2015 Audi S3 Sedan First Drive on Edmunds.com

15 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2015 Audi S3 Sedan First Drive on Edmunds.com

First S3 for America

Although the Audi S3 be all-new to us when it arrives in the States in August 2014, a familiar nameplate in Monaco and Indeed, we’ve already the new-generation S3 three-door hatchback on sale in Europe now. The S3 is the new, American-themed body of this car, a logical companion to the A3 sedan that reach our shores a few months

Like the others, and its mainstream GTI cousin, the S3 sedan uses MQB compact-car architecture. No doubt heard about the weight associated with this but the sedan is a significantly longer car the S3 hatch we drove earlier: 8 inches longer at 175.9 with a 1.4-inch-longer wheelbase at 103.6 inches, is identical to of the 2015 GTI).

At 3,152 pounds, the Audi S3 is not exactly lightweight, but compared to the A4, it feels noticeably more and, even in the medieval towns, it never feels too for the road.

Plenty of Engine

quick through the mountains, The 300-horsepower rating on European-market S3s you as much, though final are pending for the U.S.-spec version of turbocharged and direct-injected 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine: For now, told it makes an estimated 290 hp at rpm and an estimated 280 pound-feet of torque at rpm.

All that torque at your disposal until rpm, creating a near midrange that defines the character. This engine is to a fault, and if it weren’t for the dramatic and exhaust burp on full-throttle (in the six-speed dual-clutch, automated transmission’s most aggressive mode), you might make the of calling it boring. But frankly, no car a 0-60-mph estimate in the low 5-second should ever bore

Note that the 2015 S3‘s engine is not just a version of the 220-hp 2.0 TFSI offered in all-wheel-drive A3 sedans. In to the expected bigger turbocharger and this more elite has its own cylinder head design unique cams, exhaust and valve seats and springs. The are different, too, while the rods, crankshaft bearings and have all been strengthened.

And are two balance shafts instead of

Manual Gearbox for America?

Early reports on the Audi S3 gave the impression that the automated manual gearbox as S tronic) would be the sole offered in the United States. But might not be true.

Initially, the S transmission will drive all wheels of every U.S.-bound S3 which has a standard clutch-type system. The S tronic features the Sport and Manual modes launch control), and you can further its behavior by playing with the in the Audi Drive Select (one of the pages you can bring up on our car’s optional 7-inch Media Interface display). consumers will be very with it.

In regular D, this has nearly the smoothness and ease of a automatic. But when you put the drivetrain in the setting and shift manually the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, it very quickly and rips off rev-matched downshifts.

Still, we prefer to rev-match our own That’s why we’re clinging to the that Audi will export a conventional manual-shift S3 like the one we tried later in the It’s a six-speed gearbox, of and the pedal setup suited us The shifter is trimmed in knurled

We’re smitten.

Mind Audi officials have no promises about the manual to America. At the event, Filip director of product management, journalists, We’re not ready to an announcement on it. That sounds like yes than no to us.

Is It Any Fun?

around turns in the 2015 S3 sedan is fun regardless of the transmission. to the A3, the S3 has a 25mm (0.98 inch) ride height, and our test car has the magnetic adaptive dampers, will be offered on U.S. in combination with a 19-inch tire package.

Based on our through the Maritime Alps, we see ourselves not ordering this Thusly equipped, the S3 feels and athletic through corners, yet in the suspension’s most hard-core you’d never describe the as brittle. Even with 91Y Continental ContiSportContact tires, the S3 is forgiving on the roads in Southern

We’ll wait and see if that to Southern California.

In recent we’ve not been that with the electric-assist power systems in various Audis. But the in the S3 is better than we expected. is a passive variable-ratio setup variably spaced gear and you can adjust the effort level to in the Drive Select menu.

Dynamic mode is too heavy for our but in the other modes, the steering is precise and enjoyable.

The Rest of Day

Audi S3

Audi is known for its top-quality and the 2015 Audi S3 sedan’s lives up to that reputation and some. Every surface in the car you might ever have to touch has a pleasing finish to it, and the fit and in our test cars is outstanding. expect this in an $80,000 but in one that we expect to cost a more than half it’s pretty striking.

looks crisp and modern, The flat-bottom steering wheel is in diameter and fits nicely in of modest size, and the circular and aluminum trim are nicely

We’re not as thrilled about the screen that deploys the top of the dash and looks a bit like an It doesn’t impede visibility, and it certainly allows for a simpler layout on the center stack. Our cars all have the optional system and a 7-inch screen as a

If you don’t order nav, have a smaller screen, may not look as good.

If you care tech, take note the A3 and S3 have the most sophisticated of Audi’s MMI, which is to be more easily upgradable (to the that the system’s Nvidia 2 processor can be swapped out when it obsolete). In addition, the car’s router is 4G LTE-capable, and to support Audi will ditch in favor of a yet unnamed wireless with LTE coverage.

Audi offer two different front designs. We’ve only the optional S line seat manual adjustments), which told offers more lateral bolstering than the seat. This seat is and supportive, but not the least bit confining and meet with the approval of and larger drivers alike.

The seats, meanwhile, are mainly for occasional use. The bench is comfortable, but anyone taller 5 feet 10 will probably headroom and/or legroom a tight. In comparison, the GTI’s is roomier.

A New Era of Entry-Level Performance

When we about high-performance versions of luxury cars, the old farts us inevitably look back at classics like the E30 BMW M3 and, recently, the 1 Series M. Special both of them, but you have to be at a little hard-core to enjoy

But the 2015 Audi S3 sedan is at people with busier who favor a more balanced to performance. Maybe driving is fun for but you also expect a comfortable a fantastic interior and leading-edge features because, well, got to drive to work every And in that case, cars the S3 sedan and the Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG more sense.

Audi is away from announcing on the 2015 S3 sedan, but as long as it in a bit cheaper than the quicker and whatever BMW comes up with for this class, we see no reason it find its buyer.

Edmunds a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which members of the press were to facilitate this report.

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