It is just a matter of time that Audi reveals the latest performance variant of the A3 Sportback, the Audi S3, which slots between the normal A3 and RS3. This means that it is placed in the hot hatchback segment where it’s brother, the Golf R is, and other German rivals like the Mercedes-AMG A35 and BMW M135i xDrive. It is obvious that some of the parts on the upcoming Audi S3 will be shared with the upcoming Golf 8 R which includes the power output, interior components, and chassis.
And talking about the chassis, it is the MQB platform used on most Audi, Volkswagen, Skoda, and Seat models including the Audi A3. The platform has been developed for newer model generations in the Volkswagen Group and the subsidiary companies of VW Group which have been allowed to use it for their models.
Audi has been teasing the next S3 in camouflage and already we have a hint of how the design will look like. The design element that has been carried on from the outgoing S3 is the quad exhaust tailpipes which are still circular in shape, suggesting that the Golf 8 R will take on the same agenda.
The engine will be a 2.0-litre turbopetrol 4 cylinder that should produce around 322 hp (240 kW) if not more. We say this because the Golf 8 R power output was leaked showing that the power has been increased by 16 hp (12 kW) and we believe it will be the same case with the Audi S3. The suspension will be tweaked with a more sophisticated Quattro All-Wheel Drive system installed to improve grip and cornering. We are worried that exhaust noise will be affected as regulations have enforced car manufacturers to install particulate filters in their models in order to reduce carbon emissions and we have seen that with the C63 S AMG that has the filter fitted and that has reduced its growl sound. Maybe Audi will find a way to make the exhaust noise as sensual as the current S3.
The interior has one notable change seen on the spy pictures and that is the small gear lever is similar to one in the new Golf 8. There is no longer a golf ball gear lever to shift the gear but that shouldn’t bother Audi customers. The infotainment screen is now properly placed on the centre dash and no longer pops out in tablet form. The air vents have been changed from a circular form to an angular design form and the air condition controls are now on a small touchscreen with physical buttons minimized. The sport steering wheel seems to be the same as the current S3 model and the digital instrument cluster should be standard on the S3.
We are not sure about when the Audi S3 will be revealed but it should be around April or May 2020. The Audi A3 will arrive in South Africa in the fourth quarter of 2020 with the Audi S3 accompanying it when it goes on sale.