Let’s start with a number. 3.8. On the face of it a small, innocuous number; hardly the answer to life, the universe and everything. No, it’s actually better than that, because the word that gives it context isn’t litres or spoonfuls, but ‘seconds’. And in the context of cars, seconds are snappy, punchy little things, allied to only one statistic: the 0-60mph sprint. In that context, 3.8 is very few, especially since it was achieved by one of these jumped-up junior muscle cars.
But which one? Six cylinders or five? The coupe or hatch? The manual or twin-clutch? Rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive? The one with a claimed 0-60mph of 4.9secs or 4.6secs? The BMW 1-Series M Coupe or the Audi RS3?
Words: Ollie Marriage
Photos: Barry Hayden
This feature was originally published in the July 2011 issue of Top Gear magazine