Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. This week: Audi RS3 sedan starts at $60k in the US with serious performance, Lamborghini Huracan GT3 gets an even better Evo2 upgrade, WIll.i.am partners with AMG to produce a one-off car, and more.
2023 Audi RS3 priced at $59,995
Audi’s highly compelling entry point into the RS line is coming back to America in a more potent form. The RS3 Sedan and five-door debuted last year and promised to retain Audi’s legendary five-cylinder power but with even more power than before, plus the usual advances in technology and design. Audi confirmed the sedan version will go on sale in the states by this summer with an MSRP of $59,995 including destination charges.
This could very well be the last time you can get a five-cylinder in a compact Audi – or any Audi. The 2.5-liter TFSI five-cylinder produces 401 horsepower and 369 lb.-ft. of torque, the most of any production five-cylinder before it, probably. With Quattro and a brand new RS Torque Splitter, it’ll rocket from 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds and can reach up to 180 mph if equipped properly. They didn’t go into details about what kinds of packages will be available, but usually German manufacturers will take off the speed limited mandated by their homeland in exchange for cash.
Stopping power is provided by standard 14.8″ front and 12.2″ rear steel brake discs with enhanced cooling and six-piston front and single-piston rear calipers. 15″ ceramic front discs are available as an option. RS Sport suspension and dynamic chassis control are standard and contribute to improved handling and responsiveness. That RS Torque Splitter mentioned earlier means the drive torque for the rear axle is fully variable between the rear wheels. And yes there’s a drift mode.
For $60k, you may not find another compact luxury car that will be as well equipped and as fast as the 2023 RS3. Plenty of cars will be faster or more powerful, but the performance figures this thing can put out while also being a comfortable daily driver are staggering. And of course, it also holds the compact cars record around the Nordschleife with a time of 7:40.748.
Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo2 debuts
Good news for all our readers who are also race team owners. Lamborghini has introduced a second upgrade for the successful and popular Huracan GT3 race car. Developed to meet FIA 2022 technical regulations while extracting even more out of the car, the Huracan GT3 EVO2 features new bodywork and aero solutions, some engine upgrades, better safety equipment, and upgraded brakes.
Its new style will look familiar to some of the recent Huracan road cars, particularly the race car for the street that is the STO. A hexagonal airscoop and rear fin provide a more efficient air intake system and better car balance. The airscoop replaces the side air intakes to channel air directly into the ten new electronic throttle bodies. The pit crew can remove all those throttle bodies with just four screws. On the other end of the performance spectrum, its brakes have been updated with new calipers and pads designed in house to optimize performance in both endurance and sprint races.
Elsewhere, the carbon fiber bodywork features a new splitter, rear diffuser, and underbody for aerodynamic efficiency and greater downforce. New aluminum alloy pillars for the rear wing facilitate greater precision in adjusting the wing. Inside the driver compartment is a redesigned roll cage with two rear pillars and new carbon-Kevlar honeycomb side panels borrowed from the Essenza SCV12.
The car will be delivered to customer teams from the second half of 2022. Previous GT3 EVO models can be upgraded to the EVO2. Lamborghini hopes to keep up the success the Huracan GT3 has enjoyed in global sports car racing. 40 international titles in six seasons of competition with more to come, surely. Its on track debut is slated for the 2023 Daytona 24 Hours.
Will.i.am and Mercedes-AMG create a one-off car
This one created quite a buzz yesterday. Legendary artist Will.i.am teamed up with Mercedes-AMG to create a truly wild and unique one-off in his image. I don’t think it looks very good, but it’s definitely unlike anything else and he certainly seems proud of it. So good for him.
It started out as an AMG GT 63S E Performance, which you’ll note is a four-door “coupe”. Mr. Will He Is must’ve thought the concept of a four-door “coupe” was pretty stupid too, so he made it an actual coupe complete with a massive pair of suicide doors. Up front is a totally bespoke facia which sort of resembles the G-Wagon and his own “Bear Witness” logo adapted to fit the Merc logo. It looks like he tried to adapt as many of his favorite bits of Mercedes styling queues into one car. The long hood with vents bears resemblance to the AMG GT, SLS AMG, and McLaren SLR. And his choice of wheels, which appear to be a design available from the factory, fits the throwback Merc theme as well.
It’s not often that Mercedes commits to a one-off collaboration like this. It helps that Will.i.am is a brand ambassador. But it speaks to his influence that such a project was doable to begin with. Oh, and it’s called the Will.i.AMG.
Eat Shit, Brad
I wanted to take a small detour from the riveting and world-class auto industry reporting you’ve come to expect from this site to give a shoutout to our pal and former contributor, Bradley Brownell, who is stepping down from his position at Jalopnik today. He’s probably still writing for some of his other projects like FlatSixes on occasion, but his largest share of writing has been at Jalopnik for the past five years. He’ll be switching careers to something entirely different (he’ll announce it Monday). But for the time being, his days as a full time journalist, writer, blogger, hot take haver (scratch that – he’ll never give that one up), and shrimp eater are over.
And since Jalopnik’s owners have decided that departures can’t be talked about anymore on their sites, he doesn’t get the traditional roast from his colleagues. Since he was such a huge part of Hooniverse in its early days and I call him a friend (and he maybe he does too), I figured I should help make up for it.
Eat shit, Brad.
We both started writing for this crazy Polish guy at a site called CarGuyDad back in 2010. I was a bored college student who liked cars but knew nothing of writing. Bradley was… well I don’t remember what he was doing back then besides getting into arguments on Twitter. But we made some sort of impression when the two of us and Kamil were brought into Hooniverse. He was the motorsports editor and had a weekly column breaking down the numerous racing events of the weekend before. Fun fact: he’s still on our masthead as our motorsport editor even though he hasn’t written for us in several years. That’s not because we miss him that much or anything – it’s an indictment of our laziness.
He also ran a podcast or two which I appeared on once – and completely fucked the audio in the process. He then began to work on this cool little project called Radwood. I was at the very first one in San Francisco and knew it could be something special. Years later, it was deemed important enough to be acquired by Hagerty which speaks volumes to its significance in car culture. I got to collaborate with him to cover Gridlife South at Road Atlanta. I took photos and he wrote words which ended up being his ticket into Jalopnik. That article was one of my favorite things I contributed to in my “career”. Sadly, their overlords took a page out of Hooniverse and lost thousands of old images too, so that post is basically worthless. Just like Bradley’s opinions on Sebring.
I’m now three paragraphs into this “roast” and I realize I don’t actually have very many bad things to say about him… that I can come up with off the top of my head. He’s a great dude with unmatched enthusiasm. What he built with Radwood is something truly special because it’s not just my generation’s car show, it’s an extension of his own personality. It celebrates the weird and the underappreciated, and it’s as welcoming and loving of a community as you can find. When I think back on all the people I’ve met because I said “yeah sure” to a Polish guy on Twitter that I didn’t know to go write about cars, he’s absolutely one of my favorites. I’m sad he’s no longer going to have the same sort of presence in the world of journalism/blogging/shit posting. But wherever his career takes him next, I’ll continue to be a fan and wish him the best. Asshole.
What’s your automotive news?
That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so now it’s your turn. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.
Have a good weekend.