Five things you need to know about the Audi S3
Discover the key features of the sporty Audi S3 and why it's a great hot hatch.
With the original S3, you could argue that it was Audi who created the original premium hot hatch. And in its latest incarnation, the smallest sizzling Audi adds a saloon body style to the mix as well. Whichever one you opt for, you’ve got over 300bhp to play with….
There are three different driving modes
Depending on the roads or your mood, there are three different driving modes to choose from – Comfort, Normal and Sport.
Comfort is relative – it softens the dampers and takes the edge off the steering responses, perfect for a long motorway stretch. Normal is the all-rounder you’d expect it to be. Pop it into Sport and the ride gets hard even by Audi standards, the steering sharpens up and the speakers kick in to add some extra exhaust noises inside the cabin.
It’s full of touchscreen tech
The S3 benefits from Audi’s latest dual-screen infotainment setup. It combines two displays; the top one for media, radio, navigation and general settings, while the lower screen controls heating and ventilation.
It also gets Audi’s Virtual Cockpit display which replaces a traditional instrument binnacle with a screen you can adapt to your own tastes.
There are two body styles
Historically, the S3 was a hot hatch and a hot hatch alone, but Audi seems to have hit a really sweet niche with the four-door alternative to the five-door Sportback.
The S3 saloon is the more desirable option on the used market and really looks the part, especially if you go for one of the more distinctive colours such as Turbo Blue, Python Yellow or Tango Red.
It’s quick. Very quick.
A 0-60mph time of 4.8 seconds is almost supercar quick and even more of an achievement when you consider that the S3 has a conventional petrol engine, with no hybrid boost. But that’s what it’ll do, thanks to 306bhp from its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine. It piles on the power with a whistling, thrilling soundtrack via Audi’s sure-footed quattro 4WD system.
The ‘S’ bodywork is unique
Whether you go for the Saloon or the Sportback, the S3 is a lot more than just an A3 in a tracksuit.
The 19-inch alloys are unique to the model, as are the front bumper and rear diffuser, which incorporates the angry twin-exit exhaust system.
The theme continues inside with figure-hugging ‘rhombus’ sports seats and a three-spoke ‘S’ steering wheel, also unique to the performance flagship.
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Published: August 23, 2021