IOL Motoring Staff
Until now, Audi's latest-generation S3 has only been available as a three-door hatch, but those who need more space and versatility now have two more options.
The new S3 Sportback is available now for R500 500 while the S3 Sedan goes on sale this May, but Audi has opened the order books for this sleek new performer. No prices for the four-door have been released as yet, but it should cost around R10 000 more than the Sportback equivalent.
Like the three-door, the S3 Sedan and Sportback sport the most potent version of the VW Group's 2-litre turbopetrol motor, albeit it has been detuned from 221kW to 206kW due to concerns about our warm climate. Peak power is shoved out at 5500rpm, while its maximum torque output of 380Nm is constantly available from 1800 to 5500rpm.
The motor achieves its heady outputs and better-than-expected economy through a raft of innovative technologies, such as dual injection, the Audi valvelift system, an exhaust manifold integrated within the cylinder head and clever thermal management.
S TRONIC ONLY
Audi's six-speed S tronic will be the only gearbox option for S3 Sportback and Sedan models in South Africa. The dual-clutch unit features tightly-spaced ratios in the lower gears, and a tall sixth gear to reduce consumption and customers can order a set of flappy paddles to swop cogs from the steering wheel if they so desire.
Audi says a sprint to 100km/h takes 4.9 seconds in the Sedan and five seconds on the dot in the Sportback. Claimed combined fuel thirst comes in at 6.9 litres per 100km. Right.
S3 models are equipped with quattro permanent all-wheel drive, S sport suspension (which lowers the body by 25 millimetres) and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Exterior highlights include an S-specific grille, standard xenon plus headlights, redesigned front and back bumpers and aluminium-look external mirrors.
The cabin features a multi-function steering wheel, S3 Sport seats in a Trophy cloth/leather combination, brushed stainless steel pedals, S-specific instrumentation with boost gauge and various 'S' logos. Audi's MMI navigation plus with MMI touch is optional.