Audi imbues new S3 with more dynamism, power and convenience

After a COVID-19 induced delay, Audi is finally bringing the newly-launched next-gen A3 to dealerships next year. To drum up more interest, the German carmaker announced that the car will also have a sporty S3 variant for both the sedan and sportback models.

The upcoming S3 models showcase their sportiness right off the bat, courtesy of the brand’s signature Singleframe grille. Both the grille and side air inlets are decked out in black, as are the exterior mirrors. At the rear, the large diffuser and the four exhaust tailpipes further emphasize the sporty look. Vented rotors and calipers are also painted in black.

Powering both the S3 sedan and sportback is a 2.0-liter TFSI engine that outputs 306hp and 400Nm of torque. Comparatively, the European spec version of the outgoing model has 296hp and the same torque rating, while the US-spec unit has 288hp and 380Nm.

Unfortunately for manual transmission enthusiasts, the A3 Sportback only comes with a dual-clutch, seven-speed automatic gearbox. Sport purists who can overcome this little heartache will enjoy the newly developed damper system that boosts the car’s fun-to-drive factor through sharper cornering and handling, and 0-100kmph acceleration time of 4.8secs.

Suspension carries over from the previous generation, comprising a MacPherson at the front and a multi-link at the rear. This is enhanced by an S-specific tweak that adjusts the ride height by up to 15mm to help the car deliver effortless power on the road. The Quattro-drive with intelligent control is also on hand to add more fun to the driving experience.

Inside, the S3 is both sporty and high-tech. A 10.1-inch touchscreen at the center handles infotainment duties while a second screen serves as the instrument cluster. The latter can be upgraded from 10.25 inches to 12.3 inches, and aluminum or carbon fiber highlights can be added according to preference.

Those who want some fancy visuals to go with their party music can choose the optional ambient lighting package plus that delivers targeted lighting effects in the dark. The sport seats are newly developed, combining better ergonomics with some eco-friendly virtues—upholstery is largely made from recycled PET bottles, enhanced with tasteful contrast stitching.

A whole suite of driver assist systems are also onboard in the new S3 models to demonstrate Audi’s technical expertise. Audi pre sense front, swerve assist with turn assist, and lane departure warning are included as standard. Further assist systems, such as lane change and exit warnings as well as the cross-traffic and park assist systems, are available as a purchase decision.

Preselling of the new compact S3 models start in many European countries in August 2020, with the first vehicles being delivered to dealers from beginning of October. The market launch is accompanied by the “Edition one” limited series that comes in Python Yellow (Sportback) or Tango Red (Sedan) paint finishes with black accents matched with 19-inch wheels and fine Nappa leather sport seats.

The Audi S3 is based on the brand’s A3 line. Though we have Audi A3 sedan available locally, we've never had the Sportback version reach our shores.

Photo/s from Audi

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