Audi originally opened up the sporty premium compact market with the first S3. Now the brand with four rings is presenting the new generation S3 Sportback and an S3 Saloon. Its 2.0 TFSI engine produces 228 kW (310 PS) of power and 400 Nm (295.0 lb-ft) of torque. Both models accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in just 4.8 seconds. A seven-speed S tronic, the quattro drive with intelligent control, and an S-specific sport suspension with optional damper control deliver the power to the road effortlessly.
The new S3 models are full of dynamic character, something which can be seen from the very first glance. The front is dominated by its Singleframe which boasts a large rhombus-patterned grille and impressive air inlets. The housings of the exterior mirrors have a gleaming aluminium look and the shoulder of the body extends in a strong line from the headlights to rear lights. The areas below are curved inward, emphasising the wheel arches, a new element of Audi's design. On request, the new S3 Sportback and Saloon can be fitted with matrix LED headlights. Their digital daytime running lights consist of a pixel array made up of 15 LED segments, ten of which form two vertical lines.
With 228 kW (310 PS) of power and 400 Nm (295.0 lb-ft) of torque, the new S3 models are powered by the 2.0 TFSI engine. High-tech features like the Audi valvelift system (AVS) – which adjusts the lift of the intake valves as required – mean that the combustion chambers are well filled, while thermal management helps to ensure high efficiency. Both models accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in an impressive 4.8 seconds and have a top speed of 250 km/h (155.3 mph).
The seven-speed S tronic with lightning-fast gear shifts and freewheeling function and the quattro all-wheel drive deliver the torque to the road. The hydraulic multi-plate clutch in front of the rear axle is fully variable and moves between the front and the back as required, combining dynamic performance with stability and efficiency. It is managed by the modular dynamic handling control – a new system that closely links the quattro drive to the Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC) and the controlled dampers that are available optionally.
With its four-link rear axle and progressive steering, the standard suspension offers everything that is required for pleasurable driving. It lowers the body by 15 millimetres (0.6 in). On request, Audi can also install the series S sport suspension with damper control. Valves control the oil flow in the dampers so that they adapt to the condition of the road, the driving situation, and the driver’s requests in an individual and ongoing in a few thousandths of a second. The spread between comfort and dynamism is even wider than for the predecessor model. The new electric brake booster ensures strong and spontaneous deceleration. All four brake disks are internally ventilated. The brake calipers come in black as standard, with red offered as an optional extra. The new S3 models come with 18-inch wheels as standard, with 19-inch wheels available optionally.
The new S3 models have grown in size compared to their previous models: The Sportback and the Saloon are three centimetres (1.2 in) and four centimetres (1.6 in) longer respectively, while both models are three centimetres (1.2 in)wider. The five-door car is now 4.34 metres (14.2 ft) in length, while the four-door is 4.50 metres (14.8 ft) long. Other than some small differences, the two body variants are identical in terms of width (1.82 m (6.0 ft)), height (1.43 m (4.7 ft)) and wheelbase (2.64 m (8.7 ft)). The luggage compartment of the S3 Sportback holds between 325 and 1,145 litres (11.5–40.4 cu ft) depending on the position of the rear bench seat, while the Saloon has a capacity of 370 litres (13.1 cu ft).
The sporty design of the new S3 models continues throughout the interior. The air vents form a single unit with the instrument cover, underlining the sporty character. A 10.25-inch digital display is offered as standard and alternatively, the Audi virtual cockpit and its “plus” version can be selected. Both have a 12.3-inch diagonal, with the "plus" version also offering three different screens. In the middle of the instrument panel is a 10.1-inch touch display embedded in a large black panel. It recognises letters entered by hand and provides acoustic feedback. As an additional operating level, the infotainment can also be voice-controlled using natural language as standard. Audi also supplies a head-up display as an option. The optional ambient lighting package plus delivers targeted lighting effects in the dark. The sport seats have also been newly developed with their standard series upholstery being largely made from recycled PET bottles, accentuated by stylish contrasting stitching.
The MMI operating concept of the new S3 models is powered by the third generation modular infotainment platform (MIB 3). Its computing power is ten times higher than that of its predecessor, it performs all tasks relating to connectivity with LTE Advanced speed, and it has an integrated Wi-Fi hotspot. Route guidance is flexible and accurate. Navigation offers predictions on the development of the traffic situation, high-resolution satellite images from Google Earth, and information about the traffic flow. Individual settings, such as frequently selected destinations or air conditioning preferences, can be stored in up to six user profiles.
The Audi connect online services also include car-to-X services, which help with finding available parking spots on the roadside or allow the driver to surf the green wave by communicating with traffic lights in cities like Düsseldorf and Ingolstadt. Connectivity between the new Audi S33 and the user’s smartphone is free of charge via the myAudi app, as well as via Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and the Audi phone box – which links the device to the vehicle’s antenna and charges it inductively.
Another feature is the Audi connect key, which authorizes the customer to lock and unlock the car and start the engine via their Android smartphone. For HiFi fans, the Bang & Olufsen premium sound system with 3D sound delivers a particularly spatial soundscape.