Audi S3 gets fresh look, more power and sharper chassis for 2024

Published Apr 9, 2024


Audi has ripped the covers off the upgraded S3 Sedan and Sportback models, but calling this a facelift is perhaps an injustice, given the engine and chassis upgrades.

Following hot on the heels of the regular A3 models, whose facelift was revealed back in march, the new S3 gains a more powerful version of the ubiquitous ‘EA888’ 2-litre turbopetrol engine.

Audi S3 buyers can now look forward to outputs of 245kW and 420Nm, which is 17kW and 20Nm more than the outgoing version, and enough to cut the zero to 100km/h sprint time by 0.2 seconds, with Audi now claiming a time of 4.7 seconds.

But before you get too excited about the new deputy performance model - an updated RS3 is surely on the way - keep in mind that the South African-spec Audi S3 is likely to be detuned.

New Audi S3 Sportback.

Whereas the current Euro-spec models offer 228kW, the version in African and Middle Eastern markets produces 213kW, as this region has a different classification, in Audi’s eyes, due to factors such as climate and fuel quality. Factors which don’t seem to affect the similarly-engined Golf R.

Nonetheless, prospective S3 buyers can still look forward to a sharper chassis, with the performance model inheriting the RS3’s torque splitter, which allows for fully variable torque distribution between the rear wheels to enhance agility.

In addition to the five existing drive modes, the new S3 ushers in an additional ‘Dynamic Plus’ setting that allows for a degree of oversteer.

To enable this, the Quattro AWD system sends more power to the rear wheels while the aforementioned torque splitter prioritises the outer rear wheel.

What’s more, the S3 comes with a sports suspension system that makes it 15mm lower than the regular A3, while suspension upgrades that allow more negative wheel camber have been implemented to improve steering response and to increase lateral control.

Larger brake discs, with new two-piston callipers up front, are also part of the deal in the new S3.

As with the regular A3 facelift model, the S3 gets a new hexagonal grille with a redesigned structure that is flatter and wider.

The front and back bumpers have been freshened up too, but the design highlight in our book is the new Matrix LED headlights that allow owners to switch between four different lighting signatures for the digital daytime running lights, which they’ll also get to admire when approaching and leaving the vehicle.

Cabin changes in the new A3/S3 are subtle, but the sharp-eyed will notice a new centre console with contour lighting, sharper-looking air vents and various trim and upholstery upgrades.

Being an S3 you can expect a dark colour scheme inside, with black roof lining and sports seats with integrated headrests, while stainless steel pedals and illuminated door sills provide some contrast.

South African prices and specifications will be announced in due course.

IOL Motoring