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Audi has fired the latest shot in the German hot-hatch war, unveiling the all-new Audi S3 ahead of its world premiere at next week’s 2012 Paris motor show. And in good news for local fans, the new model looks set to arrive in Australia sans the current car’s hot-climate engine detune.

The first images and details of the third-generation S3 come just hours after the Ingolstadt-based manufacturer revealed the new Audi A3 Sportback, which is set to launch in Australia during the second quarter of 2013.

The Audi S3’s new 2.0-litre direct-injection turbocharged petrol engine takes a generational step forward, having been developed from scratch specifically for the new model.

Power peaks at 221kW (300hp) with the engine spinning at 5500rpm, while torque remains constant at 380Nm between 1800-5500rpm. The numbers represent an increase of 22kW and 30Nm over the second-generation S3, and 33kW and 50Nm more than Australia’s current version, which is detuned for our hotter climate.

Audi Australia’s Anna Burgdorf told CarAdvice there have been no suggestions of a special hot-climate detune for our market for the new S3.

“All indications are that we will get the same [221kW] engine [as the one offered in Europe],” Burgdorf said.

She said the Audi S3 would only be offered in the yet-to-be-revealed five-door S3 Sportback body style, which is likely to arrive in Australia in the second half of 2013.

The 2.0 TFSI engine launches the new Audi S3 from 0-100km/h in 5.1 seconds, when teamed with the optional six-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission and 5.4secs with the standard six-speed manual, making it up to half a second quicker than the locally available S3 Sportback.

Both transmissions send drive to all four wheels via the brand’s quattro permanent all-wheel drive system, which Audi says has been optimised to improve corner exit speed and stability on wet surfaces.

Audi says the S3’s handling is more precise than ever thanks to a better axle load distribution. The front axle has been shifted 52mm forward and the new 2.0 TFSI engine is 5kg lighter than before and tilted backwards by 12 degrees.

The subframe, pivot bearings, crash management system, front guards and bonnet are all made from aluminium, saving another 17kg over the front of the car. Overall kerb weight is down 60kg to a maximum of 1395kg.

The new S3 also embraces Audi’s ‘progressive steering’ system, with the steering rack geared so that the ratio can vary. Audi says the result is a steering feel that is “somewhat more indirect around the centre and very direct when steered sharply”.

The Audi S3 rolls on 18-inch alloy wheels and 225/40-series performance tyres. The front is fitted with 340mm brake discs, while black ‘S3’ emblazoned calipers sit at each corner.

Like the A3, Audi drive select allows drivers to vary the characteristics of the accelerator, the boost of the progressive steering and the shift points of the optional S tronic gearbox with five distinct settings: comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency or individual.

As we’ve come to expect from the German manufacturer, there’s little flamboyance in the styling of the new Audi S3, which shares much with the standard A3.

Distinguishing features include the aluminium-look grille frame and matt platinum grey insert, large air inlets with high-gloss black honeycomb inserts and additional inlets near the wheels, aluminium-look mirror caps, large roof spoiler, and the platinum grey diffuser with four chrome-tipped tailpipes.

‘S’ badges adorn the front and the rear, while Panther Black and Estoril Blue are exclusive crystal-effect finishes in the 14-colour palette.

A number of trim tweaks set the S3 apart from the standard range. The headliner is black with contrast stitching, the instrument dials are grey, the needles are white, the tachometer features a boost pressure indicator, the pedals and footrests are made from bushed aluminium and the S tronic’s shift paddles get a matching aluminium-look finish.

A seven-inch retractable screen facilitates all infotainment functions, including internet access via the Audi connect system and high-performance sound quality through the Bang & Olufsen audio unit.

A number of advanced driver assistance systems have filtered down from larger models, including adaptive cruise control, pre sense with autonomous braking below 30km/h, side assist, active lane assist, traffic sign recognition and park assist.

The Audi S3 will make its public debut in Paris on September 27.




  • gt86.com.au

    That’s more like it :) Hope it comes standard with MMI and other tech goodies for the price of the old one.

  • Chevrons

    Packed with performace with subtle elegance in design

  • Wile E Coyote

    Pros :Nice interior and motor
    Cons :Anonymous styling and for me AWD

    • Amlohac

      AWD a con?

      You have to explain that one buddy.

      • Wile E Coyote

        I find RWD more fun to drive.That’s why AWD is a con for me.I don’t think I am alone either… pal 

        • Zaccy16

          RWD more fun but AWD better for out right handling and grip

          • Legnab

            Correct , all comes home to roost on a slightly damp road , love watching bogans in crummer/falcoons sliding sideways out of corners as they mash the pedal , AWD beats them everytime .

          • Zaccy16

            Yeah! definition of being a bogan when they slide in there 10 year old+ commodore, falcon or sometimes magna!

          • Captain Nemo®™

            Definition of being a bogan is not being able to spell hey Zuppy.
             it’s “THEIR” not “there” got to love “yaw paw spalling”

      • bob

        I see no advantages for awd in this country. In Russia or Canada where it snows like mad. But here? Nope.

        • Legnab

          So we have no snow , no greasy wet roads , you stick to spins around the K mart car park .

          • Karl Sass

            If RWD is so bad you better tell the F1 teams, they all want to be more like your under steering Golf.

          • Wile E Coyote

            If AWD was better in sports cars they all would be AWD.
            So Ferrari et al have had it wrong for years?
            No… AWD adds unnecessary weight unless you live in the alps   RWD is much more fun
            See YouTube where 5 th gear compares FWD vRWD vAWD
            RWD for drivers
            AWD for survivors

          • Veritas

             Many sports cars are AWD. Porsche 911 Turbo, Bugatti Veyron, Lamborghini Gallardo. There is a reason AWD is banned from road competition — Audi won everything they entered for a time period. Know-nothings, all of you.

  • Observer

    Looks like a A3 with 4 exhausts

    • Smoothcall

      You’re not called the Observer for nothing

    • Ahmed Fahour

      strong username to post content ratio

  • Monk

    Styling is under-done.  I suppose you don’t want too much “look at me” while sitting on the back of a flat bed.

    • Jake

      You are obviously another clueless half-wit who denigrates anything he can’t afford. Back in your hole you fool

      • Monk

        Heard the one about a fool and his money?

        Rather than denigrating it, I am actually bemoaning the fact that a great package (albeit not a great value for money one) is ruined by well documented reliability concerns. 

        While cars are (almost) always financial liabilities, it is foolhady to jump headlong into a high risk venture like this.  I tend to hold onto cars beyond the warranty period, hence a reluctance to take on such a risky proposition.

        Come now Legnab – sorry – Jake – no need to fly the VAG flag quite so high.

      • Legnab

        Its just the monkfish aka another barry the tow truck driver jake with more myths about VAG , he will be busy collecting opels along with crummerdores soon .

        He does hang onto them outside of warranty , how is the VK .

  • Kris

    Absolutely love it. Ive had my A3 3.2 since 2008 and its never missed a beat after 83000 K’s. Ill be in the market for a new car soon and this is right at the top of the list, however, it will be a tough choice between this and the BMW 135M hatch.

    • Wile E Coyote

      135M hatch would be more fun

      • Monk

        Pity they hit the new one with the ugly stick

        • Wile E Coyote

          Doesn’t matter the drive will more than make up for it

  • Xristo303

    I’ve been waiting for this. But there doesn’t seem to be much differentiation against the standard A3 in terms of styling.

  • john

    Are VW/Audi the only car companies around who detune their cars for our “hotter” climate? What a lame reason for a modern car maker to use to give people less bang for their buck even though we fork out more bucks than most countries do and get less bang thrown into the deal too.Very poor form VW/Audi!

  • Zaccy16

    Looks great! not to flashy, has a classy look and great interior

    • Legnab

      Love the rear , pipes look the business , so this is a new 2l again , usual superb interior .

      • Zaccy16

        Yeah this verse the near amg a class and m135i will be a good battle!

        • JooberJCW

          You find the 1 M actually competes agaist the rs3 id say this competes against the normal 135

          • Zaccy16

            i never said about the 1m read my post again i said the m135i will verse the s3 not 1m

    • Henry F

      Try “not too flashy”.

  • Zaccy16

    I wonder if this engine or a slightly detuned version will make it into the next golf r?

  • Maximark2601

    Look just like a Kia Cerato hatch but nice interior though.

    • Hert

      i am yet to find someone who mistake an audi for a kia

      “oh it’s a Kiaaaaaa, oh wait….it’s actually an audi”you are probably the first….

  • qikturbo

    A nice car but are we going to get the 221kw version?
    It better be this version or else people will assume the engines are not built tough to handle the heat.
    The BMW competitor has a 3.0L turbo, if the prices are similiar between the two cars the BMW will be the better buy.

  • gt86.com.au

    I tip my hat to the Audi. It’s what all the germans are buying over BMW and who would know better? Das is deutschland Advice!

  • Jonathan

    Hopefully locally adjusted to the market down shift in overall auto market pricing. Lower luxury car tax due to consumption. Love it.

  • Ahmed Fahour

    quad pipes on a 2.0lt, is that one pipe per cylinder?

    what a gimmick! almost as bad as the ISF’s fake tips