The new Audi S3 has gotten a little bigger since we saw it last. The wheelbase has increased by 59 mm, the overall length by 55 mm and the width by 2 mm compared to the old S3. Nonetheless, despite being longer an wider, it is now shorter (by 16 mm).
The car will set you back $65,500, however for that you get quattro all-wheel drive, a 6-speed manual transmission (not offered in automatic) as well as 0-100km/hr times of 5.9 seconds (top speed limited to 250km/h). Audi is expecting to sell at least 100 S3s in the first 12 months.
his car is the smaller brother of the Audi S4 (which looks up to the Audi RS4), and the little cousin of Audi's supercar, the Audi R8. Audi is currently enjoying a very positive sporting image around the world, and the new S3 gains a great deal from this.
“The S3 has proven a very popular vehicle in Australia, with sales of the previous model exceeding our expectations. Interest in the new model has also been strong from potential customers via the dealer network. We expect to sell at least 100 units per annum thanks to the very sporty yet luxurious nature of this new model,” Mr Hofmann added.
Prior to examining the Audi package, we should first inspect the engine which makes this car special. The 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder engine with FSI petrol direct injection has won the Engine of the Year award three times in a row from 2005 to 2007. Apart from the impressive 188 kW of power (and its 152kg weight) the S3 manages a very respectable fuel economy of just 9.2 litres per 100km.
Audi's All-Wheel-Drive system is connected to 18-inch-wheels using an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch (positioned at the rear) to improve weight balance. Audi says the cars drive-train has been strengthened to cope with the increased power.
Audi has equipped the S3 with a new S sports suspension system. The car comes equipped with subframes front and rear, triangulated lower wishbones at the front and four-link suspension at the rear. Springs and shock absorbers are become stiffer, while the S3 sits 25 mm lower than an A3 (with standard suspension).
As far as looks go, the S3 definitely stands out from the crowd. With a single-frame grille sports chrome trim, front skirt (with a spoiler with large air-intakes) and the side sills have all been restyled.
You can also spot the contrasting platinum grey diffuser built into the rear skirt, along with two S-style oval chrome tailpipes. Aluminium-look door mirrors and a body-colour roof spoiler further set the S3 apart from other A3 siblings.
The interior is finished in true Audi style,
- Leather sports seats with prominent side sections (available in a two tone finish),
- Instrument cluster with its racing-style dials and needles.
- The red and silver S3 emblem is to be found on the leather sports steering wheel, in the instrument cluster, on the gear knob and on the door sill trims.
All that power and handling aside, just well does the S3 stop? 17-inch brakes matched to sport brake pads put this car on the map.
Although not directly competing on specifications alone, the Audi S3 will go head to head with its outcast brother, the Volkswagen Golf R32.
You can find a full list of specifications for the new Audi S3 here