The suspension of the new S3 models is sporty and taut yet still suited to everyday driving. Its design incorporates all of the strengths of the predecessors. This includes the complex four-link rear axle and progressive steering, which adjusts its ratio according to the steering angle – the further the driver turns the wheel, the more direct the ratio becomes.
The new S3 models feature a taut S sport suspension with conventional dampers as standard. This brings the body 15 millimeters (0.6 in) closer to the asphalt compared with the A3. The S sport suspension with damper control, which is also 15 millimeters (0.6 in) lower, is available optionally. It uses adaptive dampers in which valves control the oil flow, and hence the force of the dampers. Each of them is controlled separately in the rebound and compression stage in cycles of thousandths of a second – depending on the road condition, the driver’s style, and the Audi drive select settings. The adaptive dampers mean that the spread between snappy and taut handling and comfortable cruising is even wider than for the predecessor model.
The Audi drive select dynamic handling system comes as standard. The driver can use the system to vary not only the dampers, the quattro drive, and the engine sound, but also the characteristics of the steering and throttle response, as well as the switch points of the S tronic. Five profiles are available: efficiency, comfort, auto, dynamic, and individual.
The new S3 models are fitted with 18-inch wheels with a 5-twin-spoke V design as standard; the tire format is 225/40. Alternatively, Audi and Audi Sport can deliver additional 18-inch and 19-inch wheels, the latter with 235/35 series tires. All four brake disks are internally ventilated. The brake disks have a diameter of 340 millimeters (13.4 in) at the front and 310 millimeters (12.2 in) at the rear. The electric brake booster is a new development that works more quickly than a conventional vacuum subassembly. This has allowed Audi’s engineers to increase the air gap between the brake pad and the brake disk, thus almost eliminating friction losses due to slight contact with the brake pads during driving. The brake calipers come in black as standard, with red offered as an option; the front calipers feature S logos.
All terms in blue in the text are explained in detail in the technology lexicon at www.audi-mediacenter.com/en/technology-lexicon.
The equipment, data and prices stated here refer to the model range offered for sale in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.