14 Feb 2013

2013 Audi S3 Sportback

Audi have released details of the forthcoming S3 Sportback, which gets the same 2 litre TFSI engine as  the previous model but this time with 300bhp.

The German hot hatch war is hotting up.  M135i, A 45 AMG and now S3 Sportback.  The BMW is driven by the rear wheels whilst the Merc and Audi get four wheel drive.

First shown to the world in 3 door guise, the S3 Sportback is Audi's quite handsome take on the 'small hatch with a decent sized boot and quite a lot of horsepower' niche that we've all been crying out for.  The engineering in the S3 Sportback is nothing new.  It uses the VW Group 2 litre TFSI engine and produces 300hp and 280 lb ft of torque.  The previous S3 Sportback had 265bhp.

0-62mph takes 5 seconds and it can theoretically achieve 41mpg.  Top speed is the usual 155mph.  The S3 Sportback comes with a manual 6 speed gearbox or optional 6 speed 'S tronic' semi-automatic.  Audi say the lower gears of both transmissions are tightly spaced for sporty transmission whilst the tall sixth gear reduces fuel consumption - in other words close ratio gearboxes with overdrive.

A Haldex four wheel drive Quattro system transmits power to the road whilst low rolling resistance tyres help reduce fuel consumption - and increase stopping distances.  Low rolling resistance/friction tyres are counterproductive to performance and a sop to emissions regulations.

The S3 Sportback weighs 1445kg, a 70kg saving over the previous model, and almost identical to the M135i.

The car will be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March and will be in UK Audi dealerships later in the year.  The 3 door costs €38,900 (£33,500) in Germany and the Sportback just over €40,000 (£34,400).

Audi have yet to announce a 2013 RS3 Sportback.  The previous version was a 340bhp, £40,000 beast that only came to the UK in limited quantities.  If they are to truly compete with the A45 AMG then another Rs3 is needed.