At the top of the latest A3 range is a second top model on the market - the S3 Sportback now joins the three-door Audi S3. Both versions are equipped with the same engine, the re-engineered 2.0 TFSI with an output of 195 kW (265 hp). With an increased torque output of 350 Nm (258.15 lb-ft) available constantly from 2,500 to 5,000 rpm, the direct-injection, two-liter turbo catapults the three-door model from 0 to 62 mph in 5.7 seconds (Sportback: 5.8 seconds); the top speed is limited electronically to 155 mph. Yet the fuel consumption of the new S3 averages 27.67 mpg.
A six-speed manual transmission efficiently handles the power from the engine to the standard quattro driveline while 18-inch wheels provide the appropriate traction with the road. The sport suspension holds the body 25 millimeters (0.98 in) lower and uses advanced, lightweight aluminum components. Black brake calipers act on 17-inch disk brakes. Audi's compact premium sports model offers the exceptional responsiveness to driver inputs. It reacts spontaneously to the steering and its handling remains very stable, precise and almost neutral right up to its physical limits. When emerging form a bend for example, traction and grip levels are remarkably high, enabling the driver to deploy the car’s power very early on exit.
Like the A3, the S3 has been visually revised and is clearly distinguished by a number of updated exterior design elements, for example the radiator grille, the bumpers and the roof spoiler, as well as by the aluminum-look exterior mirrors. Inside, the driver and front passenger are greeted by laterally supportive sports seats; Audi exclusive bucket seats are available as an option. Aluminum pedals, three different styles of inlay and a black or silver headlining create an exclusively premium look. In addition, automatic air conditioning, multi-function steering wheel and xenon plus headlamps with LED daytime running lights extend the range of standard features.
The enhanced Audi A3, A3 Sportback and the two S3 versions are set to arrive in the UK market; this summerPublished 29 April 2008