It’s been nearly four years since Audi introduced the current-generation S3, so the time has come for a facelift. Thinly covered in a typical Audi Sport livery, the compact performance model is being previewed in both hatchback and sedan body styles. There are surprisingly a lot of mechanical changes for only a mid-cycle update.

At the heart of the new S3 is an uprated version of the familiar turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine. The four-pot TFSI unit now belts out 329 horsepower and 420 Newton-meters (310 pound-feet) of torque. It has gained a substantial 23 hp and (20 Nm) 15 lb-ft over the pre-facelifted model to perfectly match the mechanically related Volkswagen Golf R 333 special edition.

The upgraded engine is paired to a tweaked seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission with gear shift times that have been halved when accelerating at full tilt. Perhaps even more important is the addition of a rear torque splitter inherited from the RS3. Although it doesn’t get the dedicated drift mode, the newly added hardware should make the S3 more enjoyable when pushed hard into a corner. Drivers are likely to feel more confident behind the wheel thanks to improved grip achieved by an optimal delivery of torque between the two rear wheels.

With great power comes great responsibility, which is why the Four Rings are giving the facelifted S3 bigger brakes at the front axle. The 18-inch steel brakes have a 357-mm diameter and have been made thicker by 4 mm, now at 34 mm. The front discs are hugged by new twin-piston calipers and come along with enlarged pads to provide a bigger friction surface. Audi has worked with Falken on a new stickier set of 235/35 tires for the 19-inch wheels.

Aside from the beefier brakes, the front axle gains a new pivot bearing on the MacPherson strut, along with stiffer wishbones. Corroborated with an evolution of the progressive steering system and retuned dampers, the German luxury brand claims the S3 is now sharper than ever before.

The full reveal is scheduled to take place later this year when Audi will present the entire updated A3 family. Logic tells us the engine lineup should mirror that of the recently introduced VW Golf facelift.

The RS3 is also getting tweaks, possibly with more power from the five-cylinder engine without resorting to electrification. The Ingolstadt-based marque has hinted the 2.5 TFSI could be massaged to deliver an output beyond the current 401 hp (394 hp in Europe).

We’ve reached out to Audi USA to find out whether the American version is getting the European model’s revisions. As usual, don’t hold your breath for the S3 Sportback to be sold here.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *