221 kW (300 hp) and 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) of torque, from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 4.8 seconds – the new Audi S3 offers best-in-class performance. Its efficiency is likewise exemplary – on average the 2.0 TFSI uses a mere 6.9 liters of fuel per 100 km (34.09 US mpg). Now in the third generation, this powerful compact e car has once again raised the bar.
The 2.0 TFSI opens a new chapter in the history of Audi engines. Redesigned from scratch, the 1,984 cc displacement is the only thing it has in common with its predecessor. The nominal power output of 221 kW (300 hp) is available between 5,500 and 6,200 rpm. Between 1,800 and 5,500 rpm the engine delivers 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) of torque.
The manner in which the four-cylinder engine responds is just as fascinating as the sound it produces. It is sportily sonorous and can be experienced particularly intensively when the Audi drive select driving dynamics system is working in the dynamic mode. A raft of high-end engineering, from dual injection and the Audi valvelift system to innovative thermal management, ensure the four-cylinder engine combines high output with high efficiency.
The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) takes just 4.8 seconds when equipped with the optional six-speed S tronic (5.2 seconds with the manual transmission). Its electronically governed top speed is 250 km/h (155.34 mph). The 2.0 TFSI consumes on average just 6.9 liters of fuel per 100 km (34.09 US mpg); this applies to the S tronic, 7.0 liters per 100 km (33.60 US mpg) with the manual transmission. Compared to the previous model with manual gear shift the S3 consumes 1.5 liters less per 100 km (156.81 US mpg). That equates to CO2 emissions of 35 grams per kilometer (56.33 g/mile).
Both the six-gear manual shift and the optional, ultra-quick six-gear S tronic blend dynamism and efficiency. The lower gears of both transmissions are tightly spaced for sporty performance while the tall sixth gear reduces fuel consumption. The permanent all-wheel drive uses a redesigned plate clutch, which gives the top model in the A3 series a decisive advantage in terms of traction and agility.
The Audi S3 can accelerate earlier and more safely when exiting a corner; it is dynamic and has good road holding in all conditions.
The new Audi S3 responds to steering input precisely and spontaneously and takes all types of corners at high speed and with little body movement; its handling is almost neutral. In addition to the sport suspension and the elaborate wheel suspension, the new progressive steering system plays a major role in this characteristic. The steering rack is meshed in such as way that that the more ratio varies independent of the steering input. In the event of strong steering maneuvers this makes the progressive steering even more direct.
7.5 J x 18-format wheels are standard on the new Audi; the size of the tires is 225/40. The calipers of the large brakes are painted black and have an S3 badge.
Audi drive select comes standard in the new Audi S3. This system handles characteristics of the electronic gas pedal, shift points of the optional S tronic and the steering ratio for progressive steering. With the press of a button, the driver decides whether these systems should operate in comfort, auto or dynamic mode. The optional Audi magnetic ride system, which situationally regulates the shock absorbers, is also controlled via Audi drive select.
Lightweight construction also contributes significantly to the very dynamic performance of the new Audi S3. The curb weight of the new S3 is no more than 1,395 kilograms (3,075.45 lb). The weight has been reduced by 60 kilograms (132.28 lb) compared with the previous model, with the body accounting for a large portion of this. Its body integrates a high percentage of ultra-high-strength steels; the front fenders and the engine hood are made of aluminum.
The dynamic performance of the new Audi S3 becomes visible in the design of the exterior. The low engine hood, the characteristic tornado line beneath the windows and the strongly sloping C-pillars extend the body visually. It is 4,254 millimeters (167.48 in) long, 1,777 millimeters (69.96 in) wide and 1,401 millimeters (55.16 in) high.
The new Audi S3 features the single-frame radiator grille; its frame is chrome, the insert is kept in matte Platinum Gray, while the horizontal dual crossbars have a shiny aluminum look. The redesigned bumper has integrated air inlets with aluminum-look double ribs. There are faux air intakes on the sides.
As an alternative to the standard Xenon plus headlights Audi supplies LED headlights; previously available for high-end vehicles only, this technology is now being offered in the premium compact segment. The LED headlights give the top model in the series an unmistakable look and improve its lighting yet again.
Aluminum-look exterior mirror housings and special sill strips accentuate the side view of the new Audi S3. The rear bumper has been redesigned. The Platinum Gray diffuser with an aluminum-look double bar houses the exhaust system’s four oval tailpipes, which sport chrome tips. Painted in the color of the car the S3 roof spoiler with side aerodynamics inserts visually lengthens the roof. The rear lights feature LED technology.
Kept totally in black, the interior takes up the sporty look of the exterior. The faces of the instruments are gray, the needles white. The dial of the rev counter has a charge pressure indicator. The colored driver information system is standard; the power-retractable 11-millmeter (0.43 in) on-board monitor (standard with the MMI radio and above) powers up to display a special S3 screen when the ignition is turned.
The optional leather multifunction sport steering wheel has been redesigned with the flat-bottomed rim. In models equipped with S tronic, it also has aluminum-look shift paddles. The pedals and footrest are made of brushed aluminum. As an alternative to the standard sport seats there are S seats with integrated head restraints and diamond quilting. The decorative trim is available in matte brushed aluminum or in black.
Above and beyond the standard fittings there are lots of attractive options available for the new S3. These include the infotainment system, with the MMI Navigation plus with MMI touch topping the range. Via a UMTS module its optional extension Audi connect delivers customized Internet services from the brand to the car. On request Audi equips the new S3 with all the driver assistance systems available for the series.
The new Audi S3 will arrive at dealerships in early 2013. The basic price in Germany is 38,900 euros.
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.