Audi is speeding up their unveiling process by releasing details on a second model just one day after revealing the A3 Sportback. It’s the S3 version’s turn to shine as it joins the Sportback at the 2012 Paris Auto Show. The quicker version of the A3 will go on sale early in 2013 at a starting price of €38,900, or about $51,800 at the current exchange rates (price for Germany).
The Audi S3 is powered by a 2.0 TFSI turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 300 HP and 280 lb-ft of torque. This power is enough to sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds and up to a top speed of 155 mph.
In terms of design, the new S3 looks a lot like the A3, except it has added elements like an S single-frame grille, a revised front bumper, new side skirts, aluminum-look mirror caps, a new exhaust system with quad tailpipes, a roof spoiler, and a different rear bumper. These elements differentiate the S3 from the A3, unless of course you add the S-Line package to the A3, which would then make them look almost identical.
UPDATE 09/21/2012: This review has been updated with the official details and images for the new Audi S3.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Audi S3.
Audi’s S-models are equipped to look sportier than their standard counterparts, so the new S3 is certainly no exception. It provides almost the same design cues of the A3, but with the addition of a few add-ons here and there. The front of the vehicle gets an S-specific single-frame grille featuring an aluminum-look finish with matte platinum grey insertions. The horizontal bar features an aluminum-look, as does the newly designed bumper. Also, because the model features an even more powerful engine than a standard A3, it gets large air inlets with high-gloss black honeycomb inserts. Next, there’s the xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights as standard. These headlights are linked to the navigation system and can be upgraded with special lighting functions of urban, interurban, and highway driving, as well as for intersections and tourist attractions.
The special S treatment continues on the side where the car has received aluminum-look exterior mirrors and pronounced side sills. At the rear, there’s a redesigned rear bumper and a platinum gray diffuser that houses the exhaust system’s four oval tailpipes. A large roof spoiler completes the car’s look.
Customers will have the option of choosing between 14 exterior colors, two offered exclusively for the S3: Panther Black and Estoril Blue. The model also comes standard with 18" alloy wheels in a five parallel spoke design.
An S specific design language can also be found on the interior. The instrument panels are gray and the needles are white, while the tachometer includes a boost pressure indicator. The driver can now enjoy a leather multifunction sport steering wheel with aluminum-look shift paddles on the S-tronic models.
The sports seats can be ordered in three different variants: Pearl Nappa leather with cloth on the center; perforated Alcantara and Pearl Nappa leather; or a mix of Velvet leather with Fine Nappa leather.
The interior comes in standard black with contrasting stitching, while the combination of black and parade red is available as an option. Since we are talking about an Audi S model, you will find "S" logos on the door sill strips, the steering wheel, the gear/selector lever knob, and the instruments.
While the standard A3 models are offered with a wide range of engines, the S3 is only offered with a 2.0 liter our-cylinder turbocharged engine that delivers an impressive 300 HP at 5,500 rpm and 280 lb-ft of torque between 1,800 and 5,500 rpm. The engine will sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds when equipped with the S tronic gearbox (and 5.4 seconds with the manual transmission). Unfortunately, like all of the other Audi models, its top speed is limited to 155 mph.
The engine can be mated to a standard manual six-speed transmission with a lightweight magnesium case or an optional S tronic which comprises of two subunits with two multi-plate clutches controlling the gears. The K1 clutch controls gears 1, 3, and 5 and the K2 2,4 and 6.
The new S3 is also being offered with quattro permanent all-wheel drive that helps it to remain dynamic and stable under all conditions, particularly in the rain and snow.
The new Audi S3 will go on sale early in 2013 at a starting price of €38,900, or about $51,800 at the current exchange rates (price for Germany).
It looks like the new generation Audi S3 has raised the bar a bit, allowing it to easily stand next to models like the Volkswagen Golf GTI and the Renault Megane Sport by being more powerful than both models.
The seventh generation Golf GTI will arrive in 2013 with a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder that will deliver up to 260 HP. The Megane RS is powered by a 2-litre 16-valve turbocharged petrol engine which boasts maximum power of 250 HP.
Improved exterior look
Not a very big difference from the S-Line package
A bit expensive compared to competition