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.


  • $29896495

    It might drive really well, but god it’s dull. (like most Audi’s)

    • Bart

      It’s called class, you wouldn’t understand.

      • FanBoi

        Well… maybe you understand better. Then explain why all Audis look the same? One could easily mistaken this S3 for a S4.


        • Kampfer

          One with boot and one don’t?

        • Amlohac

          You cant tell the difference between an S3 and an S4? Seriously?

      • $29896495

        Define class?

    • Crummydore

      I thought the same thing… I reckon its just the colour.
      Imagine it in gun metal grey/silver and it will start looking better.

      But yeh, I kinda does look a little dull – are we all getting used the the same old Audi look?

  • Noddy_of_Toyland

    Looks so dumpy.

    • Realist

      If this comment trail is anything to go by then it has missed the mark well and truly against the new A45 AMG which has one of the longest comment trails I’ve seen on this website. The A45 AMG seems to have more people talking.

  • Daniel

    WHOA. HOLD UP. I was NOT expecting it to look like that. Mind. Blown. But lame jokes aside I really like the A3; it will date better than the A Class and is better proportioned than the 1 Series. 

  • kiddingme

    I am a fan of the Audi, but I’m starting to think the same look over and over is starting to get a bit dull.

    If I had the cash I’d buy one in a heat beat, but like most of the VW (I know they are the same), they just seem the same.

    Taking the brand snobbery away from it and I don’t know how much this unit will cost, but what I assume will be more expensive, I think the Calais V VF is a nicer looking unit inside and out.

    Though I think this would be more fun to drive.

    I don’t have any brand alligence, but I buy what I can afford and what I like.

  • Kampfer

    Just wait for the next Golf R and spend the saving on performance mods.

    • Monk

      Golf R is a better looking unit.  I agree, save the $ and get the hotter hot hatch.  Save more $ by buying the manual (now and down the track) – discover what God gave you a left foot for.

      • Golfmother

        Hey we agree on that one , manuel all the way .

        • Golffather

          Get your hand off it.

        • Monk

          Is this a Fawlty Towers reference?

  • Zaccy16

    the sportback looks even better than the 3dr, this interior is fantastic

  • Kaas

    Its nice but man, how much? 80K? 85K?

    • Zaccy

      Maybe less that you think, no LCT …………..

      • tonyW

        LCT will kick in at a little over $75k

      • Amlohac

        There will be LCT for sure mate.

        • Zaccy

          A separate LCT threshold of $75,375 is in place for what the government defines as ‘fuel efficient’ cars (those that consume 7.0l/100km of fuel or less)

          • Amlohac

            We’ll see what the aussie testing does for that fuel cycle once it arrives here. It’ll go up, and we will get rooted in the bum again by our wonderful government. Not to metion that magical 7.0L/100kms figure is “subject to review at the beginning of each financial year.”

  • Luke Brinsmead

    It looks a bit like a shrunken S4 Avant, so it looks a bit family-like rather than 100% hot hatch-like. The interior though is awesomely brilliant.

    I am now waiting anxiously for a review this time next year between the best hot sedans and hatches.

  • RichieDuck

    Is this the new mazda 3?

  • Tex

    My biggest concern is that Audi seems to be taking too much of an evolutionary change, rather than revolutionary (something that BMW is doing a little more of).

    Park this S3 against the recently superseeded one and although they are on different platforms… I think most would be hard pressed to spot the difference.

  • Moonscaper

    Chassis of the S3 I would suspect is better made than the Merc. Aluminium and what not. It’s a tried and tested car and only refined. The Merc is new on the block. I agree with other comments, the Merc will date faster. Understated elegance is what the Audi stands for. Every time I see an A5 or A7, it always looks amazing. The simple lines do wonders.

    • $29896495

      Simple lines can change once and a while you know (3 door looks better) But it’s always the same bland old stuff with Audi/VW – though the new Seat Coupe looks the goods and isn’t over stated. On the same platform too.

    • Realist

      If this were true then why do most Audi models fail to hold up against their Merc competitors for resale value at 5 years of age. It’s been my experience that the only place you get a good trade on an Audi is for another Audi and that they are in no way better engineered than any of their competitors.

    • Realist

      Have a look at the latest results from JD Power survey for reliability. Merc scores 5th place only 19 places in front of Audi. Don’t see how you could possibly think Audi is for any reason more reliable or sorted in Australia than in the US.

  • Golfmother

    So true .

  • Jeremy

    I actually think the understated looks are what people go for in an Audi. Personally, I prefer BMW’s styling but I think they Audis pull off a refined look that people are after in a $80k car. For those after uncompromising performance there are always the more garish renaults (which I happen to like), but it’s just different cars for different people.

    My main gripe with the A3 range is that there is no ‘warm’ hatch. You either go for the 1.8tfsi which is hardly the most sporty or exciting car for $40-$50k ish, or you have to make a massive jump up to $80k for the S3. I suppose they don’t want to get into Golf GTI territory, but it would be nice if they left the RS3 at the $80k price point and brought the S3 down to $60k, albeit with the necessary perfomance loss to fit it in at the lower price.

    So if you want a family euro hatch with some sporting pedigree but decent practicallity for under $60k what choice do you have other than the predictable but excellent Golf GTI given that the Merc A250 and BMW 125i both seem to suffer in the boot space (A250) and rear space (125i) department?

    • Couch potato

      What about the B250 as it has the same mechanicals as the A250 with a more practical layout for the family than anything you listed above also priced from $55,000 drive away it is a relative bargain.

  • Jeremy

    No way. Brilliant.

  • Ae Neuman

    can you get one without all that audi drive select electro-foolery ?

    • Amlohac

      “I dont want any of that witch doctor electricity in my car!”