DE La Soul were right. Three is the magic number.
Yes it is. It’s the magic number.
Just with the letters R and S stuck in front of it. I’m not wired smoking shisha. Promise.
But I am in Oman (keep on going past Saudi Arabia) where I’ve been dodging camels (also true) and testing the new Audi RS3 saloon.
Petrol is cheaper than water here and the roads, man O-man, the mountain roads are just awesome. Snooker table smooth, twisty, low grip and empty.
Perfect for play time. Perfect for unleashing the 174mph RS3.
Regular readers of this column may remember I christened the Audi TT RS the “baby R8” — just half a second slower for much less than half the price.
Well, the RS3 saloon is the TT for parents — with four doors and four seats.
It has the same five-cylinder engine that howls like a banshee. It is the No1 reason to buy this car.
But is it fast? God, yes.
Switch off the electric nanny blankets and you’ve got launch control, quattro 4WD and 400 horses to fire you down the road.
The bad people at Audi Sport quote 0-62mph in 4.1 seconds and 124mph in 14.3. It feels quicker than that. And there’s no interruption in power, not even a mouse’s sneeze, racing up the gears.
Now for the geeky stuff. It’s also lighter than the old RS3. And crucially much of that weight shaving is over the front wheels. So it is even more precise pouring into bends at trouser-changing speeds.
I should also explain there are now two bodystyles. The Sportback (hatchback to everyone else outside planet Audi) and this new saloon. It’s greener too. Kermit green.
The interior is qual-a-tee. Of course it is. It’s an Audi, darling. But you have to tick the box for the 12.3in driver display with 3D Google mapping. Really? On a £45,000 car?
May I also recommend the luggage net for the boot — or your shopping will be mushy soup by the time you get home from Asda.
But now for the tricky bit.The RS3 squares up against two of my favourite cars from last year: the Ford Focus RS and BMW M2.
So, what is it going to be?
Hmmmm. The RS3, the sophisticated assassin? The drifting Focus, more Essex but £15,000 cheaper? Or the M2, also very special, RWD, but less disco for your lugholes?
OK, decision made.
I’d have all three.
Because three is the magic number.
AUDI RS3 SALOON
Engine: 2.5-litre 5cyl turbo with quattro AWD
Power: 400hp, 480 Nm torque
0-62mph: 4.1 secs
Top speed: 174mph
I HAVE no business with bikes. None at all. Get one thing wrong and it’s going to be loud and painful.
But I do like this Abarth/Yamaha car/bike combo to mark their MotoGP tie-up.
Both come in grey and red and use the same carbon fibre tailpipes.
The Abarth 695 XSR Yamaha (that’s the car) is £19,000 and the Yamaha XSR900 Abarth (the bike) is £9,999. Half the price but no ashtray. Out May.
SAY no to Easter eggs. Ask for a 500-piece campervan jigsaw instead.
It evens comes in a jigsaw tin, £16.75. See https://gibsonsgames.co.uk/ for stockists.