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Friday, June 21, 2024

The New Audi S3: High-performance, Agile & Expressive

Calling all Audi fans, there’s a launch next month on your radar, and it comes in the form of the new Audi S3. With new features, the Audi S3 is more than just an upgrade, it has increased output, a torque splitter, and other technology highlights that offer a sturdy and agile performance. It’s compact too, so aesthetically it’s dynamic with an expressive front design, a sporty diffuser, and a four-pipe performance exhaust system.

Audi S3 Saloon back

More performance: 2.0 TFSI with 333 PS

With 333 PS and 420 Nm of torque, the S3 is more powerful, and as part of the product upgrade, the 2.0 TFSI receives an increase in output of 23 PS and 20 Nm more torque. The result? Well, it’s a confident pulling power and strong acceleration. The S3 accelerates from 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds. Maximum torque is available in a wide rev range between 2,100 and 5,500 rpm, and the top speed is 155 mph. The engine and transmission also receive a sportier tuning: when at a steady speed and at low to medium acceleration in the part-load range, the preloaded turbocharger keeps at a constant rpm. In combination with the throttle valve, which is opened during overrun mode, this improves performance. The seven-speed S tronic now enables a more spontaneous takeoff, thanks to higher starting torque. This is achieved by compressing the clutch pack of the respective clutch more strongly. In addition, the shift time for gearshifts under full load has been halved, and engine speeds are increased under partial load when the transmission is set to D which results in improved responsiveness.

More driving dynamics: Quattro drive system with torque splitter

Following the RS 3, the torque splitter is now also available in the S3, increasing both agility and stability. This technology enables variable torque distribution between the rear wheels, and the torque splitter uses an electronically controlled multiple disc clutch on each drive shaft to optimally distribute the torque between the rear wheel on the inside and the outside of the curve – depending on the driving situation and the chosen Audi drive select mode.

Audi S3 Sedan

Audi drive select mode dynamic plus

Audi Drive Select offers six modes for a range of driving experiences. Plus, there are familiar profiles (auto, comfort, dynamic, individual, and efficiency), the model upgrade for the S3 features the new dynamic plus mode, which ensures high driving dynamics. To do this, the torque splitter sends as much drive torque as possible to the rear axle and to the rear wheel on the outside of the curve, resulting in a tendency to oversteer. The electronic stabilization control (ESC) is automatically active in sport mode. Modest interventions by the ESC system ensure an increased emotional driving experience on surfaces with different friction coefficients. The engine and transmission have also been tuned specifically for dynamic plus mode. Compared to the dynamic mode, the idle speed of the 2.0 TFSI has increased by 200 rpm to 1,300 rpm to improve off-the-line performance further. The throttle response is even more direct. In addition to shorter gearshifts, the transmission also contributes to increased dynamics with later upshifts and earlier downshifts.

Audi S3 Saloon Muffler

More precision with suspension optimizations

Wishbones with stiffer bearings and new pivot bearings allow more negative wheel camber to ensure improved steering response and increased lateral control, equalling better grip and dynamics in corners — and the optimized progressive steering helps the S3 take corners more precisely.

The S sports suspension comes standard in the S3 models and lowers the body by 15 mm compared to the A3. The same applies to the S sport suspension with adaptive dampers, available on the S3 Vorsprung, which has been specially tuned for the torque splitter and the respective Audi drive select modes.

A new generation of electronic stabilization control is also used. Wheel-selective torque control, which selectively brakes the wheels on the inside of the curve slightly while cornering, has also been further developed, as have the traction and deceleration behaviors. Overall, the S3-specific tuning of the suspension control systems results in dynamic turn-in and driving behavior. The improved handling goes hand in hand with improved stability at the limit.

More deceleration with larger brake discs

The ramped-up driving dynamics mean increased demand on the brakes. For this reason, the model upgrade for the S3 has been equipped with larger ventilated brake disks on the front axle, which are perforated to provide a visual highlight. The 18-inch steel brake now measures 357 mm in diameter and, at 34 mm, is four mm thicker than before.

The two-piston calipers at the front are new too. They further improve braking performance, as do the larger pads and larger friction surface of the discs, which have a significantly higher thermal and so, a higher load capacity.

Audi S3 Saloon on the road

Progressive design

This Audi S3 has an even sportier appearance cueing the hexagonal, frameless Singleframe features a new structure that is flatter and wider. L-shaped design elements accentuate the voluminous grille, along with the angular side air intakes. A striking front spoiler, with two vertical struts inspired by motorsport, connects the two and further lowers the S3 visually.

A new bumper also makes the rear look more dynamic than ever. The structure of the Singleframe with its distinctive L-wings is reflected in the glossy black rear apron above the diffuser. It is divided into two parts for an S-specific design that looks particularly sporty when combined with the vertical side reflectors that are a design feature of RS models. The dynamic appearance is rounded out by four tailpipes, another characteristic S-model feature. The optional performance exhaust system, which delivers a more voluminous sound, features a titanium silencer.

The vehicle’s progressive design sees new metallic finishes such as District Green, Ascari Blue, and Progressive Red, and for the first time, Daytona Grey is available in a matte finish.

Driving the Audi S3 Saloon

More lighting options

Like the redesigned Singleframe, the lighting design is significantly flatter, emphasizing the width of the Audi S3. The 24-pixel elements that make up the digital daytime running lights in the LED and Matrix LED headlights are now arranged in three rows on the upper edge of the housing. For the first time in A3 series models, it’s possible to select and switch between up to four digital daytime running light signatures in the MMI. The tail lamps also feature a new rear light design and new staging of the coming home/leaving home function.

“This offers our customers a higher degree of personalization. They can change the expression of their model at any time. The signatures interpret self-confidence and agility in different ways. This is also true for the coming home/leaving home scenarios, designed individually for each signature,” says Cesar Muntada, Head of Design Light Experience at AUDI AG. 

Audi S3 Saloon front seats

Sharp interior

To match the striking exterior, the interior has also been sharpened, cue the shifter design and air vents, the decorative fabric inlays, and new lighting. The standard ambient light package plus in the S3 adds accents in the storage compartment in front of the shifter, on the doors, and in the footwell. With the model upgrade, the center console and cup holder also feature contour lighting — one new design element is the fabric panel in the front doors that’s laser-cut 300 times. Its five segments are backlit by a light source in the door panel. The different sizes of the elements create a dynamic flow of light, which is also apparent when locking and unlocking the vehicle. This makes the illuminated fabric panel a unique design experience.

Inside expect dark colours with silver accents, such as the black roof lining, stainless steel pedals, illuminated door sills with aluminium inserts, and aluminium-style interior trim for a sporty feel. Artificial leather armrests and three-zone comfort air conditioning come standard. Flattened at the bottom, the three‑spoke sports contour leather steering wheel features multifunction buttons and new chrome-plated steering wheel paddles. Sports seats with integrated headrests and pronounced side bolsters provide enhanced lateral support. In addition to Dinamica microfibre, a new technical textured fabric is available for the decorative inlays, as is carbon fiber, which is available on the S3 Vorsprung.

Increased functionality with the integration of apps

The S3 is digital and connected, thanks to numerous connect services, functions on demand, and a store for apps. In addition to DAB+ digital radio and the 10.1-inch touch display, the Audi virtual cockpit plus, and an inductive smartphone charger all come as standard. In addition to the two front USB-C charging ports in the center console, there are two additional ports in the rear as standard.

Other optional features include MMI navigation plus, along with the connect portfolio and access to the store for apps, allowing the driver to use a range of apps on the vehicle display. The selected apps are installed in the S3’s infotainment system without taking a detour via the user’s smartphone. Users can also interact with their apps via voice commands.

The Audi S3, available as a Sportback and Saloon, goes on sale next month.

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