Almost 20 years ago, Audi opened up the sporty premium compact market segment with the first Audi S3. Now the brand presents the new generation with the Audi S3 Sportback and Audi S3 Saloon. With a 2.0 TFSI engine, the Audi S3 produces 310 HP (228kW) of power and 400 Nm of torque. Both models accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds. A seven-speed S tronic, the quattro drive with intelligent control, and an S-specific sport suspension with optional damper control deliver the power to the road effortlessly. A number of other new features – including the operating concept, infotainment, and assist systems – round off the high-tech character of the S3 models.
The new Audi S3 models display their dynamic character from the very first glance. The front is dominated by the Singleframe with its large rhombus-patterned grille and impressive air inlets, while the exterior mirrors have a gleaming aluminum look. The shoulder of the body extends in a strong line from the headlights to the rear lights while the areas below are curved inward – a new element of Audi’s design that places a stronger emphasis on the wheel arches.
The new Audi S3 Sportback and the Audi S3 Saloon can be fitted with matrix LED headlights on request. Their digital daytime running lights consist of a pixel array made up of 15 LED segments, ten of which form two vertical lines. At the rear end, the large diffuser and the four exhaust tailpipes accentuate the sporty look.
With 310 HP (228kW)of power and 400 Nm of torque, the 2.0 TFSI engine powers the new Audi S3 Sportback* and S3 Saloon** models. High-tech features like the Audi valvelift system (AVS) mean that the combustion chambers are well filled, while thermal management helps to ensure high efficiency. Both models accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds on the way to an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h. The driver can use the standard series Audi drive select system to make the sound of the powerful four-cylinder turbo engine even crisper.
The seven-speed S tronic with lightning-fast gear shifts and freewheeling function and the quattro all-wheel drive deliver the torque to the road. The hydraulic multi-plate clutch in front of the rear axle is fully variable and moves between the front and the back as required, combining dynamic performance with stability and efficiency.
With its four-link rear axle and progressive steering, the standard suspension offers everything that is required for pleasurable driving, lowering the body by 15 millimetres (0.6 in). Valves control the oil flow in the dampers so that they adapt to the condition of the road, the driving situation, and the driver’s requests in an individual and ongoing in a few thousandths of a second, offering more comfort and dynamism than it’s predecessor model. The new electric brake booster ensures strong and spontaneous deceleration. All four brake disks are internally ventilated. The brake calipers come in black as standard, with red offered as an option. The Audi S3 models come with 18-inch wheels as standard, with 19-inch wheels available optionally.
Compared with their predecessors, the new Audi S3 models have grown in size: The Sportback and the Saloon measure at an additional three (1.2 in) and four centimetres (1.6 in) longer respectively, while both models are three centimetres (1.2 in) in width. The five-door car is now 4.34 metres (14.2 ft) in length, while the four-door is 4.50 metres (14.8 ft) long. The interior offers greater shoulder room and elbow room. The luggage compartment of the Audi S3 Sportback holds between 325 and 1,145 litres depending on the position of the rear bench seat, while the Saloon has a capacity of 370 litres.
The strikingly sporty design of the new Audi S3 modelsalso run in the interior – with the new, compact shifter for the seven-speed S tronic and decorative aluminum or carbon inlays whose design evokes the cut of the headlights. The cockpit is focused on the driver. A 10.25-inch digital display is offered as standard. Alternatively, the Audi virtual cockpit and its “plus” version can be selected. Both have a 12.3-inch diagonal, with the latter also offering three different screens. The optional ambient lighting package plus delivers targeted lighting effects in the dark. The sport seats have been newly developed, and their standard series upholstery is largely made from recycled PET bottles, accentuated by stylish contrasting stitching.
In the middle of the instrument panel is a 10.1-inch touch display embedded in a large black panel. It recognizes letters entered by hand and provides acoustic feedback. As an additional operating level, the infotainment can also be voice-controlled using natural language as standard. Audi also supplies a head-up display as an option. The MMI operating concept of the new Audi S3 models is powered by the third-generation modular infotainment platform (MIB 3). Its computing power is ten times higher than that of its predecessor, performing all tasks relating to connectivity with LTE Advanced speed, with an integrated Wi-Fi hotspot. Optional Navigation Plus offers predictions on the development of the traffic situation, high-resolution satellite images from Google Earth, and information about the traffic flow. Individual settings, such as frequently selected destinations or air conditioning preferences, can be stored in up to six user profiles.
Connectivity between the new Audi S3 and the user’s smartphone is free of charge via the myAudi app, as well as via Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and the Audi phone box – which links the device to the vehicle’s antenna and charges it inductively. Another feature is the Audi connect key, which authorizes the customer to lock and unlock the car and start the engine via their Android smartphone. For HiFi fans, the optional Bang & Olufsen premium sound system with 3D sound delivers a particularly spatial soundscape. The driver assist systems in the new Audi S3 models also demonstrate Audi’s technical expertise. Audi pre sense front, swerve assist with turn assist, and lane departure warning all have the potential to prevent accidents and are included as standard. Further assist systems, such as lane change and exit warnings as well as the cross-traffic and park assist systems, are available optionally. The adaptive cruise assist helps with longitudinal and lateral guidance. It maintains the speed and distance to the vehicle in front and assists with lane guidance by means of gentle interventions in the steering. The efficiency assist supports an economic driving style.
Presales of the new compact S3 models start in Ireland in October 2020, with the first vehicles being delivered from beginning of November. In Ireland, prices for the S3 Sportback start at €52,800 RRP (not including delivery).