In the new Audi S3 a standard manual six-speed gear box with a light magnesium housing performs the power transmission; covering extremely short distances, changing gear is easy and accurate. As an alternative, Audi offers the S tronic. Like with the manual gear box the lower gears have a low ratio, whereas the sixth gear has a consumption-cutting high ratio. The high degree of efficiency is another feature that is common to both.
The driver of the new S3 can control the twin-clutch gearbox by means of the gear selector or the optional paddles on the steering wheel. Two fully automatic programs are available in addition to the manual mode. The D mode is configured for low fuel consumption and low engine speeds, while the S mode is mapped for a sporty driving style and a higher level of engine speed.
The launch control system manages full-throttle acceleration from a standing start. Fuel-saving coasting is another feature of the six-speed S tronic. It kicks in when the efficiency mode is selected in the Audi drive select system and the driver takes his foot off the gas pedal.
The six-speed S tronic consists of two sub-units, which are alternately actuated by two multi-plate clutches. The large K1 clutch located on the outside directs the torque via a solid shaft to the gear wheels for gears 1, 3 and 5. A hollow shaft rotates around the solid shaft. It is connected to the smaller K2 clutch, which is located inside its larger sibling, and which acts on the gear wheels for gears 2, 4 and 6, as well as reverse.
Both transmission structures are continuously active, but only one of them is connected to the engine at any one time. For example, when the driver accelerates in third gear, the fourth gear is already engaged in the second transmission section. The shifting process takes place as the clutch changes – K1 opens and K2 closes. It only takes a few hundredths of a second and happens quickly, gently, and without only noticeable interruption to the pulling force.
The quattro permanent all-wheel drive is standard in the new Audi S3. The Audi S3 can accelerate earlier and more safely when exiting a corner. It is dynamic and has good road holding in all conditions, demonstrating its superiority in particular in rain and snow.
The new multi-plate clutch with electronic control and hydraulic activation is the centerpiece of the quattro drive. The compact, robust clutch is positioned at the end of the output shaft in front of the rear axle differential, where despite its relatively low weight it helps balance the load on the axle. Inside is a package of plates that rotate in an oil bath. The metal friction rings are arranged behind one another in pairs – one ring of each pair is rigidly meshed with the housing, which rotates with the prop shaft; the other ring is meshed with the output shaft to the rear axle differential.
During normal driving, the clutch sends most of the engine’s power to the front wheels. If traction decreases there, the clutch can transfer torque seamlessly to the rear axle in just a few milliseconds by forcing the packages of plates together via controlled action.
The equipment, data and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions accepted.