Audi South Africa is proud to announce the launch of the third-generation Audi S3 3-door. The new lightweight premium compact model combines its dynamic performance with excellent efficiency.
The Audi S3 has enjoyed a successful history in the South African market having sold 1,944 units since its introduction in 2000.
The long-stroke 2.0 TFSI in the Audi S3 has been developed from scratch. The only thing it has in common with its predecessor, which was named Engine of the Year five times in a row between 2005 and 2009, is its displacement of 1,984 cc. The four-cylinder unit delivers a constant 380 Nm of torque to the crankshaft between 1,800 and 5,500 rpm. Rated power at 5,500 rpm is 206 kW and the engine redlines at 6,800 rpm.
The S3 3-door delivers impressive performance and will be offered in South Africa with both six-speed manual or seven-speed S tronic transmissions. The sprint from zero to 100 km/h is completed in 4.8 seconds when equipped with the S tronic (5.2 seconds with the manual transmission), while both engines are electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h. The S tronic consumes on average just 6.9 litres of fuel per 100 km (manual: 7.0 litres), an improvement of 1.5 litres compared with the previous generation. This corresponds to CO2 emissions of 159 grams per kilometre.
The powerful four-cylinder engine features two balance shafts rotating at twice the speed of the crankshaft for tremendous smoothness. The sound is emotion-inspiring and sporty. An electromechanical sound actuator at the bulkhead brings the engine sound to life in the cabin. The exhaust system also includes a sound flap that opens at certain engine speed ranges to give the S3 a genuine and sporty sound.
The 2.0 TFSI boasts ground-breaking solutions in many fields of technology. One of these is the additional use of indirect injection. It supplements the FSI gasoline direct injection at part load to reduce consumption and particulate emissions. FSI injection, which works at pressures up to 200 bar, is used when starting and at higher loads.
The developers achieved new degrees of freedom when it comes to filling the combustion chambers. On the exhaust side, the Audi valvelift system varies the stroke of the valves in two stages; the camshaft on the intake side can be adjusted seamlessly through 30 degrees of crankshaft angle while 60 degrees of adjustment is available on the exhaust side. The compression ratio of 9.3:1 is unusually high for a turbocharged engine.
The exhaust manifold is integrated into the cylinder head, where it is bathed in coolant. This solution lowers the temperature of the exhaust and accelerates warm-up following a cold start, which lowers consumption during the cold-start phase. This concept also has a positive effect on fuel consumption during sporty driving because full-load enrichment is no longer necessary. The large turbocharger is also a new development. It achieves a maximum boost pressure of up to 1.2 bar for even more spontaneous engine response. A high-performance intercooler integrated into the water circuit greatly reduces the temperature of the compressed air and thus increases the amount of air required for combustion.
Despite its complexity and the high performance, the new 2.0 TFSI engine weighs just 148 kilograms, which is more than five kilograms less than the previous engine. quattro permanent all-wheel drive is an integral component of the powertrain. It gives the new top model in the A3 series a decisive edge over its two-wheel-drive competitors. The Audi S3 can accelerate earlier and more safely when exiting a corner. It remains dynamic and stable under all conditions, particularly in wet conditions.
The heart of the quattro drive system is an electronically controlled and hydraulically actuated multi-plate clutch. In the interest of balance axle load distribution, it is located at the end of the prop shaft, in front of the rear axle differential. During normal driving, the clutch sends most of the engine’s power to the front wheels. If traction decreases, the clutch can transfer torque seamlessly to the rear axle in just a few milliseconds
The new Audi S3 offers the dynamic driving characteristics of a sports car. It responds to steering input precisely and spontaneously, and takes all types of corners at high speed and with little body movement. Its handling is precise, safe and virtually neutral.
One reason for this performance is the finely balanced distribution of the axle loads. The front axle has been shifted forward 52 millimetres compared with the previous model. This layout is a result of the VW Group’s modular transverse platform, on which the new Audi S3 is based.
The subframe, the pivot bearings in the McPherson front axle, the crash management system, the front fenders and the engine hood are made of aluminium, saving 17 kilograms of weight.
Another innovation in the Audi S3 is the progressive steering system. The steering rack is geared in such a way that the ratio varies. It is somewhat more indirect around the centre and very direct when steered sharply. For the driver, this technology combines a pleasantly smooth character when driving straight ahead with highly spontaneous response in tight corners.
The powerful electric motor providing the servo boost harmonizes perfectly with the character of the steering system, decreasing its output as speed increases. It consumes no energy when driving straight ahead and thus reduces fuel consumption by as much as 0.3 litres per 100 kilometres.
Audi drive select comes as standard in the new Audi S3. It incorporates the characteristics of the electronic accelerator, the boost of the progressive steering and the shift points of the optional S tronic. The driver determines with the push of a button whether these systems operate in comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency or individual mode.
Ultra lightweight construction is an Audi core competence. The new S3 weighs no more than 1,395 kilograms, a value that is easily the best in its competitive environment. Compared with the previous model, curb weight has been reduced by 60 kilograms. The large aluminium parts in the front section of the car round out the lightweight construction concept.
The three-door body of the S3 is also very stiff, crash-safe and quiet. A noise-insulating windshield is standard with the coefficient of drag is just 0.33. The new Audi S3 is 4,254 millimetres long, 1,777 millimetres wide and 1,435 millimetres tall. Its wheelbase measures 2,595 millimetres, 17 millimetres more than its predecessor.
The new Audi S3 has a firm and sporty road stance with each element of the design precise and distinctive. The athletic sculpture with the low engine hood, the characteristic tornado line below the windows and the sharply sloped C-pillars stretch the body visually. Xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights are offered as standard, while the flat rear lights, into which the adaptive brake light is integrated, are also fitted with light-emitting diodes.
A first in the premium compact class are the optional LED headlights, which previously have only been available in luxury models. The low beams are generated in two free-form reflectors with a total of nine high-performance LED chips. Ten high-performance LEDs in the matt aluminium trim provide the high beams.
The Audi S3 sports the S-specific single-frame grille as a symbol of uncompromised sportiness. The frame has an aluminium-look finish, and the insert is matt platinum grey. The horizontal double bars also shine in an aluminium-look finish. The newly designed bumper features aluminium-look double ribs integrated into the lateral air inlets. Pronounced edges frame the large air inlets with the high-gloss black honeycomb inserts. Additional implied air openings are found toward the wheels.
When viewed from the side, the aluminium-look exterior mirrors and the pronounced side sills catch the eye. The rear bumper has also been redesigned with the platinum grey diffuser housing the exhaust system’s four oval tailpipes, which sport chrome tips. A large roof spoiler generates downforce on the rear axle. S badges adorn the rear and the single-frame grille.
The athletic design of the exterior carries over into the interior. A distinct arch encircles the instrument panel which appears to float on the centre console. Large, round air vents, the elegant control panel for the air conditioning and the decorative inlays in matt brushed aluminium or a black 3D look provide exquisite accents. The controls are clear and intuitive, as in every Audi. The quality is unsurpassed and there is a generous amount of room. Luggage capacity is 365 litres, which can be increased to 1,100 litres by folding down the rear seats.
The instrument dials are grey with white needles. Another S-specific feature can be found on the tachometer, which now includes a boost pressure indicator. The driver information system with rest recommendation is standard; the power-retractable on-board monitor powers up to display a special S3 screen when the ignition is turned. The optional leather multifunction sport steering wheel has been redesigned with the flat-bottomed rim. In models equipped with S tronic, the steering wheel incorporates aluminium-look shift paddles. The pedals and footrest are made of brushed aluminium.
The standard front sport seats offer very good adjustment and support. As an option Alcantara leather or Fine Nappa leather with contrast stitching is available. S logos adorn the door sill strips, the steering wheel, the gear/selector lever knob and the instruments. The two-zone deluxe automatic air conditioning and the storage package are standard in the Audi S3.
The new Audi S3 3-door is now available in South Africa at the following pricing, inclusive of all taxes and the standard 5 year/100 000km Audi Freeway Plan.
- Audi S3 hatch 2.0T FSI quattro manual: R 457,500
- Audi S3 hatch 2.0T FSI quattro S tronic: R 474,500
The Audi S3 will be available with the following standard specification:
- 18” 5-parallel-spoke design cast aluminium alloy wheels
- Xenon Plus headlights
- S sports suspension
- Progressive Steering system with dynamic ratio
- Cruise control
- Auto dimming interior rear view mirror
- Bluetooth with audio streaming
- Brushed stainless steel pedals with rubber inserts
- S3 Sport seats in Trophy Cloth/ leather combination
- S3 logo embossed on the front seat backs
- S3 instrumentation in grey with turbo-boost indicator
- S3 welcome screen for the Driver Information System
- S3 multifunction sports steering wheel with large shift paddles
- S3 badging on the steering wheel
- S3 badging on the door-sill trim
- S3 welcome screen for the MMI radio LCD screen
- S3 badging on the rear boot lid
The 5-door version, the Audi S3 Sportback, will be available in South Africa in November 2013. Pricing and specification for this model will be released closer to its introduction.
You can view the Audi S3 at the Johannesburg International Motor Show 16th to 27th of October 2013.