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.
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.
The new Audi S3 Sportback
- New 2.0 TFSI with 221 kW (300 hp) and 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) of torque, but just 6.9 liters per 100 km (34.09 US mpg)
- From 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 5.0 seconds
- Five doors for even better functionality
221 kW (300 hp). 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) of torque. From 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 5.0 seconds. The new Audi S3 Sportback offers best-in-class performance. Its efficiency is also exemplary. The 2.0 TFSI averages just 6.9 liters per 100 km (34.09 US mpg).
The four-cylinder engine in the S3 Sportback has been overhauled. The only thing in common with its predecessor is a displacement of 1,984 cc. Its rated output of 221 kW (300 hp) is available at 5,500 rpm; maximum torque of 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) is constantly available from 1,800 to 5,500 rpm.
The high-performance four-cylinder engine responds immediately to the driver’s wishes and boasts a sportily sonorous sound. When the Audi drive select system is in dynamic mode, the engine’s power is also underscored acoustically. The 2.0 TFSI provides power and exemplary efficiency alike by relying on many new technologies, ranging from dual injection through the Audi valvelift system and an exhaust manifold integrated within the cylinder head to innovative thermal management.
When equipped with the optional six-speed S tronic, the S3 Sportback sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in only 5.0 seconds. The six-speed manual transmission needs just five-tenths of a second more. Top speed is electronically governed at 250 km/h (155.34 mph). Launch Control delivers the engine’s power to the road with defined tire slip. The 2.0 TFSI consumes just 6.9 liters per 100 km (34.09 US mpg) on average when paired with the S tronic (7.0 liters [33.60 US mpg] with the manual transmission). This engine thus requires 1.5 liters per 100 km less compared to the previous S3 Sportback.
The lower gears of both transmissions are tightly spaced for sporty performance while the tall sixth gear reduces fuel consumption. The dual-clutch transmission can be controlled via optional shift paddles on the steering wheel and offers the automatic modes D and S in addition to manual mode.
Equipped with quattro permanent all-wheel drive and a redesigned multi-plate clutch, this new high-end vehicle in the model line can accelerate more quickly and safely when exiting a corner. It is dynamic and stable in all conditions, even rain or snow.
The front axle is 52 millimeters (2.05 in) farther forward compared to the previous model. The 2.0 TFSI is more than five kilograms (11.02 lb) lighter than the previous engine and is tilted backward by 12 degrees.
In addition to a sophisticated suspension and the S sport suspension, which lowers the body by 25 millimeters (0.98 in), the axle-load distribution (59% to 41%, front to rear) and new, progressive steering contribute significantly to sporty handling. The key to progressive steering is that steering movements determine the steering ratio. This results in stable and virtually neutral steering characteristics for outstanding precision during sporty driving and easier steering while parking.
The new Audi S3 Sportback features 7.5 J x 18 wheels. The low rolling resistance of the 225/40-series tires helps reduce fuel consumption. The calipers of the large brakes, which measure 340 millimeters (13.39 in) in diameter up front, are painted black and bear S logos. They can optionally be red. The electromechanical parking brake governs the rear axle. Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC) reflects latest-generation technology.
The new S3 Sportback comes standard with Audi drive select. This system handles characteristics of the electronic gas pedal, shift points of the optional S tronic and the steering ratio for progressive steering.
At the push of a button, the driver specifies whether these systems should operate in comfort, auto, dynamic or efficiency mode. An additional mode, individual, is available in models equipped with the MMI Radio or above. The optional Audi magnetic ride system, which situationally regulates the shock absorbers, is also controlled via Audi drive select.
Lightweight construction also contributes significantly to the very dynamic performance of the Audi S3 Sportback. This five-door car has a curb weight of 1,445 kilograms (3,185.68 lb) – 70 kilograms (154.32 lb) less than the previous model. Most of this reduction in weight is on account of the body.
The new Audi S3 Sportback will arrive in Australia in the fourth quarter of 2013. Pricing and specification will be announced closer to launch.