New Audi S3 Sportback: monstrous little devil
The 2.0 TFSI averages just 6.9 liters per 100 km (34.09 US mpg). The only thing in common with its predecessor is a displacement of 1,984 cc. Its rated output of 221 kW (300 hp) is available at 5,500 rpm; maximum torque of 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) is constantly available from 1,800 to 5,500 rpm.
When equipped with the optional six-speed S tronic, the S3 Sportback sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in only 5.0 seconds. The six-speed manual transmission needs just five-tenths of a second more. Top speed is electronically governed at 250 km/h (155.34 mph). Launch Control delivers the engine's power to the road with defined tire slip. The 2.0 TFSI consumes just 6.9 liters per 100 km (34.09 US mpg) on average when paired with the S tronic (7.0 liters [33.60 US mpg] with the manual transmission). This engine thus requires 1.5 liters per 100 km less compared to the previous S3 Sportback.
The lower gears of both transmissions are tightly spaced for sporty performance while the tall sixth gear reduces fuel consumption. The dual-clutch transmission can be controlled via optional shift paddles on the steering wheel and offers the automatic modes D and S in addition to manual mode. Equipped with quattro permanent all-wheel drive and a redesigned multi-plate clutch, this new high-end vehicle in the model line can accelerate more quickly and safely when exiting a corner. It is dynamic and stable in all conditions, even rain or snow.
In addition to a sophisticated suspension and the S sport suspension, which lowers the body by 25 millimeters (0.98 in), the axle-load distribution (59% to 41%, front to rear) and new, progressive steering contribute significantly to sporty handling. The key to progressive steering is that steering movements determine the steering ratio. This results in stable and virtually neutral steering characteristics for outstanding precision during sporty driving and easier steering while parking.
The new S3 Sportback comes standard with Audi drive select. This system handles characteristics of the electronic gas pedal, shift points of the optional S tronic and the steering ratio for progressive steering. At the push of a button, the driver specifies whether these systems should operate in comfort, auto, dynamic or efficiency mode. An additional mode, individual, is available in models equipped with the MMI Radio or above. The optional Audi magnetic ride system, which situationally regulates the shock absorbers, is also controlled via Audi drive select.
Lightweight construction also contributes significantly to the very dynamic performance of the Audi S3 Sportback. This five-door car has a curb weight of 1,445 kilograms (3,185.68 lb) and most of this reduction in weight is on account of the body. ■