Audi New Zealand General Manager, Dean Sheed, says “We’re looking forward to having the new S3 available in New Zealand. It has been several years since we have had a fresh look for the S3 Sportback. This model is the perfect compact vehicle and with quattro technology and an impressive engine it is sure to impress. Presales for the model will be available later this year with the model due to arrive in quarter 1 2021.”
Characteristic design and lighting
The new S3 displays dynamic character from the very first glance. The front is dominated by the Singleframe with its large rhombus-patterned grille and impressive air inlets, while the housings of the exterior mirrors have a gleaming aluminum look. The shoulder of the body extends in a strong line from the headlights to the rear lights. The areas below are curved inward, a new element of Audi’s design that places a stronger emphasis on the wheel arches. At the rear end, the large diffuser and the four exhaust tailpipes accentuate the sporty look.
With 228 kW of power and 400 Nm of torque, the new S3 is powered by the 2.0 TFSI engine accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds. High-tech features like the Audi valve lift system (AVS) adjusts the lift of the intake valves as required meaning the combustion chambers are well filled, while thermal management helps to ensure high efficiency. The driver can use the standard series Audi drive select system to make the sound of the powerful four-cylinder turbo engine even crisper.
The seven-speed S tronic with lightning-fast gear shifts, freewheeling function and the quattro all-wheel drive deliver the torque to the road. The hydraulic multi-plate clutch in front of the rear axle is fully variable and moves between the front and the back as required, combining dynamic performance with stability, and efficiency with driving pleasure. It is managed by the modular dynamic handling control, a new system that closely links the quattro drive to the Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC) and the controlled dampers.
With its four-link rear axle and progressive steering, the standard suspension offers everything that is required for pleasurable driving. It lowers the body by 15 millimetres. Audi can also install the series S sport suspension with damper control on request. Valves control the oil flow in the dampers so that they adapt to the condition of the road, the driving situation, and the driver’s requests in an individual and ongoing in a few thousandths of a second. The spread between comfort and dynamism is even wider than for the predecessor model. The new electric brake booster ensures strong and spontaneous deceleration. All four brake discs are internally ventilated.
Generous space concept
Compared with their predecessors, the new S3 has grown by 3 centimetres in length and width. The S3 Sportback is now 4.35 metres in length, 1.82 metres in width, and wheelbase is 2.63 metres. The interior offers greater shoulder room and elbow room. The luggage compartment of the S3 Sportback holds between 325 and 1,145 litres depending on the position of the rear bench seat.
The strikingly sporty design of the new S3 models continues on the inside. The cockpit is focused on the driver. The distinctive air vents form a single unit with the instrument cover, underlining the sporty character. A 10.25-inch digital display is offered. Alternatively, the Audi virtual cockpit and its “plus” version can be selected. Both have a 12.3-inch diagonal, with the latter also offering three different screens. The optional ambient lighting package plus delivers targeted lighting effects in the dark. The sport seats have been newly developed, and their standard series upholstery is largely made from recycled PET bottles, accentuated by stylish contrasting stitching.
In the middle of the instrument panel is a 10.1-inch touch display embedded in a large black panel. It recognises letters entered by hand and provides acoustic feedback. As an additional operating level, the infotainment can also be voice-controlled using natural language as standard. Audi also supplies a head-up display as an option.
A new generation of infotainment
The MMI operating concept of the new S3 is powered by the third-generation modular infotainment platform (MIB 3). Its computing power is ten times higher than that of its predecessor. Navigation offers predictions on the development of the traffic situation, high-resolution satellite images from Google Earth, and information about the traffic flow. Individual settings, such as frequently selected destinations or air conditioning preferences, can be stored in up to six user profiles.
Helpful driver assist systems
The driver assist systems in the new S3 also demonstrate Audi’s technical expertise. Audi pre sense front, swerve assist with turn assist, and lane departure warning all have the potential to prevent accidents. Further assist systems, such as lane change and exit warnings as well as the cross-traffic and park assist systems, are available. The adaptive cruise assist helps with longitudinal and lateral guidance. It maintains the speed and distance to the vehicle in front and assists with lane guidance by means of gentle interventions in the steering. The efficiency assist supports an economic driving style.
The Audi S3 Sportback is expected to arrive in New Zealand quarter 1 2021. Price and specifications will be released later this year.