At first glance, the new Audi S3 looks a little conservative if you are in the know as to what lies under its sheep’s clothing. It appears to be a regular family five-door hatch but the lower profile, wider wheels and subtle aerodynamic additions hint at the wolf behind the disguise.
Audi’s S3 lines match the lines of the A3 models of recent time; that means that the S3 design is very recognisably Audi – recognisable for all the good reasons. Clean edges, aerodynamic curves, hatchback looks and classy, status symbol looks in the polished Audi way. Distinctive from the other A3 Hatchbacks, the new S3 has a more muscular exterior with its classy looking body kit that includes 18-inch alloy wheels in a 5-parallel spoke design. More sporty overtones flow over into the S3 interior, where you’ll enjoy the comfort and support of the fine Nappa leather sport seats that are heated and electrically adjustable in the both front occupant positions. Also, a leather-wrapped, multi-function flat-bottom steering wheel adds to the S3 driving pleasure.
Speaking about driving pleasure; on the road the S3 is something else. Performance is super strong throughout the engine revs. The car is 70 kg lighter than the outgoing Audi S3, and the combination of balance and grip is awesome. Performance from the 2.0 TFSI engine can send this hot-hatch from 0-100 km/h in around the five second mark. Allow the car to run on, and a limited top speed of over 240 km/h is what this little speedster is capable of. Remarkably, Audi have managed to keep the new S3’s fuel consumption to average below 7 litres/100 km. It’s true then; you can have thrilling performance and still get great economy in the one package.
Torque for the potent S3 2.0-litre Turbo is in Porsche 911 Carrera territory (380 Nm), while power is around the 220 kW mark. This new S3 is a model that will take out the best sounding four-cylinder engine award, thanks to the quad exhaust pipes out the back adding to the bass symphony. A six-speed manual is standard for the base Audi S3 (0-100 km/h in 5.2 seconds), however you can opt for the S-tronic gear-shifter that utilises the launch control electronics that will have you scampering to 100-km/h (0-100 km/h in 4.8 seconds) faster than an HSV or WRX. You’ll find that it is, in fact, as quick as the current Porsche 911 Carrera model. The S-tronic Audi S3, naturally, costs a little more than the six-speed option.
Audi have put a whole lot of new technology into the S3, and some of the most interesting bits being used in the all-new performance engine. The 2.0 TFSI engine pioneers some new technology. With additional use of indirect injection, Audi also uses FSI direct petrol injection at part load to reduce consumption and emissions. You’ll also find that the new Audi S3 power-plant has a cylinder head that is made of a new lightweight aluminium-silicon alloy giving high strength and superior temperature resistance in this state-of-the-art four-cylinder engine.
Spending time in the new Audi S3 is a pleasure; not only is the car thrilling to drive but the interior is very comfortable and stylish. Take a moment to take in the scenery, and you’ll see that the instrument panel appears to float on the centre console. Nicely rounded air vents, the well-dressed control panel for the climate control and the trim on the dash is in matt brushed aluminium or a black 3D. Other nice touches are found in the headlining which is in black with contrast stitching, and there are S logos set in the door sill strips, the gear lever, the steering wheel and instruments. Check out the tactile finish on the gorgeous leather seats.
One thing about any Audi car is that the quality of craftsmanship is always going to be second to none. Luggage carrying capacity is a useful 365 litres, and this can be increased to 1100 litres when the rear seats are folded down to floor level. Dual-zone climate control, a fantastic MMI infotainment system that also offers loads of driver assistance and information, an Audi Phone Box that connects mobile phones to the vehicle, grunty “Bang and Olufsen” audio sound, adaptive cruise control, a panoramic glass sunroof, quattro all-wheel drive, iPod connectivity and Bluetooth reveal some of what is offered in the very comprehensive performance Audi S3. Of course, there is way more features on-board the car, but I reckon that’s enough to grab you to delve into the Audi S3 world for yourself.
I can see the sense of owning a fun car like this. Economy, thrilling performance and family practicality makes the Audi S3 a worthy performance model for the A3 range – which in many motoring journalists, me included, is the hatchback benchmark. Top notch performance and handling, superb build quality and finish, and as always the ride and comfort is first class.
The current Audi S3 models include the:
For any more information on the new Audi S3 or, for that matter, any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quote requests out to our national network of Audi dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!
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