nardo Audi RS3 Sportback S tronic

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    I wasn't sure if I should start a new thread here or not, but a few people said they were interested in my thoughts after I managed to get a weekend in a brand new M4 from BMW so I decided to just do it... For reference it was a 68 plate M4 Competition with the 7 speed DCT that turned up with 60 miles on the clock!

    Before I start my waffle, just bear in mind that I am far from an expert car journalist, these are just my honest views after my weekend with the BM. I'm also rating the cars based on cars I have driven in my life and not comparing them to the Lambos of the world...

    I had always wanted an M sport car, I however had no intention of changing my RS3 for at least another year or so, but this opportunity came about, and I couldn't say no to seeing what I think!

    Exterior Styling
    With them sat on my drive side by side, there is no doubt that they are both very pretty cars, but the M4 is absolutely stunning to look at, It is a real head turner. Particularly from the front, it looks more mean with it's hunkered down stance, massive air ducts and flared arches. I also love the concave bonnet that gives the impression of a huge beast sitting underneath!

    The side view also does it for me, the 20 inch rims on the competition pack are superb to look at and really make the car pop, I dread to think how much the tyres on the thing cost!

    The rear for me is where the RS3 claws some points back, I'm a sucker for that rear end and those 2 huge exhaust pipes as opposed to 4 smaller ones, I also don't like the fact the M4 has them so central rather than the traditional corners of the car and that so much of the diffuser is exposed.

    RS3 = 7/10
    M4 = 9/10

    Interior Styling & Equipment

    I have to say, getting into the M4, I was disappointed, Here I am sat in the flagship 4 series, and it feels no different to any other... I start my RS3 up and you get the RS3 logo flash in front of you before you hear the cold start raw, yet the BMW still had what looked like the programmable radio pre-sets! I found myself looking for the tape deck! I must say the seats in the M4 were a million times better than the RS, you can adjust the side cushions as well which I thought was a great touch.

    Like in the RS, you can also set up an individual mode, however in the M4 you could set 2 profiles with different settings (for each key) and change settings for suspension, throttle, steering, traction and gearbox, you could then change between the 2 with a single click of the 'M1' or 'M2' button on the steering wheel, I loved this!!
    I did really really miss my VC, going back to the standard dials was rather disappointing, and I don't know where to start with the BMW MMI system, but that's an Apple vs Android type argument, I personally despised it but I appreciate many will disagree with me here.

    The phonebox charge point was also not large enough to take a plus sized iPhone which is a little irritating.
    I did find myself driving around in manual mode using the flappy paddles, and I must say, the M4's ones felt 10times better than that in the Audi, I don't know how a little thing could feel so different, but it did.
    Overall, the M4 just didn't feel the special place to be that I thought it would!

    RS3 = 9/10
    M4 = 7/10

    Performance
    This is where it is incredibly close, we all know the RS3 is an absolute weapon, well the M4 is no different, the power delivery is insane, and it just pulls and pulls, it doesn't actually feel faster than my RS if I'm honest, and looking at the figures, there is only 0.1s between them to 60mph anyway. That said once you get to the 'higher speeds' the pull on the BM does start to feel more significant compared to the RS.

    Unlike the RS which is just insane regardless, The M4 is only this good on a 20 degree day with clear sunshine and dry roads! I was lucky enough to have a glorious day yesterday and rain today so I could experience the differences, In the rain this thing is almost pointless, You cannot even get close to flooring it in a straight line without having to fight to keep it straight! It just cannot put the power down. Given that we live in the UK this car would make a perfect second car for good weather days, but then I feel would just do your head in.

    The gearbox in the M4 drove me insane, In auto mode it had a mind of it's own, and always seemed to change at the wrong moment. In manual mode, It seemed to take an age to actually change (I am being fussy here) But it just was not as fast and smooth as the RS and 2nd to 1st always felt very jolty. Given that I tend to drive my RS in manual mode and equally did so in this M4 and that the RS delivers the same performance whatever the conditions it takes it here for me, JUST!

    RS3 = 9/10
    M4 = 8/10

    Handling
    This is more than likely purely down to RWD vs Quattro but I feel confident in the RS at almost any cornering speed that the car will cope with little drama or need for correction (unless I completely c**k the entry line up)

    The BMW on the sunny Saturday was no different, it was more engaging and required more, lets say respect but it was equally as enjoyable. It wasn't as tail happy as I thought it would be, but I could still get it sliding if I wanted too, which don't get me wrong, I really really enjoyed, but I just don't see a place for it on normal roads... I'd end up being banned from driving if I went everywhere sideways, I really struggle to see the benefits on RWD anywhere but a track or closed road...

    In the rain however, wow, I mean you need to have your whits about you, and fight the car all the way cornering or jut burying the throttle in a straight line! It is incredibly engaging and joyful, but does throw up some hairy moments and stop you enjoying the car to it's full potential which completely goes against the point in owning one, Why have 450hp that you can only unleash 2 our of 12 months of the year!

    RS3 = 8/10
    M4 = 7/10

    Noise
    Right, I love the noise of the RS3 now it is run in and obviously after the irritating cold start rattle, the pops and bangs are epic and the occasional gunshot always seems to scare pedestrians, which I find hilarious (I may have a genuine problem with that)

    The M4 is not as loud when on the move, even in sport plus mode, that said it is still very noisy when burying the loud pedal and does sound pretty good.

    My gripe with it is that the noise is artificial, it just doesn't do it for me on the same level of the RS. It sounds very tinny by comparison and no matter how hard I tried I could not get a single gunshot or proper pop. It does seem to have a multitude of burbles as you let off the throttle when in sport plus mode, this I liked very very much!

    I'm unsure if the M4 would get better or not after being run in more (This car had 60 miles on the clock) But given the fact the noise is artificial, I very much doubt it would.

    RS3 = 9/10
    M4 = 7/10

    Verdict
    Having had the pleasure (and it was) of experiencing this car for a weekend, I feel that the itch has been scratched and that I now have no desire to change to the M4, I thought that it would be a notable upgrade to the RS3, but for me at least, it turns out I already have the better machine in almost every department. I may change my mind once the new model BMW's come out with the redesigned interior and the M3 and M4 apparently coming with 4WD, But until then, the RS3 is the monster for me!

    Rs3 = 42 / 50
    M4 = 38 / 50
     
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  3. penetrator

    penetrator Well-Known Member

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    Good write up mate.
    As someone who’s owned the M4 Comp and M3 Comp and RS3 I feel the RS3 is the better car allround, with the M3 following by a gnats ******* then the M4. Looks wise, the M3 is the car to have between the 3/4 as it just looks more purposeful, aggressive and I found it drove better too.
    With regards to the M DCT I found it absolutely awesome, Better than the RS3 box are you sure you didn’t have the gear change in position 1 in the M4 as that will and does give very laboured changes and the fact the car wouldn’t be in its optimal state until it had its run in service too just to bear in mind so you wouldn’t of felt the real beast the car is.
     
  4. zaka7

    zaka7 Well-Known Member Team Nardo Audi RS3 Sportback S tronic

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    Thanks mate. I’m looking forward to seeing the new model m cars for sure!
    I fiddled with the 3 settings for the gear box D1-3 and S1-3 if that’s what you mean? Most of the time I was in S3. But found them still labouring by comparison. I do think given the mileage of the car you could be right there though!
     
  5. penetrator

    penetrator Well-Known Member

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    The M DCT is an incredible gearbox mate and if the car had done the run in service etc you would agree I guarantee that lol
    S-3 setting was and is generally avoided by most uses as it’s so brutal when it changes gear it makes the back end kick out and lose traction or if you pushing on around some nice twisties it would unsettle the car on gear change and scare the **** out of you lol
    Drive one thats done the 1200 mile service mate and then you will see what the cars rally like, completely different beast, you’ll love it I’m sure.
     
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  6. zaka7

    zaka7 Well-Known Member Team Nardo Audi RS3 Sportback S tronic

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    Noted and I agree that it’s probably due to low mileage. Yeah s3 deffo did that haha. I don’t dislike the car. It was an epic experience. I just think keeping the RS3 is the choice to make
     
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  7. penetrator

    penetrator Well-Known Member

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    You stick a nice stage1 tune on the RS3 mate and it’s on another level..

    I almost put a deposit on an M4cs on Friday, got offered a good deal on one but I thought I’d pay a visit to Porsche before I made up my mind and I’m so glad I did as it’s looking like the 718 Cayman GTS is getting ordered this Wednesday, completely different car to what I’m use to but ticks all the right boxes for a weekend warrior car lol
     
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  8. zaka7

    zaka7 Well-Known Member Team Nardo Audi RS3 Sportback S tronic

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    Beaut mate!! Hell of a motor that!
     
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  9. penetrator

    penetrator Well-Known Member

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    Really looking forward to traveling to the Nurburgring and around Europe in it next year now. I went to the Ring in the RS3 this year and it was awesome, car performed great and no issues, even the fuel economy on the way there was a surprise considering we were pushing on. FL RS3 has to be one of the best all around cars out there, power, performance, sound, price etc etc like I said with a bit of tuning OMG it’s unbelievable, completely different beast
     
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  10. ChrisRS3

    ChrisRS3 Member

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    Good review, how is the low end torque in the M4 zcp compared to the rs3? and is the fuel consumption the same as the rs3?
     
  11. D0C

    D0C Well-Known Member Team Nardo Team Panther Audi RS3 TTRS

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    Good review. Some very similar thoughts to when I compared my PFL RS3 to the M3 competition:

    https://www.audi-sport.net/xf/threads/rs3-pfl-vs-m3-competition-pack.346639/

    We've some similar observations, with us both liking the looks of the BMW but liking the rear end of the RS3! Also our comments on the interior being functional but not very special.

    After my review I had my car remapped and can say with certainty it would have the legs on a stock M3/4. Personally, the BMW isn't for me as I just prefer the 4WD and Audi RS cars. But I can see why plenty sell.
     
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  13. D0C

    D0C Well-Known Member Team Nardo Team Panther Audi RS3 TTRS

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    It's been a while since I drove one but I don't recall there being a stack of low end torque relative to the RS3. I think fuel economy would be similar...perhaps slightly worse but fairly neglible next to the depreciation!
     
  14. penetrator

    penetrator Well-Known Member

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    Fuel economy no difference really, not that I ever really worried about that lol.
    Low end on the M4 comp is savage I think, from 1750 rpm it’s explosive to the redline!
    More lag in the RS3.
     
  15. royalsteve68

    royalsteve68 Well-Known Member TeamMisano Team Ara Blue Audi RS3 Audi S3

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    Absolutely spot on. The m4 is a fine car but massively flawed as you can’t use the power fully for most of the year unless you are on a track. Then again, I still wouldn’t use it on a track as there are far better cheaper much faster track options in caterham, atom or an sr3. My mate had an rs38p which he loved, despite as he says it wasn’t massively engaging but was a brilliant daily driver. He then bought a new m3, and spent over £10k on extras including ppf, a £3000 exhaust system, new wheels, a £1000 steering wheel with rev counter in it, etc...but spun it loads and crashed it after a year. He said it was so unbalanced and these so called reviewers are biased and idiots as BMW’s are only good on tracks...pointless. Now he has an m2 which is a much better balanced car and sounds great...think it has an aftermarket exhaust. He like my rs3 though, lol

    I like the m2 styling and the dash is not too bad but the seats looks dreadful
     
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  16. royalsteve68

    royalsteve68 Well-Known Member TeamMisano Team Ara Blue Audi RS3 Audi S3

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    The one he tested had done 60 miles so hadn’t been run in the required 1200 miles. They are limited to 101 mph and I think performance is toned back too
     
  17. RGBARGEE

    RGBARGEE Well-Known Member Team Mythos Team Daytona Team Phantom Audi RS3 Audi RS4 Audi S3 Black Edition Navarra Blue Classic Audi A1

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    No matter how much BMW improve they never quite do it for me. As a petrolhead I always look at BMW before always (to date) buying Audi.
    The whole package is better and who wants rwd with 450PS? Loving my RS4 and S3 combo but miss my 2016 PFL RS3. The S3 is a highly underrated car and having seen a few at the BTTC clearly there are a few tweaks available.
     
  18. zaka7

    zaka7 Well-Known Member Team Nardo Audi RS3 Sportback S tronic

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    Thanks all :)

    I can confirm that it may not have had the run in service when I was given it, but there was no limit to 101mph, Don't ask me how I know, and there was also no harnessing of performance :search:

    Regarding the economy, I didn't do any economy runs for obvious reasons, I averaged about 19mpg over the 300 miles I did.
    Low end torque, didn't notice anything that stood out any different from my RS.
     
  19. RGBARGEE

    RGBARGEE Well-Known Member Team Mythos Team Daytona Team Phantom Audi RS3 Audi RS4 Audi S3 Black Edition Navarra Blue Classic Audi A1

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    Run in service?? Never had one of them with an Audi! As for restricting engine are BMW worried they might blow up??
     
  20. zaka7

    zaka7 Well-Known Member Team Nardo Audi RS3 Sportback S tronic

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    It does need a run in, every time I turned the car on it said service in 1200 miles, service in 1100 miles (etc)

    There are however no restrictions, the car revs upto the red line as it should and accelerates as expected, the 101mph restriction is also 100% not in place....
     
  21. RGBARGEE

    RGBARGEE Well-Known Member Team Mythos Team Daytona Team Phantom Audi RS3 Audi RS4 Audi S3 Black Edition Navarra Blue Classic Audi A1

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    I understand the need for caution during the first few miles but a service at 1200 Miles. What is involved? Possibly checking to make sure the indicators haven’t been used or. Checking that the dipstick realises that D and N aren’t being used as Day and Night settings
     
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  22. zaka7

    zaka7 Well-Known Member Team Nardo Audi RS3 Sportback S tronic

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    HAHA!

    The BMW forums say it is oil changes and fluid checks, and the activation of Launch Control for the DCT models, that'll explain why I couldn't work out how to use that!
     
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  23. penetrator

    penetrator Well-Known Member

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    As I said in the post I’ve owned both the M3/4 comp cars, there not limited to 101mph but once the car has had the RIS complete you can feel the urgency is on a completely different level.
     
  24. penetrator

    penetrator Well-Known Member

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    The oil they put in the car from factory is a thinner oil than the usual 5w30 it will run on in its life.
    The RIS changes this oil from factory stuff to normal FS oil, the software is modulated to give full beans and LC is activated too, pretty sure the Diff oil is changed also.
     
  25. RGBARGEE

    RGBARGEE Well-Known Member Team Mythos Team Daytona Team Phantom Audi RS3 Audi RS4 Audi S3 Black Edition Navarra Blue Classic Audi A1

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    Why would that be? Is there a technical/engineering reason or it this just another get you back to the dealer rip off?
     
  26. Phil3

    Phil3 Well-Known Member Team Nardo Audi RS3 Saloon

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    It’s to “bed” the engine components in properly isn’t it!? Whether it’s really needed or not that’s done to BMW?!
     
  27. penetrator

    penetrator Well-Known Member

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    It’s a legacy thing and good engineering practice really but essentially it’s got to be to give the components a good chance to bed in using the thinner oil.

    Nowadays there’s probably hint of BMW marketing too but I’ve always changed the oil within 2k on any performance car I’ve owned, again good engineering practice
     
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  28. Stefan Farrugia

    Stefan Farrugia New Member

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    i own both FL RS3 and M4 , both great cars , but the M4 is just silly that having all that power and you cant put down traction ! M4 looks great but a good RS3 with stage 2 will kill the M4 anytime

    Now I sold the M4 and got a 911.2 Turbo S instead :)
     
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  29. deanshaw24

    deanshaw24 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    Write up is spot on, I had a 66 plate m4 comp and it’s the most frustrating car I’ve ever owned. I found it completely pointless in the end as you can never put the power down and can’t drive anywhere sideways.
     
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  30. jassyo06

    jassyo06 Voodoo Man ! Gold Supporter Audi S3 Black Edition Porsche Voodoo Blue S3 Saloon

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    That's because you can't drive properly lol l have driven the M4 Cp on numerous occasions from last November through to March this year bloody weapon it is, a very serious car indeed Yip you've got to drive it cautiously in bad weather but who doesn't drive there car cautiously in bad weather, comparing it to the RS3 well both aren't really comparable in terms of price and looks the M2 Cp is what you should be comparing the RS3 too, similar size and power and closer in price
    Given the choice I would have a M4 Cp before a RS3 just on it's look alone
    DSC_0185.JPG DSC_0182.JPG
     
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  31. FBF01

    FBF01 Well-Known Member

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    Especially in SAN Marino blue...love love love that colour!!!!!!!!!
     
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  32. D0C

    D0C Well-Known Member Team Nardo Team Panther Audi RS3 TTRS

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    Jassy, the problem is in the UK is that it's 'bad weather' for at least half of the year! I've also had a good go in an M3 CP and it was trying to switch ends in 3rd gear at half throttle. It's just tedious. I do agree it looks great, though. Even so, I'm glad I went for the TTRS. At least as good looking IMO, and a missile especially with a stage 1 tune on. Even in the dry, I'm not sure an M4 would see which way I went.
     
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  34. jassyo06

    jassyo06 Voodoo Man ! Gold Supporter Audi S3 Black Edition Porsche Voodoo Blue S3 Saloon

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    Driven the ttrs roadster got some awesome memories driving that pocket rocket but it ain't that much different looking than from a TTS .. Where the M4 is far different looking from a 4 series but hey great cars the M"s and RS cars. .. it's all down personal preference, l have a day with the M2 Cp coming up really looking forward to that
     
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  35. penetrator

    penetrator Well-Known Member

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    Both my M3 and M4 comps were tuned to 520+ bhp and it was most definitely not pointless, learning the power delivery and how to modulate it was all part of the “M” appeal, I could always put the power down it just wouldn’t go anywhere sometimes :welcoming:
    I assume you never really used MDM often? Also a little software update from the GTS cured many traction issues for people.
     
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  36. Evil Derboy

    Evil Derboy Active Member Team Daytona Audi RS5 Owners Group

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    M4 Comp all day long. It's not even a valid comparison in terms of price or car segment. M2 Comp is the direct competitor not the RS3.

    I am loving AWD having owned an M3 and an M6 but there's something about the M cars that stirs the soul in a way the Audi's struggle with. Happy to trade that for predictable handling in all weathers though!
     
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  37. q5man

    q5man Mythos Appreciator Team Mythos TFSI Owners Group Gold Supporter quattro Audi Q5

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    Jeez lovely. LOVE that colour! SAN Marino
     
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  38. Spinstorm

    Spinstorm Well-Known Member

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    My friend ordered an M4 Comp a couple of months ago and he is expecting it to turn up before this month is done.

    It would be interesting so do a side by side comparison; yes they are different form factors and a different design but actually I think that the RS3 punches above it’s weight and so it is fast enough to beat an M3/M4 off the line until the higher horsepower kicks in but it’s debatable if that will happen before the limiter.
     
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  39. Masslob

    Masslob Active Member

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    If I went BMW after my Rs3 would probably be an m5 as it's 4wd and doesn't feel like the dashboard is stuck in the past with dials lol. All the other models don't interest me. But great write up!
     
  40. q5man

    q5man Mythos Appreciator Team Mythos TFSI Owners Group Gold Supporter quattro Audi Q5

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    Future M's will undoubtedly be xdrive too.
     
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  41. N-Sinc

    N-Sinc New Member

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    A colleague has an M4 comp and it can't get anywhere near the RS3 (FL) off the line up a dual carriageway to some fairly silly speeds. It's an absolute demolition job if i use launch control. If the road is even slightly greasy too, it's absolutely pointless. Can't see which way i've gone....

    This bit of dual carriageway is on the final leg into the office, so there's a few of us that always run into each other there. Two colleagues Golf 7.5 R's can edge away from him up to 70-80mph off the line too.
     
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  42. terminator x

    terminator x Well-Known Member Team Nardo Team V6 Audi RS4

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    £90k car though so hardly a competitor!

    TX.

    Sent from my BBB100-2 using Tapatalk
     
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  43. billyali86

    billyali86 Well-Known Member

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    Not really the point of the m4 tbh, its not designed to be a straight line rocket like the rs3, over 80-90 and the m4 would walk away however as said. not really intended for that
     
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