Audi will reveal the new four-door S3 this April at the Shanghai motor show, cementing its commitment as the first German automaker to build a compact performance saloon. Audi revealed a preview of the S3 saloon – the A3 saloon concept -- at the 2011 Geneva motor show. Audi developed the model to boost its already impressive standing in the profitable Chinese car market and offer an additional sales pillar for its US operations.
The S3 saloon will be powered by the 296bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre engine and four-wheel drive underpinnings that are also used on the newly unveiled S3 hatchback. It is slated to start selling in the UK in late 2013, with a price tag of about £33,000. On whether an even more striking RS3 saloon will join the lineup, Audi insiders won’t confirm but they would say that it’s not a top priority for now.
An Audi spokesman said that this type of car would be exciting but is not essential. When Audi first introduced the concept version in Geneva, Audi’s new price-leading saloon displayed a highly tuned version of its turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder petrol engine, with an output of 402bhp and 369lb ft of torque.
The new S3 saloon is about 4500mm long, making it nearly as long as the old Audi 80 — the precursor to the existing A4. It is built on the latest front-wheel drive platform by Volkswagen, its parent company.