There’s no extra psychological Audi RS3 on sale, with its offended five-cylinder motor thrashing out 294kW and 480Nm. You could possibly argue, nonetheless, that the sensible cash wouldn’t splash out the $85K required. Reasonably, it will plump for what we now have right here: the much less ludicrous but impressively fast 2019 Audi S3.
There are solely 4 turbocharged cylinders within the S3 – two litres of displacement makes 213kW at 6500rpm and 380Nm at 1850–5300rpm. That engine and people figures are shared with the Volkswagen Golf R cousin, which is a cheaper possibility when it comes to efficiency. Nonetheless, the Golf R can’t be had in a pint-sized sedan configuration like this S3, which is one thing of an outlier in immediately’s automotive scene.
No matter how manic the RS3 is, this S3 is not any slouch. Working by way of a seven-speed ‘S-Tronic’ dual-clutch gearbox, Audi reckons the S3 will hit 100km/h from a standing begin in simply 4.8 seconds. I don’t care what your identify is, that’s fairly fast.
No SUVisms right here, nonetheless. The Audi S3 will also be had as a hatch ($64,200) and cabriolet ($73,400), however our sedan has a beginning value of $65,800.
It’s price noting that five-banger driveline continues to be obtainable, however you’ll want to leap into the brand new RS Q3 to get it, which is classed as an SUV.
Audi says an replace of inclusions in 2019 offers the S3 a $9000 bump in worth, with a bunch of further gear included as commonplace fare: 19-inch Audi Sport alloy wheels, metallic paint, crimson brake calipers, nappa leather-based S sports activities seats, auto-folding mirrors, Bang & Olufsen sound system, and wi-fi smartphone charging.
Different commonplace inclusions of observe: Audi magnetic experience, energetic lane help, high-beam help and adaptive cruise management (with Cease & Go).
That leaves you with one package deal to decide on: the Help Bundle, which contains visitors jam help, hill maintain help, emergency help and costing $400.
Our crystal-effect Ara Blue is the one paint possibility that isn’t no-cost, with a $728 surcharge. Our tester additionally has the ‘black exterior styling package deal’ as a $1300 add-on, leaving the ultimate value at $67,828.
That form of spend doesn’t get you a giant sedan: 4466mm lengthy, 1796mm huge and 1392mm tall, with a 2631mm wheelbase and 1516kg tare weight. When you’re wanting on the competitors, you’ll be operating your ruler over hotter takes of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and BMW 1 Collection, in addition to the carefully associated Volkswagen Golf R, though the latter two cannot match this Audi’s mini-sedan format.
The inside seems and feels premium, with high quality supplies specified by a ‘much less is extra’ type. There are metallic splashes on the doorways, air vents and controls, which carry some mature type to the in any other case blacked-out cabin. There are a couple of spots for storing your ins and outs, however it’s not what I might name an overwhelmingly sensible cabin: two cupholders, room for a bottle in every door card, and a shallow centre console bin the place a wi-fi charging dock is hiding.
When you’re nonetheless a fan of taking part in CDs, you’ll be glad to search out one ensconced within the glovebox. They’re beginning to grow to be a little bit of a rarity today, and an excellent alternative to offer the 705W 14-speaker sound system a run for its cash.
The seats, nice to take a look at and sit in, end off the cabin on a excessive level. They’ve handbook adjustment (save for electrical lumbar management), however seize you in the entire proper locations for a sports activities automotive.
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What’s often known as Digital Cockpit is a 12.3-inch digital instrument binnacle, which helps you to management navigation, telephone and audio by way of steering wheel controls. It really works properly in live performance with the infotainment show, or can run in lieu of it: the centre show can fold down into the dashboard, leaving you with a dashboard unencumbered by immediately’s digital calls for.
Stated infotainment show is managed by way of the rotary dial aft of the gearstick, which permits straightforward navigation to your completely different screens and settings. Essential containers to tick today, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility is taken care of. The worst criticism I can degree at it’s that the design of the working system seems a bit of drained in comparison with among the extra fashionable programs, and the map graphics really feel notably dated.
The steering wheel is one other spotlight within the cabin, whose perforated leather-based and stitching feel and appear nice. Sporty pretensions are there with the S branding and flat-bottomed design. However extra importantly, they’re accounted for when issues get transferring. Steering is gentle and pliable in Consolation mode, however transforms into one thing purposefully meaty in Dynamic mode.
Magnetic Experience (Audi’s tackle adaptive damping) offers a perceptible distinction in the best way the S3 carries itself. It’s by no means outright clean and buttery on tough roads, however if you happen to’re prepared to simply accept a couple of sporty jiggles, then you definately’ll discover the S3 snug sufficient in Consolation mode.
Transfer into Dynamic mode, and issues tighten up purposefully. The experience could be very agency, verging on harsh over sluggish bumps and tough surfaces. It’s for good purpose, nonetheless. Physique roll is reined in and that meaty steering yields a great deal of grip and a splash of suggestions in corners. The S3 turns in eagerly, feeling very balanced by way of the Haldex-based quattro all-wheel-drive system. To the purpose of tyres squealing in protest, the S3 stays unfazed. You may actually really feel the S3 rotating by way of tight corners, with none erring in direction of under- or over-steering.
Dynamic mode lets the engine snarl, be offended, and loud within the higher rev ranges. There’s loads of farting on the quick upshifts and gargling on the overrun, as properly. For weekend punting by way of the twisties and observe days, you would do loads worse than this S3. Except for a quick pause at standstill because the dual-clutch will get into motion, that huge thump of mid-range torque offers the S3 startlingly fast and simply accessible acceleration.
There’a a launch-control operate on the S3, little doubt wanted to assist slide below that five-second barrier. It is advisable to change off stability management to do it, nonetheless.
Frivolities apart, Audi’s dual-clutch S-Tronic automated gearbox offers tame and timid efficiency when caught within the grind of city and visitors. It’s by no means going to be as outright clean as a torque-converter automated, however in my books it’s loads adequate.
The claimed mixed consumption determine is 6.6 litres per hundred kilometres. In our driving, which comprised visitors, freeway and a few backroad bombing, we settled all the way down to 9.2L/100km.
For these passengers caught within the again, the excellent news is there’s sufficient area for many adults to be snug, though I’m not as demanding when it comes to general area. Head room is in brief provide, however so long as you’re not piggy within the center, there’s a first rate serving of leg and toe room.
Boot dimension is modest, however honest for a automobile of this dimension. There’s some further area down amongst the space-saving spare, in addition to a hatch on the driving force’s facet. Pedants will discover the ceiling of the boot (not the lid) is unlined panelwork, however modest journeys to IKEA and Bunnings are doable because of flat-folding 60/40 seats.
By way of possession prices, Audi lists three years at $1850 and 5 years at $2380 below the service plan pricing, doing a go to each 12 months or 15,000km.
Audi is holding agency on its three-year guarantee, with limitless kilometres allowed inside that timeframe.
In isolation, the S3 stacks up as a properly sorted and resolved automobile general. You’re paying a little bit of a premium for the S3 expertise, particularly when in comparison with the mechanically very comparable Volkswagen Golf R. Nonetheless, you don’t really feel stooged if you end up behind the wheel. Audi’s improved listing of normal choices actually helps.
The sedan format, teamed up with Audi’s styling and high quality touchpoints, leaves the S3 with an air of mature grace that units it other than different scorching hatches. It’s correct quick, and a rewarding drive by way of the twisties, however may adeptly pull double-duty as a snug and fairly environment friendly technique of getting from A to B.