Following our successful outing at the drag strip, we headed to Road Atlanta for some brutal track testing. Testing on a road course puts the vehicle through some of the most demanding conditions. The engine is run at full tilt lap after lap, putting it through stress otherwise not seen on the road. In doing so, our calibration team is able to learn valuable information about how the engine handles the increased power in demanding situations our customers may experience. We tested each mode, Drive, Sport, and Manual, and were happy with the performance. Our RS3 was outfitted with our development APR 93 and Ethanol ECU Upgrades (as well as stock), APR 19×8.5 forged wheels with a previously used set of Pirelli Trofeo R tires, and APR Development Lowering Springs at full vehicle weight. We use Motul RBF660 brake fluid.
Race Report from our Driver, Ian Baas:
Thanks for a successful weekend everyone! The Car and Calibration was perfect and I've never been more excited about an APR release in my life. Most production street cars I've tested almost always show their weak points within 5-10 laps of any high performance track event. The RS3 Sedan excelled during the entire test and I am sure this product will perform flawlessly in street conditions as it sits currently!
I really cannot stress enough how much this car exceeded my expectations!
RS3 Stage 1 (93 Octane Map)
1:45.60 (RA Wet/Dry Conditions)
S3 Stage 3+ (93 Octane Map)
1:39.10 (RA Dry Conditions, earlier in the year)
For Comparison sake these are Rain Times during this year's Petit Le Mans Practice... Not bad!
Car performed very well during each Octane tested (Stage 1 E85, Stage 1 93, Stock). Power was strong and on demand throughout each outing. (+/- 10 laps per outing. 55 laps in total.)
Engine Cooling was nominal, I saw little to no fluctuation, holding 240F throughout every run.
By far the best VAG DSG I've driven. Transmission performed better than expected in Sport Mode and Manual Mode. Sometimes I could feel small delays in power delivery during apex out throttle application while in Sport Mode. For once I preferred Manual Mode for track driving, the DSG did just about everything you told it to do without electronic intervention. The only intrusive issue I experienced was while exiting turn 8 in 2ndgear, the transmission bounced off the rev-limiter for period of time and would not up-shift until I lifted off the throttle. This was during the last session of the day when I was giving Tyler a ride around the track and the fuel level was almost empty.
Suspension with APR Development Springs:
Without having any comparison to stock spring package it's hard to say if the car was improved by the addition of APR springs but I can certainly say that the car did not have any glaring unwanted characteristics. We had changing track conditions all day long and the car handled them very well. The car was very neutral from apex out and inspired confidence throughout the track. Even though power output had been increased significantly, corner exit was especially good delivering just the right amount of power for a neutral exit. Corner entry/ Body roll could be better the rear did have the tendency to roll over and cause a slight over steer. I would be very interested in testing stiffer Anti-Roll Bars both independently and Front and Rear Together.
I rarely pressured the brake zones due to poor weather conditions. The only negative experience was a soft/long brake pedal after momentary short stops in pit lane (under 2 mins). The pedal would come back after about a half lap but this is something I would like to address.