Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 07 April 2017
The Audi S3 can best be described as a bit of an animal. On one hand, it’s tame, placid and unassuming, but at the flick of a switch day turns to night and the Audi will keep you smiling all thew way.
Towards the end of 2016, Audi South Africa introduced the revised A3 line-up. With sharper lines, more powerful engines and improved technology, this latest generation takes the already impressive A3 lineup and betters it on every front.
The 2017 Audi S3 sedan is a particularly special offering from the Audi stable. The vehicle has the ability to remain a stylish, compact and thoroughly well-built family sedan, while perfectly blending the correct mix of “boy racer” appeal all in one civilised package.
- Price: R656 000 (Current Pricing: April 2017)
- Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbopetrol
- Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox (known by Audi as S Tronic)
- Power: 228 kW
- Torque: 440 Nm
- Fuel Consumption: 5.4 L/100 km (combined claimed figure by manufacturer )
- Top speed: 250 kph
- 0-100 kph: 4.6 sec
Amazing Box of Tricks Under The Hood
While ordinarily, four cylinder motors sound and feel rather bland and uneventful, the Ingolstadt engineers have managed to make this rather small motor produce some simply phenomenal results. The minute you engage Dynamic mode, suddenly the engine pops and cracks and produces a soundtrack most comparable to the Cliff Richard gargling wasps.
The simply beautiful engine notes are very much in-keeping with the electrifying drive in which the Audi produces. The key to some of the magic being produced by the new S3 is largely attributable to its S Tronic dual-clutch transmission, which is an absolute masterpiece. Gear changes are instantaneous and the S Tronic box ensures that the gears both above and below are already spinning and ready for the shift way before the engine is even thinking about changing.
Bathed In Comfort & Clever Technology
Owing to the MQB platform on which this latest generation Audi S3 is built, overall interior space, ride comfort and vehicle refinement is very impressive. The MQB platform features in many of the recent Audi and Volkswagen vehicles and adds to an overall vast improvement in terms of vehicle refinement.
Throughout the cabin, the Audi features top-notch soft touch surfaces and materials. Audi has always been known to offer superbly well-constructed interiors and this latest generation S3 sedan certainly holds true. In its sedan body profile, rear space is also comfortable and the Audi offers a practical boot load area as well.
In keeping with the refined and minimalistic interior, the Audi MMI (multimedia interface system) folds out of the dash when you start the engine. The system is easy to navigate and all controlled with a centrally based jog wheel. Options available include Audi’s Virtual Cockpit system with navigation. Using the system is a real treat, and Audi really to offer perhaps the best example of a digital instrumentation system anywhere in the business. The system is completely customisable and even allows the entire instrument cluster to be utilised by the navigation system.
To End Off
The Audi S3 sedan is somewhat of a joker, on one hand, its placid, quite and relaxing, but when the mood takes you, the Audi goes from light to dark and becomes a complete animal.
The Audi S3 sedan currently retails for R656 000 and comes with a 5 year/100 000km Audi Freeway Plan. The vehicle under review had about R50,000 worth of nice-to-have options including the Virtual Cockpit and B&O audio system. The base vehicle, however, is very well specced and will still put a huge smile on your face everytime you drive it!
The Audi S3 Sedan can be most closely compared to the BMW M140i (5dr) which will be lighter due to rear wheel drive but more of a handful ( 250 kW ; 500 Nm – 0-100 km/h 4.6sec [R662,102] ) and the Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Sport, which is far down on power, but priced similarly ( 160 kW ; 250 Nm – 0-100 km/h 7.1sec [R663,500] )