New Audi S3 Variants Offer The Best Of Both Worlds
With sub-five-second acceleration to the benchmark 62mph plus the capability to deploy 305bhp (310PS), S3 models deliver on handling thanks to updated S-specific sport suspension and quattro drive with intelligent control. There’s a choice too: the powerfully built haunches of the new Sportback or the sleek saloon body, both with a totally redesigned cabin integrating an array of digitalisation, connectivity and driver assistance improvements.
With attention to detail, the everyday usability and the slickly integrated technology make these cars perfectly adaptable for everyday, combined with performance and handling on demand when the mood takes the driver in its grip.
The front end is dominated by the large rhombus-patterned grille and impressive air inlets, embellished by LED headlights with LED daytime running lights, or upgraded Matrix LED units in S3 soon-to-be-announced ‘Vorsprung’ models. The pronounced shoulder line extends from the headlights to the rear lights, below which the body curves inwards – a new element of Audi design that places a stronger emphasis on the wheel arches. Aluminium door mirror surrounds confirm to onlookers that this is an S Series, as if the four trademark exhaust tailpipes were not enough.
Under the bonnet (hood) is a 2.0L TFSI engine engorged with 305bhp and a 400Nm (295 lb-ft) torque peak. Highly charged performance is available with 62mph arriving in just 4.8 seconds with a governed top speed of155mph. Even so, the frugal driver can expect up to 39.2mpg with reduced CO² output of as little as 178 g/km, aided by the seven-speed S-tronic auto gearbox with its lightning-fast gear shifts and economy-conscious freewheeling function.
Essentially for those who love to drive, there is also an engine note to suit the driving mode that takes priority, adjustable via the standard Audi drive select system. Hushed for everyday journeys and long distance cruising and crisper and more bass-heavy for more challenging drives.
With suspension that can comfortably and compliantly accommodate long journeys, the S3 models still corner with impressive balance, resolve and agility. Lowered by 15 millimetres over the standard A3 and equipped with a four-link rear axle, complemented by progressive steering, the standard S-specific suspension is a great all-round set-up. This helps provide even wider, more discernible differentiation between operating characteristics in the Comfort and Dynamic settings available to the driver.
Compared with their predecessors, the new S3 Sportback and S3 Saloon are three centimetres and four centimetres longer respectively, while both models are three centimetres wider. They share the same 2,640-millimetre wheelbase, which affords greater shoulder room and elbow room than the outgoing models, and provides for 370 litres of luggage space in the saloon and 325 and 1,145 litres of luggage space in the Sportback depending on the position of the rear bench seat.
It’s business as usual in these Audis, with the now expected unmatched quality. Newly developed sport seats finished in Nappa leather complement a crisply defined, driver-oriented dashboard that integrates the new MMI operating concept with its 10.1-inch black panel touch-screen display. MMI Navigation Plus is standard and offers predictions on the development of the traffic situation and very precise information about the traffic flow.
Once again, Audi ups the game with the new S3. This is the car to take you into, we hope, a much better 2021. Ask for details.