The exhaust camshaft timing has been adjusted to accommodate the increased power output. High-pressure injectors with an enlarged cross-section squirt the fuel straight into the combustion chamber.
Despite all this progressive engineering, the high-performance turbo weighs in at just 152 kilos, which is less than comparable power plants from direct competitors, and this has a positive effect on the axle load distribution. The compact dimensions of the 2.0 TFSI make it suitable for transverse installation, which brings benefits in terms of the S3’s interior space and luggage capacity.
To go with its sporty nature and firm handling, the new Audi S3 has a six-speed, close-ratio manual gearbox. Gearshift travel has been reduced for the S3, enabling even sportier and more precise gear changes. As is the case for all
Audi S models, the new S3 drives all four wheels by means of quattro permanent four-wheel drive. An electronically controlled multi-plate clutch, positioned at the rear for the benefit of weight balance, distributes the torque as needed - delivering plenty of grip and maximum driving safety. All the components in the drive train have been strengthened to cope with the high level of engine torque
Handling: Lightning-fast reactions
In terms of handling, the Audi S3 exhibits all the qualities of a high-performance sports car; it responds immediately to steering movements and achieves high cornering speeds. The innately sophisticated suspension of the
A3 - with subframes front and rear, triangulated lower wishbones at the front and four-link suspension at the rear - has been further refined.
Springs and shock absorbers are stiffer, and the body sits 25 mm lower than an A3 with standard suspension. Aluminium pivot bearings and wishbones reduce the weight of the front suspension. Stiffer suspension mounts and a sportier characteristic for the electro-mechanical steering convey even greater dynamism and precision. 18-inch alloy wheels and 225/40 tyres ensure firm adhesion to the road surface. A high performance brake system with sports brake pads ensures maximum deceleration; the black painted callipers bear S3 emblems.
The extras also include a leather steering wheel with flat-bottomed rim and - in the quattro GmbH range - folding bucket seats. In the infotainment area, Audi is presenting a new generation of audio systems. The premium package is rounded off by universal interfaces for mobile phone and iPod, plus a sound system from Bose. Standard equipment includes deluxe automatic air conditioning, a driver information system with a new lap-timer function, and an anti-theft alarm. Front fog lights and xenon plus headlights with daytime running lights underline the impressive price/performance ratio.
Estimated UK OTR price approximately £27,000Published 2 August 2006