New Audi S3 more ‘agile’ than ever - Select Car Leasing
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New Audi S3 more ‘agile’ than ever

Here it is in all its glory - the new and improved Audi S3 Sportback hatchback and S3 Saloon.

Audi treated us to a sneak peek of the heavily refreshed S3 back in February this year when it was undergoing final testing and still clad in camouflage - including garish fluorescent orange wheels.

But this is what Audi’s performance variants of the regular A3 hatch and saloon actually look like in the metal before order books officially open in May this year.

As we revealed previously, the new S3 has more power than before - up to 333 PS from the outgoing model’s 310 PS, as well as 420 Nm of torque - which means it can accelerate from 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds. That’s a tenth of a second more rapid than the old S3.

The updated S3 has also been handed a torque splitter from the more raucous Audi RS 3, which means it can put that power down more effectively, shifting the torque between the rear wheels for optimum traction.

All of that, says Audi, means the S3 is now more ‘agile, expressive’ than ever.

It looks different, too, with a revised front end that includes a sporty diffuser, swankier, configurable daytime running lights, and a four-pipe performance exhaust system at the rear.

The engine and transmission has also been treated to sportier tuning.

An Audi spokesperson explains: “When at a steady speed and at low to medium acceleration in the part-load range, the preloaded turbocharger keeps at a constant rpm. In combination with the throttle valve, which is opened during overrun mode, this improves performance. The seven-speed S tronic now enables a more spontaneous takeoff, thanks to higher starting torque. This is achieved by compressing the clutch pack of the respective clutch more strongly. In addition, the shift time for gearshifts under full load has been halved, and engine speeds are increased under partial load when the transmission is set to D which results in improved responsiveness.”

Speaking of those drive modes, there are six to choose from, varying from school-run comfort to track day shenanigans.

The ‘dynamic plus mode’ is the one designed to unleash your inner hooligan, as it has been set up to prompt a bit of ‘oversteer’, which is what you want if you fancy a spot of sideways drifting on the race circuit.

The S3 sits 15mm lower than the standard A3, and the fully-loaded S3 ‘Vorsprung’ variants also get adaptive dampers to go with the ‘S Sport’ suspension.

With all that go, the S3’s stopping abilities have also been improved, with two-pot callipers and larger disks at the front.

When it comes to the interior, Audi says the new cabin has ‘more charisma’, coming with a new shifter design and air vents, uprated ambient lighting, as well as decorative fabric inlays.

A 10.1-inch touch display is standard, as is wireless phone charging, while there are additional USB C charging ports in the front and rear.

An Audi spokesperson adds: “With a host of new features, the Audi S3 is more than just a product upgrade: Increased output, a torque splitter, and other technology highlights ensure strong performance and agile handling. Visually, the compact model reflects its increased dynamics with an expressive front design, a sporty diffuser, and a four-pipe performance exhaust system. The Audi S3, available as a Sportback and Saloon, goes on sale in May.”

We’ll bring you leasing prices when they arrive.

As ever, it'll do battle with the Volkswagen Golf R and the BMW M135i.

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David Hughes

Friday, 17/05/2024