2022 Audi S3 breaks cover with 305 hp
Following a reveal for the European market, we now have our first look at the latest generation of the Audi S3 Sportback and sedan. While Sportback fans will have to admire that model from afar, we reached out to Audi spokesperson Jacob Brown, who confirmed our optimism about the S3 sedan coming to the U.S.
We know the S3 as a small but stately premium compact sedan, distant cousin of the delightful Golf R. By the looks of things, the new-generation model will continue that trend. The new S3 will share the same 2.0-liter turbocharged TFSI motor, which in this application produces 305 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. The engine comes with Audi valvelift system, a creatively named piece of kit which varies lift on the intake side for a more efficient combustion event. A seven-speed S-tronic gearbox handles cog-shuffling, and the power is routed to all-four wheels using Audi’s familiar quattro all-wheel drive system. In the S3, the quattro system uses a hydraulic multi-plate clutch in front of the rear axle shuffles torque fore and aft as required.
Those driveline components help propel the S3 to 62 mph from standstill in a claimed 4.8 seconds. Top speed is an electronically-governed 155 mph.
The S3’s standard suspension helps keep body motion under control in part by lowering the suspension by 15 millimeters compared to the regular A3. Buyers looking to take things up a notch can opt for the series S sport suspension with damper control, which utilizes valves to control oil flow in the dampers in order to adjust the suspension to the current road conditions and driving situation every few thousandths of a second.
Disc brakes adorn all four corners, and the black calipers that come as standard can be swapped for optional red calipers for a little extra curbside presence. All S3 models will come with 18-inch wheels standard, but 19-inch wheels are available as options.
The exterior styling falls in line with the other next-gen models from Audi’s lineup. There’s the wide trapezoidal front intake, the aggressive air inlets, and more pronounced body lines running the length of the vehicle. On the S3’s rear, four tailpipes help reinforce a sportier look relative to the more staid A3 sibling. Like the A3, the S3 grows a little bit for this new generation, swelling 1.6 inches in length and 1.2 inches in width.
Inside, S3 owners will enjoy a 10.25-inch infotainment display as standard but can opt up for Audi’s slick virtual cockpit system, which swaps the gauge cluster for an HD display that can handle navigation duties, gauge readouts, and media management among other things. Super techies can opt even higher for the virtual cockpit “plus,” which serves up three screens, the third replacing hard HVAC buttons. An optional ambient lighting package helps set the mood when the sun goes down.
The European market launch will be punctuated by a limited “Edition one” version, which brings flashy Python Yellow exterior paint to the Sportback version and Tango Red paint to the sedan. Both editions get black accents and 19-inch wheels standard, along with Nappa leather seats.
Currently, the base Audi S3 Premium costs $43,995 including destination. No word yet on just how pricing will shake out once the new S3 sedan makes it to our shores sometime next year, following the A3’s arrival, but we don’t expect a massive bump up from the mid-$40,000 range.