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by Jez Spinks

The Audi S3 Sportback has been unveiled as the five-door version of the company’s new hot-hatch.

Audi Australia will import this S3 variant in late 2013 rather than the three-door body style shown at the 2012 Paris motor show.

It features the same drivetrain – a new 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that sends 221kW of power and 380Nm of torque to all four wheels either via a six-speed manual or optional six-speed dual-clutch auto.

The new engine is expected to retain its 221kW output for Australia after the previous S3 was down tuned from its European 199kW to 188kkW because our market was classed as a ‘hot climate’ country.

The auto brings the quickest pace and lowest consumption: 0-100km/h in 5.0 seconds and 6.9 litres of fuel per 100km. Choose the standard manual and the sprint moves out to 5.5 seconds and fuel efficiency drops slightly to 7.0L/100km.

A launch control system is included, while the top speed is electronically governed at 250km/h.

Audi Drive Select offers drivers the option to alternate between different vehicle settings depending on whether they are after comfort, performance or efficiency.

The Audi S3 Sportback sits on a sports suspension that makes it 25mm lower than a standard A3, and it is fitted with 18-inch alloy wheels and larger brakes. A magnetic ride system that can stiffen the suspension at the touch of a button is optional.

Aluminium front guards and bonnet, and a 5kg lighter engine, contribute to a 70kg weight saving over the old S3 – to 1445kg.

The exterior is relatively conservative again for a hot-hatch. There are aluminium-style trim touches for the grille, side mirrors and bumper sections, plus four tailpipes and roof spoiler.

The interior also gains sportier touches, including brushed-aluminium trim and sports steering wheel.

 




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