The new Audi S3 Sportback will be available to order in April 2013 with the first orders being scheduled to be delivered in September.
The new S3 has 35mm longer wheelbase than its predecessor which equates to more passenger and luggage room, 380 litres with the rear-seats up and 1,220 litres with the seats down.
Powered by a new 300PS/380NM 2.0 (1984cc) TFSI engine with turbocharging and direct injection it promises 0-62 mph in 5.0 seconds when coupled to the S tronic twin-clutch transmission and an electronically limited 155 mph. The official combined fuel consumption has been recorded as 40.9 mpg. The manual version is slightly slower off the mark with 0-62 mph taking 0.5 seconds longer but with a better fuel figure of 40.4 mpg.
Audi S3 Sportback retains it is quattro permanent all-wheel drive set-up with S sports suspension but you can now specify Audi’s magnetic ride. Using an electromagnetic damper control system it works by utilising pistons in which a synthetic hydrocarbon oil containing microscopically small magnetic particles circulates. When a coil applies a voltage, the particles align perpendicular to the direction of flow of the oil, impeding its flow through the channels in the pistons to tauten cornering attitude. It allows the driver to select three driving modes depending on their preference which not only controls the suspension; it alters the response of the steering to suit.
Audi Driver Select is standard which allows the driver to alter the characteristics of the throttle pedal response, the boost of the progressive steering, the shift points of the optional S tronic transmission and the configuration of the optional magnetic ride system at the touch of a button. A choice of comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency or individual modes is available, and in the latter, drivers can compose their own preferred profile within certain limits.
In efficiency mode, the function of the standard dual-zone climate control, the cruise control, the adaptive cruise control and the adaptive light is adjusted for optimal fuel consumption. In this case, the S tronic transmission switches to coasting mode when the driver takes their foot off the throttle pedal.
Xenon headlights are standard with LED daytime running lamps are equipped with incorporate Audi adaptive swivelling cornering lights. These can be upgraded with special lighting functions for urban, extra urban and highway driving. When combined with the front-facing camera, the light-dark boundary of the headlights is automatically and steplessly adjusted for substantially improved visibility and safety. Should you prefer you can opt for LED headlights which offer the same cornering lights and auto high beam assist plus inter-urban, motorway and tourist attraction lighting can also be incorporated.
The interior now features sports seats with pull-out seat cushions covered in a mix of Velvet leather and Fine Nappa leather with Alcantara / Leather a no cost option. The black headlining features contrasting stitching. S logos adorn the door sill strips, the steering wheel, the gear/selector lever knob and the instruments.
There is a seven-inch monitor which is power-retractable and features MMI navigation plus with MMI touch. Options include LED headlights, Bang & Olufsen ICE, panoramic glass sunroof, leather multifunction sports steering and advanced key.
We hope to bring you Audi S3 prices and full specifications after the Geneva show but it should no more than the old model.Published 13 February 2013