New models - Audi - S3
Audi prices new S3 from $69,900 + ORC
Pricing and specs confirmed for new Audi S3 Sportback and sedan, on sale early 2022
23 Sep 2021
THE fourth-generation Audi S3 will cost $69,900 before on-roads for the Sportback hatch and $2500 extra for the sedan when they hit Australian showrooms early next year.
In addition to its beefed-up engine that develops 228kW and 400Nm – up 15kW/20Nm on its predecessor and approaching the 250kW/450Nm of the first RS3 from a decade ago – the new S3 will come comprehensively equipped in return for respective price upticks of $5700 and $6600 over the outgoing S3 Sportback and sedan.
Despite the price rise, Audi has managed to undercut – and slightly out-punch – the Mercedes-AMG A35 (225kW/400Nm) by $1676 in hatchback configuration and just $824 as a sedan.
But both Audi and Benz are made to look a bit expensive and lacking in torque by the BMW M135i Pure that packs 225kW/450Nm from $65,900 before on-roads or its sedan equivalent, the M235i Pure Gran Coupe at $70,900.
Audi has, however, set the German premium hot hatch precedent given its S3 competitors now have standard all-wheel drive.
The S3’s redesigned dashboard houses a 10.1-inch touchscreen powered by hardware packing ten times the computing power of the old unit and a 15-speaker premium Bang & Olufsen sound system through which audio can be sourced from digital radio, Bluetooth or USB streaming via the Audi smartphone interface, or wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto connectivity.
A standard 12.3-inch customisable digital instrument panel is now standard and includes a unique S Performance display format as well as special layouts when driving in Dynamic or Sport modes.
The extra computing horsepower provides 3D navigation mapping with natural speech recognition, free text search with predictive destination suggestions and pre-programming via the myAudi or Google Maps smartphone apps plus live traffic, hazard, parking, fuel pricing and weather information.
If all this becomes too distracting, the list of active safety and driver assist features in the new S3 is long, starting with the standard inclusion of adaptive Matrix LED headlights.
New to the model are pedestrian and cyclist detection for the forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking system, while other features include lane departure and lane change warning, rear cross-traffic alert and assisted parking, adaptive cruise with traffic jam and emergency assist, exit warning and tyre pressure monitoring.
Embedded online services enable remote car finding, remote lock/unlock, emergency calling and online roadside assist. The S3 will also coach the driver into fuel-saving habits – presumably when they are not fanging it.
Talking of which, the new S3 will crack triple digits from rest in 4.8 seconds, according to Audi, again coming close to that pioneering RS3 that did the sprint in 4.6s, while combined fuel consumption is rated at 7.4 litres/100km for the Sportback and 7.3L/100km for the slipperier sedan.
All this performance comes courtesy of a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine that delivers a peak torque band that lasts from 2000-5450rpm and peak power that takes over from there until 6500rpm – the extra outputs liberated by a reclassification of Australia’s climate by Audi’s Volkswagen Group parent company.
The snappy seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission also aids acceleration, sending drive through an upgraded quattro all-wheel-drive system to each of the 19-inch alloy wheels with 234/35 tyres.
Behind these rims – a five-spoke Y-arm design in matte titanium finish or five double spokes in anthracite black for $300 extra – are 340mm ventilated front brake rotors and 312mm rear discs with gloss red callipers.
The S3’s increased performance has coincided with a departure from the street-sleeper style of previous models, which have been more subtle in communicating their performance intent.
In the brighter of eight available paint finishes, gaping air intakes and slash-like sculpting of brake cooling ducts in the front bumper – especially when optioned with the $1500 optional black pack – give the new S3 a snarlier look than any of its predecessors.
With a 15mm suspension drop compared to a regular A3, the S3’s standard adaptive dampers and sports springs promise a broad range of adjustment between cruising comfort and fast-road precision between the five drive modes (efficiency, comfort, auto, dynamic and individual).
Regardless of driving mode, the donor A3’s slightly larger overall dimensions provide S3 occupants with a bit more elbow room front and rear, while a new and lower front seat position adds to this variant’s sporty theme.
To this end, stainless steel pedals, S emblem on the seats and steering wheel – the latter with paddle-shifters – as well as dark aluminium trim highlights, an anthracite colour scheme with contrast stitching and 30-colour ambient lighting mark the S3’s interior out as belonging to a member of the Audi Sport line-up.
A new design of sports front seat includes heating and four-way electric lumbar support adjustment and in terms of practicalities, the Sportback variant provides a 325-litre boot with 40:20:40 split-folding rear-seat backrests that expand load volume to 1145L with all of them stowed.
A pre-paid five-year servicing plan will cost $2580 and a Premium Plus equipment upgrade pack – price not yet confirmed – will become available after launch.
2022 Audi S3 pricing*
*Excludes on-road costs
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