Audi Seat Volkswagen

Turbo dramas for Volkswagen Group EA888 engine?

Volkswagen Mk7 Golf R

The current trend from Euro car makers to create big power out of 2.0 litre turbocharged four cylinder engines could be showing the first real signs of stress. Last week we brought you news of a Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG on fire in Sydney and now there’s reports of turbo dramas affecting the latest range of Volkswagen Group hot hatches.

While the cause of the fire in that A45 AMG is yet to be established, getting 265kW from a 2.0 litre with such high boost has raised many eyebrows for those considering long-term reliability. That’s not to say it can’t be done, but a quick look at relevant forums will show there’s plenty of A45 owners with issues of varying types.

Similarly, the latest EA888 engine from the Volkswagen Group which is tuned to produce up to 221kW and used in the Audi S3, Seat Lean Cupra 280 and Volkswagen Golf R is attracting a number of complaints, mostly to do with turbo failure.

According to an article published by Motor Authority the part number of the faulty turbo is 06K 145 702 N which they report is made by IHI Turbo. The relevant engine codes are CJXB and CJXC.

Motor Authority’s investigations point to a production fault for turbos made between April and May 2014, where there is a fault with the manifold sealing surface. Outside of this date range some owners of 2013 S3s are also reporting similar problems.

It’s been suggested Audi will be fitting a new turbo design for future S3s and has in turn delayed the launch of the TTS until the problem has been satisfactorily resolved.

Which begs the question, is the Mercedes v Volkswagen four-cylinder war one that is really worth winning?

[Source: Motor Authority | Thanks to Wayne for the tip]


Audi RS3 sedan to be based on clubsport quattro

Audi A3 clubsport quattro

When we first saw the A3 clubsport quattro we became a wee bit excited. We wanted to think it was a bona fide RS3 preview, but some of its styling along with that staggering 386kW 2.5 TFSI are unlikely to make it down the production line.

However, Audi Australia spokesman Matthew Dale has told that the concept model, currently on show at the Wörthersee festival, does paint a pretty good picture of the next RS3.

“The clubsport [concept] is a view into the future of the RS. The TT RS, RS Q3 and the previous RS 3 Sportback all use the 2.5 TFSI engine, and this [concept] shows you where it can go,” said Dale.

Although, it’s unlikely the concept’s headline stats of 386kW/600Nm will become reality. At the moment the best Audi has given us from the 2.5 TFSI is 265kW/465Nm found in the TT RS Plus. That said, we’d not be surprised to see the next-gen RS3 pony up 300kW or more.

Despite his earlier assertion, Dale also tempered expectations on the new RS3, before indicating Audi Australia would want the car. Of course, we’ve long expected the next RS3 will make it to Australia, but it’s still nice to see it now being openly discussed.

“We haven’t heard anything as yet—for any RS3 badged car,” he added. “But certainly if the factory was to come to us and say an RS3 Sportback or an RS3 sedan is available, we’d be the first ones to say yes.”

Hot diggety!

[Source: carsales | Thanks to John for the tip]

Audi Subaru Video

Audi S3 Sportback v Subaru WRX STi

Audi S3 v Subaru WRX STI

Here’s a pretty simple video clip from French publication Motorsport Magazine comparing the Audi S3 and the Subaru WRX STi. It’s an acceleration run from 0–250km/h and it would seem that S tronic gives the S3 the edge. Although, they’re pretty slick gearchanges in the STi.

S3 Sportback: 221kW/380Nm, 6-speed S tronic, quattro all-wheel drive, 1445kg
WRX STi: 221kW/407Nm, 6-speed manual, symmetrical all-wheel drive, 1525kg

[Thanks to Tim for the tip]


Audi S3 sedan – Australian pricing & specs

Audi S3 Sedan

The Audi S3 Sedan is now on sale in Australia. And while it may look like an S3 Sportback with a boot, Audi says not a single panel is shared between the two models. The price for that boot is $62,200, which is $2300 more than its hot hatch sibling.

Aside from the price and the body panels the two cars are pretty much identical.

Like the Sportback the S3 Sedan is well appointed and offers the S performance package for $4990. That gets you goodies like LED headlights, Bang & Olufsen stereo, 19″ alloys, leather seats with diamond stitching and pretty red brake calipers.

A 6-speed S tronic transmission is standard and with the 206kW/380Nm on tap the 1450kg sedan can reach 100km/h in 5.0 seconds.

Just like the Sportback.

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]

Audi BMW Video

VIDEO: Audi S3 v BMW M135i

Audi S3 v BMW M135i

Jethro Bovingdon from Evo spent the day fanging around Bedford Aerodrome in an Audi S3 and a BMW M135i. As you know the S3 is all-wheel drive and powered by a four cylinder turbo, while the M135i has a more pure rear-wheel drive layout with an inline six cylinder turbo.

The Audi is lighter but has less power. Can the BM’s extra grunt make up for its extra bulk? And which one is more fun on track?

[Thanks to Micky for the tip]


Audi S3 Cabriolet revealed

Audi S3 Cabriolet

For the first time ever Audi is giving the world an S3 Cabriolet. But do we really want one? Audi seems to think so and good luck to them.

Under the bonnet it’s the same S3 221kW/380Nm engine and quattro drivetrain we’ve seen before, which just leaves the roof, or lack of, as the major point of difference.

The top is an electrically folding fabric arrangement and opens in 18 seconds. It can be opened at speeds up to 50km/h and is available in three colours. Although, Audi neglects to tell us what those three colours are. Our guess will be black, a dark grey and a light grey. If Audi feels a bit flighty a red roof might be an option too.

As you can probably tell, while being fans of the S3 in general, a soft-top version doesn’t really do it for us. How about you?

UPDATE: This just in from Audi Australia, “The S3 Cabriolet is confirmed for Australia and will arrive in the fourth quarter of 2014.”


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.


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.