New Audi S3 to take on Bmw M135i and the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG

Article by Christian A., on May 28, 2012

A new, 276bhp Audi S3 will be launched this September at the Paris Motor Show. It competes with the other hot hatch units in Europe with a boost in its premium-brand performance. This newest model from Audi’s S-badged line-up was previewed in an artist impression.

The S3 has a price tag of around £32,000 and will arrive at UK showrooms early next year. Its closest rivals would be the £30,000 BMW M135i hatchback announced last week and the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG that will be featured with the S3 at Paris. Audi had hoped to equip the new all-wheel-drive S3 with a detuned version of the 2.5-litre five-pot engine of the RS3 Sportback.

What happened instead is that the S3 will use a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that will be used in an entire host of other Volkswagen Group models because of its compatibility with the new modular MQB platform.

The old S3 used the VW Group’s decade-old ‘EA113’ engine while the new car is the first to get the high-output version of the new ‘EA888’ unit. The engine is available with an all-new turbocharger and comes with the recently launched Audi Valve Lift system.

This offers variable control of the valve lift and, in the process, the size of the inlet tract for additional low-end response. Sources said that the new S3 has an output of 276bhp and could achieve a torque of 280lb ft.

These are increases of 15bhp and 22lb ft when compared to the old S3’s engine. The new Audi S3 is lighter than the current three-door S3 by as much as 80kg because of various weight-saving measures, which belong to the Audi Ultra banner. One of these measures is using aluminium for the bonnet and wings.

New Audi S3’s radiator grille has a chrome single-frame with a matte platinum grey insert, and its horizontal dual crossbars are a polished aluminium. The bumper has been redesigned to integrate aluminium double ribbed air inlets and faux side air intakes.

Instead of Xeon plus headlamps, Audi uses LEDs as standard, which are used to only be for high-end models, but now can be found in its premium compacts. LED headlights provides a recognisable appearance with improved lighting.

The outer mirror cases have an aluminium look, and distinct sill strips accent the S3’s side view. And it has a redesigned rear bumper. The Platinum Grey diffuser with an aluminium looking double bar holds the four oval chrome-tipped exhaust pipes. The S3’s roof spoiler’s colour matches the car and aerodynamic side inserts make the roof look longer. The rear lamps are LEDs.

The fully black interior matches the exterior’s sporty appearance. The grey instrument faces complement the white needles. The rev counter dial also indicates charge pressure. The standard driver information system is coloured; the 11 mm (0.43 in) on-board display (MMI radio and above standard) is retractable and has a special screen that lights up upon ignition.

The sporty leather steering wheel that is an available option is redesigned with a flat lower rim. S tronic-equipped models have metallic shift paddles. The foot rest and pedals are brushed aluminium. Sport seats are standard; however, Audi offers diamond-quilted S seats with built-in head restraints as an alternative. The decorative trim can be black or brushed matte aluminium.

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