New Audi S3 unleashed

Three-door compact hatch gets a new 300hp 2.0-litre turbocharged four-pot

The S3 seems to be tidily designed...

That's Audi tradition, mate. The S models are intended to bridge the gap between the regular and super-hot RS versions. In this case, the S3 sits between the A3 and RS3.

Note the unaggressive lines of the S3 which is something potential buyers want. It's also worth noting that the S3 gets four tailpipes, whereas the RS3 gets two but bigger ones.

That 2.0-litre engine sounds very common...

It does, but not when you take into consideration that the third-generation S3 uses another engine block codenamed EA888; the old one was known as EA113 also used in the Volkswagen Golf GTI.

The turbo'd S3 now has 300hp (35hp more than before) and requires 5.4sec from 0-100kph (0.4sec faster) when specified with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic (not seven-speed which Audi does have, though).

It doesn't appear as quick as the M135i...

Yeah, the BMW M135i has a more powerful 320hp 3.0-litre turbo sixer that can do 4.9sec with an eight-speed automatic. The only downside - if it matters - is its economy rating of 13.3kpl, 1.2kpl less efficient than the S3.

This means that the next RS3 must have some cards up its sleeves if it is to face next year's launch of the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG, powered by a 340hp 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo motor.

But since Audi has a habit of extending the RS treatment when models exceed mid-life, the new RS3 could take at least three years to emerge into the market.

About the author

Writer: Richard Leu
Position: Motoring news Editor