motors.co.uk takes a look at the ever-popular performance hatch that is the Audi S3! Has it still that class leading edge?! Watch our exclusive online review? To buy one, go to: http://www.motors.co.uk/Audi-S3 and to read the full motors.co.uk review, go to: http://www.motors.co.uk/cars/reviews-and-best-buys/reviews/audi-s3
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Audi S3: Speed and Stealth
The new Audi S3 is subtle to view, but devastatingly quick. We rather liked
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Audi S3 and S3 Sportback Road Test
A review of the Audi S3 and S3 Sportback. Fomr more information on these
great cars contact Poole Audi on 01202 775050 or visit www.pooleaudi.com
2007 Audi S3 2.0 TFSI Quattro in Lamborghini Orange color Review,Start Up, Engine, and In Depth Tour
Happy birthday to the A3. Audi's little hatch is ten years old this year,
yet in all that time it's never really rolled up its sleeves and picked a
fight with the best fast hatches. Perhaps it's because VAG has the Golf to
do that job, allowing the A3 to appeal to a more mature audience, with even
the most potent S-line models standing aloof from the occasionally sordid
and often garish hot-hatch herd.
From these pictures, you'd guess that the new S3 is true to type. In the
lobby of the Audi Forum at Munich airport there sat an electric orange S3,
but this bold statement wasn't backed up by the choice of test cars
outside: black, white or grey. We got stuck with grey, which could have
been described as 'Shark Grey' but was, of course, 'Dolphin'. It doesn't
show off the S3's bolder front end or rear diffuser to best effect and,
worse still, our car didn't even have the RS4-style alloys that will come
as standard and which give the shape a real lift.
Now, this is a shame, because technically the S3 is considerably more
exciting than it looks here. Its engine is a development of the excellent
197bhp 2-litre FSI turbo engine which
debuted in the A3 and subsequently found a home in the Golf GTI.
Significantly reworked for the new S3, it now offers no less than 262bhp
backed up by 258lb ft of torque. This is fed through a short-throw,
close-ratio, six-speed gearbox and distributed by the latest version of the
Haldex four-wheel-drive system. Electromechanical actuation of the
rear-mounted clutch-pack that divides up the drive front/rear (40/60 under
normal conditions) can even predict when wheels will start slipping (under
full throttle from a standing start, for example) and send up to 100 per
cent of drive to wherever it's most use.
Additionally, the suspension has stiffer mounts and springs and tighter
damping, and sits the S3 some 25mm (1in) lower to the ground than the
standard A3. It also features more aluminium components to reduce unsprung
weight, while the electromechanical power steering has been recalibrated
for its sportiest role.
The cockpit is neat but unadventurous, though you can add visual interest
by shelling out for the optional RS4-style high-back, deep-bolstered seats
(£1685) and flat-bottom steering wheel (£270).
Twist the key and the four-cylinder turbo engine assumes a discreet idle, and at a
motorway cruise it proves subdued too, but there's plenty of noise on offer
in between. Like the 197bhp version, this engine revs with an enthusiastic
bark, though here there's more thrash to go with the bigger kick.
There's a polished feel to the way the S3 moves and reacts, though, a sense
that it has been developed and refined to feel solid yet smooth- acting.
Steering feel isn't especially detailed, and at town speeds its weighting
is a little light, but the system quickly adjusts to give more weight as
the pace picks up. And when the engine comes on Boost, the pace rises pretty darned fast, the
shove in the back being considerably more insistent than with the 197bhp
version. Key elements in getting the extra horsepower out are a new,
bigger turbo and an all-metal Intercooler that is 10 per cent more
efficient than the plastic-ended equivalent. That would be enough for most
tuners, but Audi has also fitted strengthened conrods, gudgeon pins and
bearings, along with new pistons and a different cylinder head material for
greater heat resistance.
The claimed power and torque feel all there, yet there's little drama to
their deployment. Wet or dry, straight-line traction is total, the S3
simply slingshotting forward, even with a dropped-clutch start. Cornering
proves even more remarkable. The ride is taut but not overtly sporting, yet
show the S3 a smooth, fast, twisting road like the one we found and it
turns in keenly and corners hard and fast with hardly any roll. By the
third run for photographer Morgan, I was steering the S3 more smoothly and
taking the turns in a higher gear with perhaps 10mph more corner speed. And
still the car felt neutral and poised. A wetted, closed test course showed
that it will slither around a bit with ESP off, but it's still pretty
predictable and tidy.
The S3 doesn't really put a foot wrong on any surface, then. It's also fast
and, at a cruise, very refined. There's an appreciable depth of quality too
that goes some way to justifying the £26,995 price tag. There isn't much
involvement, though, through steering feedback or chassis adjustability.
The Golf GTI is sometimes criticised for being a bit dull chassis-wise, yet
it engages more than the S3.
The other problem I have is a tag of £27K for a four-cylinder car when the
same buys the BMW 130i with its glorious 261bhp straight-six and less gets
you the sonorous, four-wheel-drive Golf R32. They're both entertaining when
you're ambling; the S3 only feels special when pushed to its limits.
► 2012 Audi RS3 (340 hp)
Big performance in a small package: the Audi RS 3 Sportback
• Five-cylinder turbo delivering 250
kW (340 hp) and 450 Nm (331.90 lb ft) of torque
• Zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 4.6 seconds, superior pulling power
• Seven-speed S tronic, quattro drive and 19-inch wheels
Blazing performance, compact size. Audi has added a new model to its
dynamic RS series: the RS 3 Sportback. In the great tradition of the brand,
its engine boasts five cylinders and turbocharging technology. From a displacement of
2.5 liters come 250 kW (340 hp) of power and 450 Nm (331.90 lb-ft) of
torque, with an average fuel consumption of just 9.1 liters of fuel per 100
km (25.85 US mpg). Power is transmitted to the road via a seven-speed S
tronic and quattro permanent all-wheel drive. 19-inch wheels and fenders
made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) underscore the Audi RS 3
Sportback's position of distinction.
The RS 3 Sportback comes with an array of standard equipment including the
Sport button, rear parking system, climate control, chorus radio system,
and xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights. Audi offers
customers a range of optional features: front bucket seats, roof rails in
matt aluminum look, and styling packages in black or matt aluminum. Five
exterior colors are available, plus an unlimited selection of custom paint
The new top-of-the-line model in the A3 series is already the fourth Audi
model to be built at Audi Hungaria in Győr, where it is rolling off the
assembly line alongside the TT Coupé, the TT Roadster and the A3
Deliveries of the RS 3 Sportback will begin in early 2011. The base price
in Germany will be 49,900 euros.
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