Compact and fast, Audi’s S3 has confirmed a preferred entry level into the world of European premium efficiency automobiles for 25 years.

Greater than 10,000 have been bought in Australia because the first-generation S3 arrived because the efficiency variant of the A3 hatch. The S3, which has additionally been out there in four-door sedan type since 2014, now accounts for about 25 per cent of whole A3 gross sales right here.

Superficially, there’s not lots to tell apart the revised 2025 S3 from its predecessor. The sheet steel is unchanged, however a brand new entrance fascia encompasses a wider and flatter execution of the single-frame grille that has body-coloured trim beneath and strut-like constructions supporting the entrance splitter. The brand new grille is flanked by bigger, squarer vents with vertical outer edges.

The Matrix LED headlights now characteristic 24-pixel parts organized in three rows on their higher edge. These permit homeowners to decide on between 4 digital daytime working gentle signatures utilizing the MMI infotainment system.

On the rear are redesigned tail lights and a brand new rear bumper with vertical reflectors and a extra boldly executed fake diffuser wedged between the signature quad exhaust.

New colors out there embody District Inexperienced, Ascari Blue, and Progressive Pink metallics, and the long-lasting Daytona Grey is now out there in a matte end, complimented by redesigned alloy wheels.

That doesn’t sound a lot to make a fuss about, and doubtless solely sharp-eyed Audi followers will discover. However these beauty tweaks additionally sign a few important mechanical upgrades that ship noticeably improved efficiency and dealing with.

How does the Audi S3 evaluate?

View an in depth breakdown of the Audi S3 in opposition to equally sized autos.

Audi S3 cutout image



How a lot does the Audi S3 value?

Because the with the present automobile, the 2025 Audi S3 might be out there in two variants, the Sportback hatch and the four-door Sedan. The Sedan is the marginally extra common of the 2, accounting for 54 per cent of whole S3 gross sales.

The 2025 fashions should not anticipated to reach in Australia till the fourth quarter of this yr, so Audi has not launched any particulars on pricing – however present pricing suggests the Sedan will value about 3.0 per cent greater than the Sportback.

What’s the Audi S3 like on the within?

As with the outside, there have been no main revisions to the inside structure.

However in response to criticism from media and prospects, Audi has splashed some money on making the S3 cabin look extra upscale than earlier than. Audi’s Digital Cockpit instrument panel is now commonplace on the S3 in all markets, for instance.

Whenever you settle into the S3’s sportily bolstered bucket seats, you’ll discover the brand new flat-bottomed, three spoke sports activities steering wheel.

You’ll additionally discover the brand new shifter within the reconfigured centre console.

Instead of the earlier automobile’s toggle shifter, there’s a easy, flush button that’s pulled to have interaction drive and pushed to pick out reverse. New chrome trim on the air vents makes the cabin look wider.

The S3’s inside atmosphere is moody, its darkish palette lifted by silver accents and fantastically executed purple distinction stitching.

An non-obligatory inside lighting package deal, probably the most hanging parts of that are door skins with 300 laser-cut openings which are backlit from a light-weight supply inside the door, provides an additional splash of color and visible curiosity to the cabin.

What’s beneath the bonnet?

The turbocharged 2.0-litre 4 beneath the bonnet of the S3 has been tweaked to enhance its responsiveness and ship extra grunt.

The gas injection system now runs at 350 bar and the revised engine administration system now retains the turbocharger spinning at a relentless pace beneath gentle throttle and partial load for sooner energy supply.

Peak energy is now 245kW, a rise of 17kW, and is produced from 5000rpm to 6500rpm. Torque is up 20Nm to 420Nm, all of which is on the market from 2100rpm to 5500rpm. The calibration of the seven-speed twin clutch transmission has been revised to deal with greater beginning torque, which helps the compact Audi launch more durable from a standing begin.

Audi claims the S3 is now a tenth of a second faster to 100km/h than earlier than, stopping the clock at 4.7 seconds. High pace stays an electronically restricted 250km/h.

How does the Audi S3 drive?

With its punchy turbo motor, slick transmission and all-wheel drive traction; the Audi S3, whether or not it’s in four-door sedan type or the five-door hatch – Sportback in Audi-speak – has beforehand impressed as an incredible all-rounder, extra enjoyable than its A3 siblings and higher worth than the RS3 – the revised S3 builds on that basis.

Chassis upgrades embody a brand new entrance suspension knuckle that doubles the quantity of unfavourable camber on the entrance axle to 1.5 levels, and bigger 357mm entrance brake rotors.

A very powerful change, nonetheless, is the adoption of the rear axle torque-splitting system used on the warmer, sooner RS3 mannequin – and it’s this that takes the brand new S3 to a brand new stage when it comes to its driving dynamics.

In easy phrases the torque-splitting system makes use of two multi-plate clutches, one positioned instantly to both aspect of the rear differential, to fluctuate the quantity of torque despatched to every rear wheel.

Every clutch has its personal digital management unit, which makes use of information resembling wheel pace, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, steering and throttle angle, the gear chosen, and the yaw price – the pace at which the automobile is rotating round its vertical axis – to calculate how a lot torque to ship to every wheel.

In idea, the torque-splitter is designed to enhance each agility and stability, sending extra torque to the skin rear wheel to assist higher flip the S3 right into a nook, and to the within rear wheel to assist counter oversteer when the boundaries of adhesion are exceeded.

And also you solely must punt the little Audi exhausting down your favorite driving highway to really feel the idea working in observe. Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system has for years endowed its efficiency automobiles with excessive ranges of cornering grip, although usually on the expense of preliminary turn-in response and the flexibility to tighten your line mid-corner. The torque-splitter rear axle turns the S3 into an apex predator.

The change to the S3’s manner is so profound it’s good to recalibrate your driving type to benefit from the torque-splitter’s capabilities. The trick is to go to energy a lot sooner than you’d often do in an all-wheel drive automobile with 60 per cent of its mass over the entrance axle, and use the additional torque despatched to the skin rear wheel to successfully whip the tail round and tuck the nostril into the apex of the nook.

We’re not speaking energy oversteer right here; all of it occurs shortly and concisely with nary a chirp from the tires. The S3 simply goes the place you level it, with a minimal of fuss.

That mentioned, Audi has used the torque-splitter to dial up the S3’s enjoyable issue. The system’s stage of intervention relies on the drive mode chosen, and to benefit from its capabilities Audi has added an additional drive mode, dubbed ‘Dynamic Plus’.

Along with additional sharpening the powertrain’s response, this mode ensures as a lot torque as potential reaches the rear axle and that almost all of it’s despatched to the rear wheel on the skin of the curve. You don’t should be Isaac Newton to determine the outcome: As Audi engineers dryly observe, Dynamic Plus mode endows the S3 with “a bent to oversteer”.

The S3 is a kind of uncommon efficiency automobiles that feels at dwelling at virtually all speeds on virtually all roads in one in all its sportier driving modes – on this case Dynamic. In truth, in Consolation mode the S3’s suspension can at instances really feel a contact underdamped.

In the event you discover the journey in Dynamic too taut at low speeds, you may all the time use Particular person mode to maintain the powertrain responses sharp however swap the spring and damper charges to their most snug setting. That mentioned, Audi’s drive mode choice protocol isn’t precisely simple to make use of, requiring you to toggle by way of all of the choices till you get the one you need.

What do you get?

As befits its price ticket, the Audi S3 is a comprehensively geared up compact automobile.

Commonplace tools contains:

  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • Pink brake calipers 
  • Matrix LED headlights
  • Keyless entry
  • Audi Digital Cockpit Plus
  • Audi Join Plus
  • DAB+ digital radio
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Inductive smartphone charger
  • USB-C ports in entrance and rear
  • Nappa leather-based seats with diamond stitching
  • Heated entrance seats
  • Illuminated door sills 
  • Twin-zone consolation air con
  • Ambient gentle package deal with 30 customisable colors

Choices embody:

  • Head up show
  • Driver seat reminiscence perform
  • Panorama sunroof
  • Sonos Premium audio
  • 360-degree digital camera

Is the Audi S3 protected?

Solely the front-wheel drive variations of the Audi A3 have a five-star ANCAP security score based mostly on Euro NCAP testing carried out in 2020.

It obtained an grownup occupant safety rating of 89 per cent, little one occupant safety rating of 81 per cent, weak highway consumer safety rating of 68 per cent, and a security help rating of 73 per cent.

Commonplace security tools contains:

  • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
    • Pedestrian detection
    • Bike owner detection
  • Audi pre-sense primary
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Secure exit warning
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane maintain help
  • Lively lane help
  • Adaptive cruise management with cease and go
  • Semi-autonomous parking help
  • Reversing digital camera
  • Entrance, rear parking sensors

A surround-view digital camera is on the market, however not commonplace, throughout the lineup. You do get it commonplace on the flagship RS3, although. Seven airbags are fitted too – twin entrance, entrance aspect, entrance centre, and full-length curtains.

How a lot does the Audi S3 value to run?

Audi Australia covers all its autos – together with the sporty S and RS fashions – with a five-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee.

There’s additionally 5 years guarantee cowl for physique and paintwork, in addition to 12 years of bodywork corrosion cowl.

Scheduled upkeep may be lined by an Audi Real Care Service Plan, which spans 5 years or 75,000km, whichever comes first – this pack prices $2890 for the present mannequin.

CarExpert’s Tackle the Audi S3

At first look the 2025 Audi S3 is evolutionary fairly than revolutionary; a smart mid-cycle improve that seems to deal with complaints about perceived high quality and throws some further efficiency into the combo for good measure.

However appearances may be misleading. The choice to make the torque-splitter rear axle commonplace on the S3 revolutionises the automobile’s dynamic functionality. The brand new S3 feels a lot sharper and a lot extra responsive when punted exhausting.

No, it doesn’t have the uncooked wallop of the 294kW/500Nm five-cylinder RS3 whenever you punch the throttle. However that new rear axle means the S3 gained’t be that a lot slower than its muscular sibling down any winding highway on the market in the actual world.

Given it’s more likely to be a minimum of $15,000 cheaper than the RS3, meaning the revised S3 now delivers actual bang in your buck.

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