The Audi S3 is likely one of the smash hits of sensible efficiency automobiles within the UK. It’s extremely widespread, due to its on a regular basis usability and well-made inside too.
However now there’s a brand new one. With an up to date platform, extra energy and even higher know-how than earlier than, it’s definitely effectively geared up to make as many waves as its predecessor did. We’ve been behind the wheel to strive it out.
Right away, issues look fairly much like S3s of outdated. There’s the signature quattro all-wheel-drive system, a decrease trip top than the usual A3, and some sporty design touches. The outdated S3’s quad exhaust shops are nonetheless right here, too.
We’ve obtained the saloon S3 – relatively than the hatchback (or Sportback, as Audi calls it) – which implies that it does look a bit longer and sleeker than ordinary.
Energy throughout the vary has been beefed up, whereas the automotive’s trip has been tweaked to make it simpler to reside with every day.
What’s underneath the bonnet?
The S3 is powered by the perennial 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which has seen a lot use throughout the VW Group, together with within the previous-generation automotive. Energy, although, has been stoked as much as 306bhp, whereas torque now hits 400Nm.
Pushed via a seven-speed computerized gearbox to all 4 wheels, it’s sufficient to ship the S3 from 0-60mph in 4.6 seconds earlier than hitting a sometimes Germanic prime pace of 155mph.
What’s it prefer to drive?
In typical quick Audi vogue, the most recent S3 is effectively judged to be used every day. The trip does sit on the agency facet, thoughts, and over damaged surfaces sends a good bit of motion via to the cabin.
The engine, in the meantime, sits under the radar once you’re driving round city. There’s little murmur from the exhaust, whereas the gears slip alongside undetected. All in all, that is as straightforward to drive as a normal A3.
The seating place is barely odd – we discovered the entrance part of the seat to be tilted barely extra upwards than you may anticipate.
However throw some tempo into the combo and the S3 may be very spectacular. There’s some lag initially because the turbo spools up, however as soon as it’s in control the two.0-litre engine presents some severe tempo.
And naturally there’s that added safety on account of the all-wheel-drive system. The entire driving expertise feels very assured and composed, if maybe not essentially the most thrilling.
How does it look?
Our automotive, in saloon type, brings the basic Audi ‘much less is extra’ strategy to efficiency automotive styling. Aside from the standout exhaust pipes and a few mildly flared arches, there’s little to distinguish this from a normal A3.
Our check automotive’s vibrant pink paint definitely helped to liven issues up a bit, however choose a extra refined shade and this might be the best undercover efficiency automotive.
We reckon the hatchback physique type fits the S3 the perfect – however that’s simply our opinion. Those that want a sleeker, extra coupe-style means of getting from A to B could discover the saloon variant the extra interesting choice.
What’s it like inside?
The inside of the S3 is designed round a brand new platform structure – one we’ve already seen utilized to the common A3 and the most recent Volkswagen Golf, too.
We’re not huge followers of the stubby gear selector – which seems on all of those fashions – however a helpful by-product is that the central space of the automotive feels spacious and decluttered.
This sense continues upwards, the place there’s minimal use of bodily buttons. A lot of the controls are centred round the primary infotainment system.
The construct high quality is great, with extensive use of high-quality supplies that mix to create a well-balanced and premium-feeling inside. Relating to boot area, there are 325 litres of seats-up area to play with.
Once more, if you happen to’re after a extra sensible choice then we’d lean in direction of the Sportback variant, as its hatchback opening provides you simpler entry to the boot in contrast with this saloon.
What’s the spec like?
The S3 is a automotive that actually does seem to be wonderful worth in terms of on-board know-how, with the automotive’s sub-£40,000 beginning worth bringing an entire host of additives to maintain even the keenest of tech followers glad.
The majority of it’s centred across the new infotainment show, which is now your essential entry level for most of the automotive’s controls. It’s clear and straightforward to make use of, retaining the crisp fonts that we’ve seen on different latest Audi fashions such because the A6 and e-tron.
Fortunately, although, the S3 has saved bodily controls for the heating and air flow, which makes them far simpler to regulate than with a touchscreen setup.
It may not be as excessive tech as different fashions on this respect, however we predict that that is one space of a automotive’s cabin value maintaining old-school. In distinction, the outdated quantity knob has been changed by a brand new touch-sensitive circle. It’s much less efficient than the older, extra tactile management, so why change it?
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The brand new S3 brings simply what you’d need from one of these Audi: strong, safe efficiency wrapped up in a bundle that’s each pleasing to the attention and effectively put collectively.
Nonetheless, the driving expertise it delivers isn’t essentially the most thrilling or essentially the most involving. It feels very like a sooner A3 relatively than a devoted efficiency mannequin.
That mentioned, as a automotive to carry a contact extra zing to your day by day drive, then the S3 does remarkably effectively, whereas due to a spacious inside and a decent-sized boot, it’s greater than as much as the duty of getting used each day.
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