The 2018 Audi S3 is a racing car, but it suffers from a small back seat and the Volkswagen Golf R offers the same performance with more space for less.
Let’s start ahead, where the C-shaped headlights get a new shape with jagged bottom edges. Basically, it means sharper corners and a flatter outline. There are Xenon lighting elements as standard, while LEDs and raster LEDs are optional. The large Singleframe grid that dominates the fascia also gets sharper edges. The small fins in the bumper side sockets are simplified into a single divider. More differences are found in the tail, which has been slightly modified to give it a broader appearance. The taillights, for example, take on a new shape and new graphics, echoing the sharp C shape at the front. The lower diffuser has also been modified.
Inside the , you’ll find almost the same interior look and layout as before. There are seats for up to five passengers, while those at the front get big bolsters to keep them in place. Quilted diamond patterned leather is used for upholstery. Brushed metal is used for trim, including the shifter, the ventilation edges and the door panels. The multifunction steering wheel with three branches has a flat bottom and a heating function available. The driver’s seat is equipped with a massage function. The biggest news for the cabin is the addition of Audi’s virtual cockpit, a first for the manufacturer’s compact. Also seen on the R8 and TT, the virtual cockpit is essentially a 12.3-inch TFT screen that replaces the traditional group of mechanical gauges behind the steering wheel. Several display modes are available, with the “classic” setting showing the usual rev counter / tachometer combo. Set it to infotainment mode, and dual gauges shrink to provide space for navigation, phone, and audio system information.
The S3 is powered by the heroic four-cylinder turbocharged 2.0-liter VW group. In this small sedan, the engine develops a power of 292 horsepower and a torque of 280 lb-ft, which allows it to fly from zero to 100 km / h in 4.7 seconds (zero to 100 km / h in 4, 9 seconds). For the record, it’s faster than one of my other favorite cars, the V6 Jaguar F-Type supercharged, which does the trick in 5.1 seconds (zero to 100 km / h in 5.3 seconds) .
The pair is apparently available instantly, with a power ranging from 1,900 to 5,300 rpm. It’s a triumphant engine and for such a small engine to be so powerful and yet so smooth and sophisticated is something to celebrate. The four-cylinder has never shown any harshness or vibration and offers a deliciously eye-catching ride.
The price of the S3 sedan starts at $ 42,900 for the Premium Plus version, a minor increase of $ 400 compared to the outgoing model. For the Prestige variant, you will have to pay $ 48,400 before considering all the options.