The facelifted Audi S3 will introduce a ‘virtual cockpit’ inside and add an extra 20Nm of torque under its bonnet.
First introduced locally in 2013, the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder S3 Sportback, sedan and cabriolet trio now produce 228kW of power, up from 221kW, and 400Nm of torque, though manual versions retain 380Nm.
Maximum torque is now available in a wider 2000rpm to 5400rpm band compared with between 1850rpm and 5100rpm previously, though no performance figures have yet been detailed.
The outgoing S3 Sportback S tronic claims a 5.0-second 0-100km/h, however in Australia it also cops a nominal power deficit compared with European versions – 210kW versus 221kW. Audi Australia is yet to confirm local specifications ahead of the updated model’s late 2016 arrival locally.
Audi claims the stability control and the multi-plate clutch for the all-wheel drive system have been altered to deliver, “even greater driving dynamics, driving pleasure and safety”. Suspension remains unchanged, however, meaning a choice of standard fixed dampers or optional adaptive units.
Within the freshly designed C-shaped headlights are standard xenons, with for the first time ‘matrix’ LED lighting optionally available. The latter builds on the automatic high-beam function by using sensors to detect forward and oncoming traffic to block out only the portion of high-beam affecting particular traffic.
Inside, the S3 replaces its standard speedometer and tachometer cluster with a 12.3-inch TFT screen tagged ‘virtual cockpit’ by its maker. Poached from the TT, A4 and Q7, the screen can now display nav, fuel consumption, journey time and other information in greater detail, working off the buttons on the new three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The 8.0-inch centre colour screen now picks up Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone connectivity.
Expect pricing to remain similar to the existing range of $61,100 S3 Sportback and $63,400 S3 sedan in six-speed manual or seven-speed S tronic guise, and $70,110 S3 cabriolet with the latter transmission only.
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