Audi in groove with pace and space
By Mike Torpey
PACE with more space is the promise from Audi ahead of the arrival of its hot new S3 Sportback model, which makes its world debut at next month’s Geneva Motor Show.
The new five-door arrives here in September complete with a new quattro-equipped chassis and 2.0-litre TFSI petrol engine producing a whopping 300PS but capable of returning 40mpg.
With a longer wheelbase than both its predecessor and the three-door S3, the new high performance hatchback will give more priority to passengers and luggage.
Linked to Audi’s S tronic twin-clutch transmission the newcomer can sprint from 0-62mph in a mere 5.0 seconds en route to a governed 155mph top speed, though acceleration is fractionally less swift with manual transmission.
And to ensure just the right tone, the exhaust system includes a sound flap that opens at certain engine speed ranges for greater aural depth.
Despite its high output, the new 2.0 TFSI weighs just 148 kilograms - more than 5kg less than the previous engine - an example of the steps taken to shave a total of 70kg from the kerb weight of the previous S3 Sportback.
As is customary for ‘S’ models the car has quattro permanent all-wheel drive, and there’s also the optional Audi magnetic ride system with three driving modes.
Audi drive select, with choice of comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency or individual modes, comes as standard.
Style-wise, the S-specific single-frame grille has an aluminium-look finish and matt platinum grey inserts while there are newly designed bumpers and large air inlets with high-gloss black honeycomb inserts. Aluminium-look exterior mirrors and pronounced side sills also catch the eye.
The order book opens in April and Audi says prices will be no higher than the outgoing model.