Currently in the market for a hot hatch with 0-60 6 seconds or less. Priorities - comfort, build quality. Any other suggestions
Audi RS3 (wait for it)
VW Golf R/ Scirocco R
Honda civic MUGEN
i would discount the french brands on grounds of build quality.
I'd go for the Audi due to it's 4wd and prestige, build quality etc. But the Renault probably would be a lot more fun.
Have you thought about anything else? Seat Leon Cupra R, Mazda 3 MPS, Focus RS?
I agree with all the comments here, go for the Audi, but wait for the RS3. The S3 and Golf R may be 4WD, but this is achieved through a Haldex clutch rather than a proper centre differential. What this means is that the car primarily is front wheel drive (95/5 F/R bias), and will drive as such until the front wheels begin to slip under power. I believe that the generation of Haldex clutch used in these cars has a lag of 1/7th of a wheel rotation before electronically engaging traction to the rear wheels. Effectively what you have is a FWD car with additional RWD backup in case of slippage. On the plus side though, emissions are better in a Haldex system than proper 4WD systems.
In the RS3, it is planned to use a biased torque sensing differential with a 15/85 front-to-rear torque bias, as is used in the new RS5. These differentials are entirely mechanical, and so torque is instantly directed to where it is needed, rather than relying on electronic systems with inherent time lag. As a result of the bias, this will behave more like a RWD machine, albeit with less pure steering due to the weight of the front drivetrain.
My one reservation about the RS3 is how they are going to implement the drivetrain. In the rest of the A3 range, the engine is mounted transversely, whereas a Torsen centre differential is more suited to longitudinal mounting. I sincerely hope that Audi don't put the engine too far forward to accomodate the drivetrain, leading to a overly nose-heavy feel.
normally i would always say go for the german...but ever since my brother bought a clio 197, my opinion has changed!
it is a truly fantastic car, and by all accounts the megane is bigger, obviously faster and better built.
Mazda 3 MPS
like hardcastle said gtr32/33 would be(in my opinion) the best option. ok they look slightly aged but still goes like the clappers and you can have immense fun in them.
however, i recently(about 5 days ago) went for a little spin in a megane rs250.
i was pleasantly surprised at how it handled. and its got plenty of go aswell..... also it looks the nuts in white w/ black wheels.....
Cheers for the advice. Couple more questions when is the RS3 out? Is renault build quality that bad? Mazda 3 MPS I have heard the torue steer is quite bad, true?
I've just bought a new 3 MPS and there is virtually no torque steer as the torque is limited in 1st and 2nd gear. Plus it's a 0-60 in 6 secs car and it's damn cheap for what you get. The build quality isn't as good as a golf, but it isn't bad. The similar specced Golf was 30k the Mazda was 20.5. 10k for a slightly better built interior?
Plus standard equipment on the MPS-BOSE 10 speaker multi change stereo with Blue tooth, half leather heated seats, parking sensors, sat nav and some gadget that lets you see cars in the blind spot in your wing mirrors. Plus 5 doors(if you need it). Very good car.
But then again I'm biased....
Get the Renault. I had a Renaultsport Clio and loved it - it's the only car I truly miss and I'm currently plotting my way back intoa Renaultsport product.
It was reliable too and nerver let me down.
But as somebody else said, if one of your priorities is comfort you might be looking in the wrong place - they'll both have concrete springs but I'd imagine the Renault has a better resolved ride than the Audi.