Because Audi is seen as a premium brand it is often easy to forget that, like BMW, it has a huge range of cars these days. And stepping from an RS6 - Audi’s most expensive car bar the R8 - to its cheapest, the A3 1.4, couldn’t have been a better reminder of that fact.
Not many companies have a 500bhp+ super saloon and a front-wheel drive hatch in their line-up (well, I can think of Vauxhall, but that's not the point).
I was at an Audi driving day, where it lines up its range of cars for testing. When I arrived a red RS6 was unoccupied so I decided it would be rude not to warm it up.
This is an eye-wateringly rapid car, mainly when you’ve got its considerable weight moving, and it requires immense concentration to thread along country lanes.
In contrast, the A3 1.4 TFSI I grabbed the keys to next is one of the Audi brand’s lowliest models - in fact, four can be bought for the price of one RS6.
What I hadn’t bargained on was that the similarities are immediately obvious. The quality of the plastics is equally impressive in both cars, the design inside and out is elegant and understated, and there is a grown up, resolved feel to each model. Oh, and the ride is too hard on both of them too.
But the real surprise was the way they both drive. Straight out of the box the A3 was nippy, fairly agile and satisfying to stretch on the roads around Warwick. But whereas you have to push it to find the limits, in the RS6 I found myself constantly reeling it in, standing on the unbelievably competent brakes, and holding back its humungous power. This is a car you hold back rather than push.
So with this in mind, which one would I drive home if I had the chance?
The RS6 of course.