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 BMW Mercedes-Benz

Audi S3 v BMW M135i v Mercedes A45 AMG

Audi S3 v BMW M135i v Mercedes A45 AMG

This is what we want to read; a comparison between the three hottest hatches currently on offer from the triumvirate of German masters. Thankfully, George Kacher has put his keyboard to work on behalf of Automobile magazine:

George Kacher on the S3: The Audi goes around bends like a slot-car racer with a second pin between the rear wheels. Neutrality is the name of its game. So is it boring? Wrong term. The S3 rewards its driver with a different potpourri of talents. The roadholding is so tenacious that the Continental Sportcontact tires (225/40 R18 all round) might have harbored hidden Velcro strap fragments. The steering, overly light and a little mute, nonetheless turns honing the line into a surprisingly entertaining pastime.

George Kacher on the M135i: There is more roll and pitch and dive than we expected from a 1-series model wearing the M badge. On the other hand, grip is astounding in the dry, traction is only an issue when you ask for it by switching off ESP, and the stability through very quick uneven corners is supported by the nicely compliant spring and damper setting. So, full marks for ride quality, panache and refinement, but only 3.5 stars out of five for absolute sportiness and driver involvement.

George Kacher on the A45 AMG: The engine delivers notable extra urge with real authority, the steering fuses input and feedback to a wonderfully three-dimensional level of control, four-wheel drive distributes torque with the eerie professionalism of a poker ace dealing his rounds, and the brakes bite with vigor and determination until, at the foot of the pass, smoke signals beg for mercy. The A45 AMG is as chuckable as it is sure-footed. It can corner on three wheels, decelerate at a ridiculous yaw angle, put the power down even earlier than the Audi. What it cannot do is ride well, period. Not even on smooth blacktop.

Based on what we’ve been reading, the S3 will only find buyers in Australia due to being cheaper than the other two (and only marginally), the A45 AMG will be the one everybody wants and some of the gloss of the M135i seems to have faded in the presence of serious competition.

Although, it is worth remembering the margins being discussed in reviews such as this are often so minor as to conclude that all three cars will reward their owners well beyond the initial novelty period. It’s just that they’ll do it slightly differently. We think it’s fantastic to see so much choice in the premium hot hatch segment. A shame it’s taken so long.

Follow the source link below to read the full review.

[Source: Automobile | Thanks to Richard for the tip]


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]


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.

Click on an image to load a 2000x1320px super image.


2009 Audi A3 range revealed – including S3 Sportback

Audi S3 Sportback

The MY09 upgrades to the Audi A3 model range have been revealed. Headlining the news is the addition of a 5 door ‘Sportback’ option to the range topping S3, featuring a 188kW (Australian spec) 2 litre turbo engine with Audi’s renowned quattro drivetrain. Compared to the 3 door S3, the 5 door variant is 0.1 seconds slower to 100km/h, with Audi claiming a time of 5.8 seconds for Euro spec models (195kW engine).

Other additions to the A3 range include a new 7 speed double clutch transmission, known as S-tronic in Audi-speak, and the magnetic ride system, as currently available on the TT. Usual mid-cycle tweaks to the interior have been implemented, and Audi’s signature LED parking lights, first featured on the stunning R8, have also been incorporated into the 2009 A3 lineup. Australian deliveries of the range should be available before year’s end.

It will be the 5 door S3 that will excite Audiphiles the most, with many fans eagerly anticipating such an addition to the range. Read more to see more photos of the S3 Sportback, featured here in Sprint Blue metallic paintwork (click images for larger versions).