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.