Headlining the A3 range at $68,310, the S3 Sportback features new interior and exterior details as well as boasting a four-time award winning engine.
The 2.0 TFSI engine in the S3 Sportback has been the category class winner for four successive years at the International Engine of the Year awards.
The turbocharged and direct injected petrol unit develops 188kW and a constant 330Nm from 2,500 to 5,000 rpm.
The result is 0 to 100km/h in just 5.8 seconds with a top speed electronically limited to 250 km/h, while consuming an average of just 8.5 litres per 100km on the combined cycle.
It uses a six-speed manual transmission connected to Audi's quattro all-wheel drive powertrain which features as standard on all of Audi's S models.
Aluminium swivel bearings and wishbones reduce the unsprung masses to attain greater dynamics while lightweight aluminium suspension components also lower the stance of the S3 Sportback by 25mm.
The five-door S3 Sportback is 72mm longer and 3mm higher than its three-door sibling, offering more usable interior space for up to five passengers.
Also available as a $2,400 option for the first time in the A3 model range is Audi's magnetic ride control as seen in the R8 and TT.
Audi Park assist is also offered as a $950 option which automatically steers the S3 Sportback into a parallel parking space while the driver operates the brake and accelerator pedals.
Exterior features such as the chrome-plated radiator grille, vertical double bars, and a front bumper with powerful spoiler lip distinguish the S-spec variant and also adds new S design 18” alloy wheels and Xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights as standard.
Inside the S3 Sportback features a range of luxury items including embossed Silk Nappa leather sport seats, S design multi-function leather sports steering wheel, BOSE speaker system, Bluetooth phone integration, aluminium-look pedals and S3 door sill strips as standard.
Electronic Stabilisation Program ESP incorporating ABS, Traction Control ASR, and an Electronic Differential Lock EDL comprise the list of standard active safety features while head and curtain airbags for front and rear passengers, together with side and front airbags round out the passive safety package.
Customer deliveries of the new Audi S3 Sportback commence next month with this top-of-the-range model expected to represent almost 70% of all S3 sales over the next 12 months.