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    Audi S3

    The independent definitive Audi S3 video review
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      S3 IS THE MAGIC NUMBER (some text hidden)

      By Jonathan Crouch

      There's something very right about the Audi S3. Always has been, always will be. Jonathan Crouch checks out the fourth generation model.

      Ten Second Reviewword count: 90

      Audi's S3 has always championed subtlety, but over the years, some have seen this car's driving dynamics as being perhaps a touch too subtle. Those people might like this fourth generation version, with offers sharper looks, improved Quattro traction and enhanced adaptive damping, along with an even more appealing cabin. All without delivering the kind of showy exuberance of some of its rivals. There's a choice of five-door Sportback or Saloon body styles and either way, you get a very complete 310PS performance package that's cool, understated and very Audi.

      Backgroundword count: 304

      Once upon a time, a hot hatch didn't have to be a mature, sensible thing. That wasn't the point of buying one. You got a shopping rocket because it was fun - with just enough practicality to enable you to justify the purchase to your other half. With the S3 though, it was different. Here was an aspirational premium GTi with a price tag to match. A hot hatch for people who ordinarily, would have grown out of hot hatches We first saw it way back in 1999 at a launch over-shadowed by an Audi TT sportscar that shared the S3's quattro 4WD system and got a slightly pokier version of its 2.0-litre turbocharged unit. That's a basic mechanical configuration the German brand has stuck to ever since - but of course power has spiralled since then. The early 210PS output figure was quickly upgraded to 225PS in the first generation version, then boosted again to 265PS for the MK2 model introduced in 2006. By 2013 though, it was clear that even that kind of power was going to be insufficient for admission into the premier league of hot hatches, so the 2.0-litre turbo engine was redeveloped from the ground up to make 300PS and plumbed into the lighter, stiffer MQB platform that had offered so much extra agility and efficiency to more mundane third generation A3 models. A lot's changed though, since 2013 in the super hatch segment. Cars like the Mercedes-AMG A 35 and latest versions of the BMW M135i and Honda Civic Type R now offer buyers arguably more exciting ways to own a practical 4WD sporting car with around 300PS at this price point. So Audi has done what it can to make Sportback and Saloon versions of this S3 a lot smarter and a little more engaging to drive.

      Driving Experienceword count: 213

      At first glance, you might wonder what's really changed here. The EA888 2.0-litre TFSI petrol turbo powerplant is the same as that used in final versions of the previous generation model and offers the same 310PS output, with 400NM of pulling power. You'll find basically the same engine used right across the VW Group in products as diverse as the Skoda Octavia vRS, the Volkswagen T-Roc R and the CUPRA Ateca, usually allied to 4WD. That quattro system has now been lightly revised, along with a switch in functionality for the optional adaptive damping system. That suspension change is probably the most significant alteration here. The previous 'Magnetic Ride' set-up, Audi now says, was 'a bit too sporty' and has been replaced by hydraulic adaptive damping governed by a central control unit that also oversees the 4WD and torque-vectoring-by-braking systems. All of which should continue to make this car superbly easy to drive quickly and precisely. 62mph from rest occupies just 4.8 seconds on the way to a top speed that has to be limited to 155mph. And the engine note changes with the mode you choose from the standard Audi drive select system - relatively hushed for everyday journeys and long distance cruising; and crisper and more bass-heavy for more challenging drives.

      To see the full road test text contact us on 0330 0020 227

      Pictures (high res disabled)

      Statistics (subset of data only)

      Min

      Max

      Price:

      £37,900.00

      £28,465.00

      Insurance group 1-50:

      34

      CO2 (g/km):

      178

      Max Speed (mph):

      155

      0-62 mph (s):

      4.8

      Combined Mpg:

      39.2

      Length (mm):

      4237

      Width (mm):

      1777

      Height (mm):

      1410

      ... and 3 other stats available

      Scoring (subset of scores)

      Category:

      Performance
      80%
      Handling
      80%
      Comfort
      70%
      Space
      70%
      Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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