• Sep 29th 2008 at 7:59PM
  • 28
Click above for a high resolution gallery of the S3 Sportback

Audi made a bit of a splash earlier this year with the announcement that the new-for-'09 S3 would be available in either the three-door style or the more practical Sportback five-door hatch. Equipped with a high-pressure 2.0-liter turbo engine with 265-horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, the S3 can scoot to sixty in just 5.5 seconds, all while getting nearly 30 miles per gallon. Making the most of that power is the firm's new seven-speed twin-clutch S-Tronic gearbox, which we've had nothing but good things to say about in its past six-speed incarnation. That gearbox will command a £1,450 premium over the standard manual transmission for our European friends. That price will also include twin steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, another first for the S3. Total cost for the three-door stands at £28,920, while £29,420 will get you an S3 with Sportback. Of course, Quattro all-wheel drive comes standard on both. Sadly, the whole S3 package is available only in Europe.

[Source: Audi]
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Acclaimed double-clutch transmission's rapid fire changes perfectly complement fast-paced 265PS sports hatch

* S tronic seven-speed twin-clutch transmission available to order at an extra cost of £1,450 from October 1st for S3 and S3 Sportback models
* S3 three-door including optional S tronic £28,920 OTR, S3 Sportback including optional S tronic £29,420 OTR
* 265PS @ 6,000rpm, 350Nm from 2,500 – 5,000rpm, 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds (three-door), top speed limited to 155mph, combined mpg 33.2, CO2 198g/km
* Audi magnetic ride adaptive damping available at extra cost
* New faster-reacting quattro four-wheel-drive system

The Audi S3 is now not only available with five doors, but also with seven speeds courtesy of the much lauded S tronic twin-clutch transmission, which not only quickens shifts compared with the continuing manual version, but also slows down fuel consumption. Available to order from October 1st at an extra cost of £1,450, the super slick transmission takes OTR prices for the first ever 'two pedal' S3 models to £28,920 for the three-door and £29,420 for the five-door Sportback. UK deliveries are expected to start in mid-December.

Equipped with S tronic, the three-door S3 can touch 62mph from rest in 5.5 seconds, 0.2 seconds quicker than the manual version with which it shares its governed top speed of 155mph. Equally impressively, S tronic actually boosts the S3's combined fuel economy figure from 33.2mpg to 34mpg – a feat which the majority of conventional torque converter automatic transmissions couldn't match. As a result, CO2 output in the S3 S tronic falls from 198g/km to 193g/km.

Advanced electro-hydraulic controls and the alternate use of two clutches enable the S tronic gearbox to deliver lightning fast automatic or manual shifts with virtually no interruption of the engine's power delivery across its seven ratios, and to offer changes via steering wheel-mounted shift paddles for the first time in the S3's nine-year history. The first of the two clutches serves the odd-numbered gears and reverse, and the second the even-numbered gears, so when the S3 is being driven in third gear, for instance, fourth is already pre-selected in anticipation. As soon as the shift command is given, the first clutch is disengaged and the second engaged in just a few hundredths of a second, virtually seamlessly.

Upgraded quattro four-wheel-drive

Also faster reacting in this latest S3 model is the renowned quattro four-wheel-drive system. Its central hydraulic multi-plate clutch now responds even faster when the engine's 265PS and 350Nm need to be redistributed between the front and rear wheels to maximize stability and traction.

Standard equipment for the S3 includes 18-inch parallel 5-spoke 'S' design alloy wheels, 'S' body styling and interior detailing and 'S' sports suspension. Heated and Silk Nappa leather-upholstered sports seats and Xenon Plus head lamps with LED strip daytime running lights are also part of the package.

Picture caption

S tronic shifts into Audi S3 - The Audi S3 is now not only available with five doors, but also with seven speeds courtesy of the much lauded S tronic twin-clutch transmission, which is available to order from October 1st at an extra cost of £1,450. Equipped with optional S tronic, the S3 and S3 Sportback cost £28,920 OTR and £29,420 OTR.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      LOL @ comparing this to a cobalt/mazda3/anything.

      This is the best hot hatch in the world period.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The Audi is an awesome ride, but If anyone ever did a comparison with similar performance vehicles, the price would keep it out of the #1 spot.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Love it. Too bad the dollar will be worth next to nothing with this comes to US. Can't wait to pay $120k for an S3
        • 7 Years Ago
        hahaha, i'm sorry...its true, but that made me laugh. have to keep my sense of humor as life as we know it comes to an end i guess...
        • 7 Years Ago
        when this comes*
      • 7 Years Ago
      How about making the car not cost 30k considering its slower than a Cobalt SS.
        • 7 Years Ago
        My friend if your still looking at cars because its faster than another you will always be disappointed. Someone will make a competing model that is quicker within months. The a3 and the cobalt are in two very different leagues. The a3 is an appointed low ender luxo car and the fit and finish is cadillac quality and or better in some regards. The cobalt might be quicker I'd have to actually check numbers but the s3 would rip it apart in the real world driving, and do it with a smile. And to top it all off the Audi a3 is built with only premium components and you wont find any toxic plastic or cheap materials anywhere. The cobalt is mostly cheap with a few upgraded appointments.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Let us know when the Cobalt SS gets an interior that doesn't induce vomiting at first sight.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Why is the performance of a car only limited to a 0-60 test? Isn't that rather stupid?

        The Megane F1 and Clio Sport are out and out driver's cars. They will put either the Cobalt OR the S3 in their back pockets on any mountain or windy B-road you care to name.

        I couldn't care less if the Joop smelling yuppie next to me beats to the closest Starbucks...or the usual wannabe driving a Cobalt out accelerates me to Dunkin Donuts.

        You have to drive either of the French cars named above to realize they are well ahead of any current hatch out there.

        Of course, since actual driving isn't what most people are interested in, it doesn't really matter does it.
        • 7 Years Ago
        and who says it is slower than a cobalt SS
        Depending on gearing, launch control integration with the latest generation Haldex, tires, etc. this S3 could 'smoke' the cobalt SS
      • 7 Years Ago
      i thought the 5dr S3 was coming to the US, no?
      • 7 Years Ago
      We get the Audi S3 here in Mexico. 44,800 USD.

      Leon Cupra Copa Edition around 32,000 USD.

      i know quattro etc etc but Audi is way overpriced imho
      • 7 Years Ago
      DEAR AUDI: I currently drive a 2007 A3. I would gladly pay a premium for the S3 if it were available to me. I'm sure there are enough of us here in the colonies to make it worth your while. Why do you hold back all the good stuff??? You're starting to be as bad as Ford!
      • 7 Years Ago
      This car is nice, it has just about everything I want-DSG, a high horsepower turbo engine that can still get good mileage if you don't floor it, AWD, and it's a 5 door hatch...
      Bring it over for cheap Audi! I actually think there's a slight chance it'll come over...I mean we do get the RS4 after all.
        • 7 Years Ago
        It won't be cheap because it's an Audi. Audis are always overpriced. If it costs $50k it'll be because Audis are overpriced, not because of the weak dollar.
        And this is why, in the end, Audi never gets my money. If they want to sell more cars they need to start pricing them correctly. I'm not paying MORE for less performance and more maintenance problems. I'd probably not even pay the SAME as I'd pay for a more powerful and reliable car.
        The over-pricing is part of the reason for the 'pretentious' stereotype about Audi.
      • 7 Years Ago
      s3= vw gti-r and that might make it over here

      i read somewhere that vw was going to make an r42 using the audi 5 cylinder turbo making 350 hp-sick

      of course by then the dollar will be used for toilet paper
      • 7 Years Ago
      OKAY autoblog why dont you be the mature one and do something nobody else does. Be a trend setter. PUT "available only in Europe" IN THE FIRST SENTENCE FROM NOW ON IN ALL ARTICLES! :)
      • 7 Years Ago
      I want one, freakin Audi teasing us Americans yet again.
      • 7 Years Ago
      a cobalt's motor sounds like an agricultural implement.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yeah, because a base A4 costs $45,197. VAG will continue to work the way they do, if they can afford to, they'll bring a model over, if they can't, they wont. Just as we dont see the A4 starting at $45,197, we won't see $120,000 S3s.

      And really the S3 it won't be coming over, Audi's not
      going to charge more than the A3/ GTI-R or R42 because Americans
      won't pay it.
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