Audi Fifth Gear Renault Video

VIDEO: Prost v Senna MkII

Audi S3 v Renault Megane Trophy R

Fifth Gear—yes, that’s still going—has come up with a 21st century Prost v Senna battle by getting Nico Prost and Bruno Senna to race each other in a hot hatch track test. It’s son of Alain in the Renault Megane RS275 Trophy R and nephew of Ayrton in the Audi S3. The track is Snetteron and this is what happens…

[Thanks to Tim for the tip]

Audi Mercedes-Benz Video Volkswagen

VIDEO: Golf R v A45 AMG v S3

VW Golf R v Mercedes A45 AMG v Audi S3

Now that the new Golf R has been launched in Australia it’s timely to check out this video from Dutch car mag Auto Week. Up against the Volkswagen are the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG and VW stablemate the Audi S3.

Remember, all three cars are all-wheel drive and all three use a Haldex-based system.

When watching the video make sure you turn on the English subtitles, otherwise it’ll just be a series of crackles and farts, plus a trio of double-clutch hot hatces.

[Thanks to John for the tip]


2014 Audi S3 Sportback – Australian pricing & specs

2013 Audi S3 Sportback

We’ve known for several months that Audi Australia will be pricing the new S3 Sportback from $59,900. That’s a huge price drop compared with the outgoing 8P model which was over $70K list in its final form, with much less equipment than the new model too. And now the all-new S3 Sportback is here, in showrooms across the country and ready for delivery.

After initially thinking the 206kW/380Nm S3 would struggle against more powerful and faster competition from BMW and Mercedes-Benz we’ve discovered through anecdotal evidence that plenty of buyers are seeing value in the new S3.

We lament that Australia won’t be getting the S3 in three-door form and that a 6-speed manual is a “no-cost” option. And losing 15kW due to Australia’s designation as a “hot climate” country seems a bit annoying when BMW and Mercedes don’t cobble their performance products. But we can’t really argue with the S3’s performance and standard equipment wrapped up in a sub-$60K list price.

Full details from Audi can be found after the break, including Australian press info.


VIDEO: Audi S3 and Sport Quattro eat some dust

Audi S3 v Sport Quattro

Audi has dusted off former rally aces Hermann Müller and the real Stig—Stig Blomqvist—and given them a new Audi S3 and an old Ur-Quattro to play with. The result is predictable and presented in a manner which lacks the inspiration and passion the subject matter warrants. But it’s still nice to see a Quattro in action, in this instance on the gravel roads of San Remo.


OFFICIAL: Audi S3 Sportback priced from $59,900

2013 Audi S3 Sportback

As we predicted a bit over a week ago the all-new Audi S3 Sportback will be priced from $59,900 when it goes on sale in Australia this December. That’s more than $11,000 cheaper than the list price of the model it replaces.

Audi’s hand has been forced somewhat by the introduction of more powerful competition from BMW and Mercedes-Benz, both of which were well priced against the old 8P S3 Sportback. In order to compete Audi has had to cut its asking price while still packing the standard car with plenty of equipment:

Audi S3 Sportback – standard equipment for the Australian market

  • Xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights and LED tail lights
  • MMI Navigation plus with MMI touch
  • Audi parking system plus: park assist, front & rear sensors with rear view camera
  • 18-inch alloy wheels in 5-parallel spoke design
  • ‘S’ specific body kit
  • ‘S’ exhaust system with quad tailpipes
  • ‘S’ sports suspension
  • Sport seats in fine Nappa leather and heating for front seats
  • Audi Music Interface, Bluetooth interface with music streaming
  • Dual-zone climate control with digital display and rear air vents
  • Leather-wrapped, multi-function flat-bottom steering wheel

The Australian spec 8V S3 Sportback will also come standard with a 6-speed S tronic transmission and offers 206kW/380Nm from its 2.0 litre turbocharged engine. Coupled to a Haldex GenV-based quattro all-wheel drive system it can reach 100km/h in 5.0 seconds, while a frugal right foot can yield fuel consumption as low as 6.9l/100km.

Audi Australia will also offer an “S performance package” for an additional $4,990 which includes items such as LED headlights, a Bang & Olufsen sound system, Audi magnetic ride and ‘S’ sports seats in fine Nappa leather with diamond stitching.

You can get the full detail from Audi after the break.

UPDATE: Audi Australia has confirmed with us that a 6-speed manual transmission will be available as a no cost option, but it will cost you 0.4s to 100km/h and a few extra bucks at the fuel pump.


Would you buy a new S3 if it was under $60K?

2013 Audi S3 Sportback

The new 8V Audi S3 Sportback is not too far away from finding its way to Australia. Officially, Audi has told us to expect a mid-60s starting price, but we’ve now heard from two different sources that the manufacturer’s list pricing for the S3 will be under $60,000 (either $59,900 or $59,990).

With stiff competition from the BMW M135i ($68,900 see below) and the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG ($74,900) the S3 probably needs to trump them on price to compensate for its lack of power; Australian spec S3s will have 206kW/380Nm, down 29kW/70Nm against the M135i and 59kW/70Nm compared with the A45 AMG.

Both the M135i and A45 AMG are reasonably well specced so Audi can’t just start low only to leave buyers to tick so many options boxes that any savings are lost.

Let’s assume, then, that the S3 will come with a similar level of standard equipment as its German rivals, at around $9,000 $3,500 less than the Bimmer and $15,000 less than the Merc, would you be interested?

Note: BMW has dropped list pricing of the M135i to $64,900. No wonder we’re reading word of the S3 being priced from less than $60,000, Audi Australia has no choice. Mk7 Golf R pricing will be very interesting.


Audi cedes power to BMW and Mercedes

2013 Audi S3 Sportback

Audi S3: 206kW/380Nm
BMW M135i: 235kW/450Nm
Mercedes A45 AMG: 265kW/450Nm

Hang on a minute, doesn’t the new S3 have 221kW? Well, yes it does, but as with the outgoing 8P model, not all of its kilowatts are deemed suitable for Australia’s “hot” climate. So, when the 8V S3 Sportback arrives in Australia in December it will have a peak power figure of 206kW, down 15kW on its overseas tune.

We feared this would happen, but when we were given an official pricing tip from Audi Australia back in April the peak figure of 221kW was quoted. Great, we thought, the might of the Volkswagen Group has worked out how to overcome this rather quaint set of circumstances. Is the Australian climate is so vastly different to southern Europe, for example, that it warrants a different tune? Apparently so.

“There will be a lower power output just for hot weather countries,” confirmed Audi Australia spokesperson Shaun Cleary. “The power output will be 206kW while the European car has 221kW.”

Understanding that local buyers will need some reassurance, Cleary added, “The torque is the same and the acceleration is the same to 100 km/h, which is 5.1 seconds.”

In contrast, hot hatch buyers shopping at BMW and Mercedes-Benz dealerships will get the full complement of power on offer from their respective S3 competitors.

On paper, the S3 is fighting a losing battle against its German rivals. Where it once had the premium hot hatch segment to itself in Australia, the S3  can now ill-afford to cede further ground in a market place that is more competitive than it has ever been.

The S3 is expected to undercut the M135i and A45 AMG on price, for Audi’s sake let’s hope they can stuff the S3 chock full of standard kit.

[Source: SMH]


Does the new Audi S3 cut the mustard?

2013 Audi S3 (8V)

The three-door version of the new Audi S3 has just been released in Europe. And while it is a little lighter and quicker than the S3 Sportback we’ll be seeing in Australia it’s still worth taking in the first impressions from those who attended the launch:

Autocar (Greg Kable): The Audi S3 is a very accomplished hot hatch—among the best in the business for pure ability, no less. It is terrifically fast, impressively agile and boasts loads of grip. But, that said, it isn’t as engaging to drive we had hoped. What it lacks in pure back-road excitement, the new S3 attempts to make up for in overall quality. In this respect it is better than any rival out there.

Auto Express (Jack Rix): The new S3 feels as crushingly fast as its predecessor in a straight line, but makes unexpected improvements in other areas. The bassy soundtrack is as close to a six-cylinder as a four-cylinder gets, it feels lighter on its toes in corners and the lightning-fast S tronic gearbox is a perfect match. Dial down the dynamic settings and it’s more refined and comfortable than ever, too. More feedback through the steering wheel would be appreciated, and ultimately the handling feels safe rather than lively, but Audi has done enough to make keen drivers think twice before buying the BMW M135i.

Car (Ben Pulman): The Audi S3 has always been a good all-round hot hatch, but this latest version has a broader repertoire: it’s more refined and the cabin is unmatched in this class, and it’s also more fun to drive hard. The S3 isn’t quite as involving as any of the Ford/Vauxhall/Renaultsport crowd, but I’m not sure that matters when the rest of the package is so complete.

Drive (Jonathan Hawley): As well as being feisty in a straight line the S3 is an agile handler with oodles of grip, the ability to find traction coming out of corners, and the steering is well weighted and precise.

Hmm, it’s a bit of a mixed bag really. Clearly the 8V appears better than the 8P model it replaces, but has it improved enough to mix it with the increased competition from Germany?

The review from Australia’s own Drive is so lacking in detail about the actual driving experience we’re inclined to ignore it. But, based on the other comments, and compared against the list prices of $68,400 for the M135i and $74,900 for the much more powerful A45 AMG, we can’t help but think, as good as the S3 might be, its mid-60s pricepoint might make it at least $5K too much.


Audi S3 Sportback to be priced from mid-60s

2013 Audi S3 Sportback

It’s not all that long ago that the Audi S3 had the upper-end of the hot hatch market pretty much all to itself. But with the recent or impending arrivals of hyper hatchery from BMW and Mercedes-Benz the four-ringed posse has quite a fight on its hands to earn your custom.

With only 221kW and 380Nm to play with Audi cannot compete on outright performance and that just leaves price. And while it won’t be an outright bargain the new S3 Sportback should undercut the M135i and A45 AMG when it goes on sale locally in December. Audi Australia says the S3 will carry a $65,000–70,000 price tag and will include plenty of standard kit.

If you want the S3 sedan you’ll only have to wait an extra month or so, Audi has announced it will launch in the first quarter of 2014.

Audi knows the S3 is fighting in the toughest market it has ever faced. “It’s a highly competitive market place and we want the many Audi customers, both existing and new, to be delighted with their brand new S3 Sportback,” says Audi Australia’s managing director, Andrew Doyle.

Pleasingly, Doyle confirmed a proper gearbox will be offered this time as well. “We will offer our customers both a 6 speed manual and a 6 speed S tronic transmission when we launch in December this year,” he said.

We look forward to finding out more about the standard level of equipment the Australian-spec S3 Sportback will carry. It’s going to have to be good to compete with its German rivals.


2013 Audi S3 Sportback revealed

2013 Audi S3 Sportback

In case you haven’t noticed the Geneva Motor Show is just around the corner; the bright lights and smoke machines will be switched on in early March. That means manufacturers are releasing pics and text on the models they’ll be putting on the stage. This time it’s Audi showing us their new S3 Sportback.

We’ve already seen the new 8V A3 in three-door hatch, five-door Sportback and S3 (three-door) form, so there’s no surprises with what we see here.

However, for those who may be interested in buying a new S3 pay attention, because this is the only model we’ll be seeing in Australia. It is expected to be in local showrooms sometime after October.

Since the introduction of the 8P S3 Sportback in 2008 three-door sales have dropped to a trickle and so it has been canned in Australia, which is a shame.

Making use of the Volkswagen Group’s adaptable MQB platform has allowed Audi to shed 70kg from the S3 Sportback; it now weighs 1445kg. And with the new 2.0 TFSI motor producing 221kW/380Nm it can reach 100km/h in 5.0 seconds when coupled to a 6-speed S tronic transmission.

A 6-speed manual box is available, although we’re not sure if that will be the case in Australia, and takes an extra 0.5 seconds to reach 100km/h. Which is rather interesting given that’s roughly the same as the time required for the heavier, less powerful 8P model. Hmm.

We think the A3 range has one of the best interiors of the new baby Germans (see BMW 1 Series and Mercedes-Benz A Class), which is par for the course really. What Audi will be hoping for with the range-topping S3 is that they can start making inroads into BMW’s reputation for dynamics, without losing ground to the A Class.


2013 Audi S3 revealed

2013 Audi S3 (8V)

Here’s something for Volkswagen Group fans, the all-new Audi S3. This car will set the tone for a few other models to follow, most notably the next Golf R. Now featuring an EA888-based engine the latest S3 is good for 221kW, up from 195kW (or 188kW in Australian-spec). Torque has been increased by 30Nm to a new total of 380Nm, available from 1800–5500rpm.

We’ll never see the three-door S3 in Australia, but we will get the S3 Sportback. The three-door will go on sale in Europe early next year and the five-door Sportback model will follow in the second quarter of 2013. By our calculations we could see the S3 Sportback in Australia as early as the third quarter; yet to be confirmed by Audi Australia, of course.

With an optional 6-speed S tronic transmission Audi reckons it can hit 100km/h in only 5.1 seconds. If you insist on changing gears yourself you’ll need 5.4 seconds to reach triple figures. But here comes the sweetener, claimed fuel consumption on the combined cycle is 7.0l/100km for the manual and 6.9l/100km for the double-clutch jobbie. Assuming the S3 Sportback can match those numbers, that should be enough to scrape the S3 under the Australian Government’s Luxury Car Tax threshold.

The new S3 rides on the same sized 7.5″ width rims as the old model and the 225/40/18 sized tyres are also the same. However, handling should benefit from the front axle being moved 52mm forward and the 148kg engine, 5kg less than before, being angled back towards the bulkhead by 12 degrees.

That’s all due to the now ubiquitous MQB platform. The modular architecture has also helped contribute to a weight loss of 60kg over the old S3, but at 1395kg it’s still not going to be the lightest hot hatch going around. Of course, some of the weight is due to the quattro all-wheel drive system. The provided press text is light on for detail in this regard, but it sounds as though the quattro system used is very similar to the Haldex IV system used in the 8P S3.

A sophisticated suspension system should ensure handling improvements for the new S3, helped along in no small terms by the optional Audi magnetic ride as standard equipment. A total of three different tunes, also affecting throttle response and steering, can be chosen from the Audi drive select programs. The S3 also sits 25mm lower compared to its garden variety 8V A3 siblings.

You certainly couldn’t say Audi has brought anything radical to the table with its third-generation S3. But we do think think this clear case of minor improvements over the previous model will make for very pleasing car to drive. We can’t wait until the S3 Sportback lands down under so we can sample it for ourselves.

There’s another 30-odd pics for you after the break, along with Audi’s introductory press release. If they add anything new when the car debuts in Paris we’ll be sure to share it with you.

UPDATE: Audi’s 10 minute promo video for the new S3 has been added below.


2009 Audi S3 image gallery

2009 Audi S3 coupe

Hope you enjoy this selection of images of the 2009 Audi S3 range, including images of the familiar 3-door Coupé and the newly introduced 5-door Sportback. Also included at the end of the gallery is Audi’s press release from the Paris Motor Show and technical drawing of both models.

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