The dynamic range-topping member of the A3 family sports new features, too. There is now a second top model on the market, with the Audi S3 Sportback joining the three-door Audi S3. Both versions are equipped with the same engine, the reengineered 2.0 TFSI with an output of 195 kW (265 hp). With 350 Nm (258.15 lb-ft) of torque available constantly from 2,500 to 5,000 rpm, the direct-injection, two-liter turbo catapults the three-door model from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 5.7 seconds (Sportback: 5.8 seconds); the top speed is limited electronically to 250 km/h (155.34 mph). Yet the S3’s fuel consumption is astonishingly low, at an average of 8.5 liters per 100 km (27.67 mpg).
A six-speed manual transmission handles the business of getting the power from the engine to the standard quattro driveline; 18-inch wheels provide a firm grip with the road. The sport suspension holds the body 25 millimeters (0.98 in) lower and integrates lightweight aluminum components. Black brake calipers act on 17-inch disk brakes. Audi’s compact premium sports model offers the reflexes of a top athlete. It reacts spontaneously to steering movements and its handling remains stable, precise and almost neutral right up to its physical limits. When coming out of a bend it veritably seems to dig its claws into the tarmac, enabling the driver to start accelerating again at the earliest possible moment.
Like the A3, the S3 has been optically modified and is clearly distinguished by a number of striking lines, for example on the radiator grille, on the bumpers and on the roof spoiler, as well as by the aluminum-look exterior mirrors. Inside, the driver and front passenger are greeted by sport seats with cloth, Alcantara/leather or all-leather upholstery; Audi exclusive bucket seats are available as an option. Aluminum pedals, three different styles of inlay and a black or silver headlining create an exclusively sporty look. Deluxe automatic air conditioning, an anti-theft alarm and xenon plus headlamps with LED daytime running light extend the range of standard features.