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This 600 HP Audi RS3's 9.83-Second Quarter Mile Introduced Me To The Word 'Frisson'

Illustration for article titled This 600 HP Audi RS3s 9.83-Second Quarter Mile Introduced Me To The Word Frisson
Photo: APR

The noise and motion in this clip of a 2018 Audi RS3, juiced with a whole bunch of prototype modifications from upgrader APR, is so fierce and fun looking that it’s giving me goosebumps.

A “frisson,” I learned, is what I’m experiencing. As in “a frisson of excitement” according to Google.


Now when Vin Diesel used the phrase “ten seconds or less” to describe a quarter mile race in a 2001 movie, the general public unfamiliar with drag racing may have started thinking that such speeds were normal. No, non-car people, doing the 1320 (more drag slang for you) in single-digit seconds is freaking pants-ruiningly fast and most daily driver road cars couldn’t come close to such a pace.

Ever since my drag strip experience in the 2018 Dodge Demon, I’ve held and elevated respect for quarter mile racers and the extreme mental stress a nine-second car is capable of assaulting its driver with. This RS3 looks scarifun.


In 2017, Motor Trend said this Audi could lay down a quarter mile time of just over 12 seconds without any upgrades. Now, German car tuning outfit APR says it’s effectively shaved a whopping two seconds off that by adding some parts of its own while continuing to claim the car is an “excellent daily driver.”

I’m not sure about that last part, but here’s the list of things that had been done to the car:

APR ECU & TCU Upgrades with E85

  • TTE625 Drop-in Stock-Housing Turbo
  • Intake System
  • Straight-Pipe/Dump Tube Exhaust System
  • Intercooler System
  • Fueling System
  • 18x8.5 Wheels
  • 245x40R18 Hoosier Drag Radials
  • Seats Removed

The car is owned by somebody named Keith Brantley, who apparently has had a relationship with APR for some time (you can watch a similar video of him doing a drag run in an RS7 last year if you want). I’m not sure if a professional or experienced drag driver is at the wheel of the car while the video’s being shot or not, but the best time clocked was a 9.83 second run. And it looks like it was a clear, clean day at Montgomery Motorsport Park in Alabama.

APR has stated that the parts on this car are prototypes and “proof of concepts” meaning that it’s testing some stuff out to see how much power it makes and whether or not it will be profitable enough for the company to bother making. I’m sure if RS3 owners see this post and call or email them, that’ll increase the odds of these things going to market.

In the meantime, I’d just be happy if APR lets me drive it.

Jalopnik Staffer from 2013 to 2020, now Editor-In-Chief at Car Bibles

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I wonder why people hate on Audi so much, I’m a mechanic by trade and I repair cars and I can tell you that if I had to go drive across a desert and have the big 3 german car makers vehicles in front of me to choose.

I would take mercedes, audi/ Vw..... then, I will walk. I have ever had a misfortune of mixing up the battery terminals of a vw golf when under strong medication. After replacing the fuses the car was good to go.

BMW on the other hand... just try pulling the battery terminal out when the car is on..... $800 for a foot well module... “thank you sir”.  

Mercedes is different, electronics will throw all sorts of errors but the car can still be driven.

WRT to the Rs3 the platform is simple and hardy. Yes there are weaknesses in the stock engine mount design. The front shock towers are not inline with the shock travel, screwing you up if you choose the wrong aftermarket coilovers.

And Audi was frankly stupid to put the DQ250 gearbox on the S3 when they had a dq500 in the tiguan and Q3...and the s3 engine makes more torque and power then both the cars.

Those ppl who keep saying its lousier because its platform is shared with a *lower level car type clearly do not enjoy tuning and racing their cars.

For us who love to get into the internals of the cars and who like to modify and improve a car with a shared platform is a blessing.

When we take it to a track we are not afraid of parts wearing out or not being able to find aftermarket parts.

Trash a S3 vs a m235 around a track. modify both, the S3 will match the m235 every single time, if not beat it in a time attack situation but when it comes to cost and repairs. the s3 driver is going to have more money in his pocket.

Now if Iwas offered a toyota on the other hand, I’ll take that hands down in the desert. not sexy, not fast, but it will always always get you there...