One of our days out with Circuit Days. We’re following in our trusty Clio 172 Cup 🙂
Thrilling new 300PS Cabriolet joins the Audi A3 range for an even more rewarding roof-down drive
· World debut at 2014 Geneva Motor Show (March 4 -5), UK ordering from April, first UK deliveries expected in July
· Powerful 2.0 TFSI produces 300PS and 380Nm
· 0-62mph in 5.4 seconds, electronically limited 155mph top speed, combined 39.8 MPG, CO2 165g/km
· quattro permanent all-wheel drive and S tronic transmission as standard
· Spearhead ‘S’ version now complements entire A3 lineup
An exhilaratingly fresh approach to open-air motoring comes courtesy of Audi next month with the first ever convertible Audi ‘S’ model in the premium compact class. The all-new, 300 PS S3 Cabriolet will star at the Geneva Motor Show, and UK orders are set to start in April. First customer deliveries are expected to commence from July.
From a visual standpoint alone, the Audi S3 Cabriolet cuts an athletic figure. It is 4.43 metres long, has a wheelbase of 2.60 metres, and is 1.79 metres wide and 1.39 metres tall. The proportions are extended and balanced elegantly; precise lines and muscularly arched surfaces define the flanks.
The open-top four-seater has a soft top with an electrohydraulic drive. Magnesium, aluminium and high-strength steel keep its weight low. A highly insulating foam layer in the roof reduces the noise level in the interior. The top is available in three colours. It opens or closes in 18 seconds, even while driving at speeds up to 31 mph. An active rollover system protects passengers in the event of an accident.
Many design details hint at the engaging driving potential of the open-top four-seater. The Singleframe grille, surrounded by a chrome frame, features a platinum-grey insert and double cross-struts with an aluminium look. The air intakes are framed by powerful edges and filled with double ribs and honeycomb inserts. S3 badges adorn the front and rear. The 10 paint colours include the exclusive Panther Black, crystal effect.
Aluminium strips on the windshield frame and beltline, aluminium-look exterior mirror housings and edged sill trims define the sides. The taillights are equipped with LEDs as standard. The luggage compartment lid has a spoiler edge, and the bumper has been redesigned. An aluminium-look bar and four vertical ribs give shape to the platinum-grey diffuser, which frames the four tailpipes typical of Audi S models.
The Audi S3 Cabriolet is powered by a 2.0 TFSI which delivers 300 PS between 5,500 rpm and 6,200 rpm and produces 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) of torque from 1,800 to 5,500 rpm. With S tronic the open-top four-seater accelerates to 62 mph in 5.4 seconds. The top speed of 155 mph is limited electronically. When empty (without the driver), the Audi S3 Cabriolet weighs just 1,620 kilograms. The passenger compartment consists primarily of ultra-high-strength steel, and the bonnet is made of aluminium.
The turbocharged 2.0 TFSI, which displaces 1,984 cc (bore x stroke 82.5 x 92.8 millimetres), is a true performance engine. Heavy-duty aluminium pistons and higher-strength connecting rods transmit the forces to the crankshaft. The aluminium-silicon alloy used for the cylinder head combines high thermal stability and strength with minimal weight. Two balance shafts ensure supremely smooth running performance.
When the standard Audi drive select dynamic driving system is operating in dynamic mode, it has a heightened throttle response, and the engine revs up briefly when the S tronic shifts gears. The sound flaps in the exhaust system open as the load and rpms increase.
The turbocharger provides charging pressures of up to 1.2 bar, and a powerful intercooler greatly reduces the temperature of the compressed air. The so-called drumble (swirl and tumble) flaps direct incoming air in a targeted manner. The camshaft can be offset by 60 degrees relative to the crankshaft on the intake side and by 30 degrees on the exhaust side. In addition, the Audi valvelift system (AVS) regulates the valve lift in two stages.
Despite the engaging performance, the Audi S3 Cabriolet with S tronic will return up to 39.8 mpg combined, equating to 165 grams of CO2 per km. The technologies from the Audi modular efficiency platform contribute to this impressive figure. Of particular interest here is the additional indirect injection into the intake manifold, which replaces the petrol direct injection FSI in the part-load range, where it lowers fuel consumption and particulate emissions.
And the 2.0 TFSI is also at the leading edge in terms of thermal management. Two rotary valves combined in one module regulate the flow and temperature of the coolant. The exhaust manifold is integrated in the cylinder head where coolant is circulating; this solution reduces the temperature of the exhaust gases, which improves fuel economy at full load. An additional advantage is faster warming of the engine during cold starting. And the friction-lowering coating of the piston skirts, the rolling bearings in the balance shafts, the on-demand oil pump and the start-stop system all do their part to improve efficiency.
In the standard six-speed S tronic transmission, the bottom gears are close-stepped for a sharper response, whereas the long gear ratio of the top gear lowers rpm and therefore fuel consumption. The driver can operate the lightning-fast dual-clutch transmission in the automatic D and S modes or take control using the gearshift lever in the touch control gate or the standard shift paddles on the steering wheel.
An attractive efficiency function of the six-speed S tronic is the one-way clutch. It becomes active when Audi drive select is in efficiency mode and the driver steps off the accelerator.
Synonymous with every Audi ‘S’ model, the S3 Cabriolet also makes use of quattro permanent all-wheel drive – the perfect foundation for optimal traction and driving dynamics in all road conditions. Only Audi offers permanent all-wheel drive in the premium compact segment.
Its characteristic strength lies in the enhanced slip-free acceleration, driving dynamics, driving safety and directional stability that it delivers, even in difficult winter conditions. When exiting a corner, it securely transmits its power to the road, while two-wheel-drive competitors have to struggle for grip.
The centrepiece of the quattro drive for the Audi models with transversely mounted engines is the redesigned electronically controlled hydraulic multi-plate clutch. The compact, robust clutch is located at the end of the prop shaft, in front of the rear axle differential, where it contributes to the balanced axle distribution despite its relatively low weight. Inside is a package of plates that rotate in an oil bath. The metal friction rings are arranged behind one another in pairs – one ring of each pair is rigidly meshed with the housing, which rotates with the prop shaft. The other ring is meshed with the output shaft to the rear axle differential.
In normal conditions, the clutch sends most of the engine’s power to the front wheels. If traction decreases, the clutch can transfer torque continuously to the rear axle by forcing the packages of plates together via controlled action.
The chassis with its eager, precise response and high stability brings the dynamic quality of the Audi S3 Cabriolet to perfection. The axle load distribution is superbly balanced at 56:44; the rear-inclined installation position of the engine contributes to this, as does the front axle situated far to the front. Both solutions are from the Group’s modular transverse platform. The subframe and pivot bearing on the front suspension are made of aluminium, and a four-link structure is used for the rear axle.
Compared with the Audi A3 Cabriolet, the body is 25 millimetres lower due to the S Sport chassis. With the standard progressive steering, the rack-and-pinion is designed such that the steering ratio becomes more direct with steering-wheel motion – thus agility and comfort complement each other perfectly. The electromechanical progressive steering, which adapts its assistance to the speed, enables various optional assistance systems.
Measuring 340 mm in diameter, the front brake discs are very large, with black – or optionally red – calipers emblazoned with S3 logos. The electromechanical parking brake is integrated into the rear brake system. The electronic stabilisation control (ESC) manifests itself in a new stage of evolution. Before reaching the handling limits, a finely metered braking torque is applied unnoticeably to the inside front wheels. This improves the car’s agility and complements the work of the quattro drive. The standard Audi drive select dynamic driving system controls the engine, transmission and steering assistance characteristics, as well as the S tronic. The driver can select comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency or individual mode.
Draped completely in black, the interior of the S3 Cabriolet has a clean, elegant appearance. As with every Audi, its operation is easy and the finish is of superior quality. There is room for two adults in the rear, and the front seats feature an easy entry feature for convenient access to the rear seats. The 285-litre luggage compartment can be expanded by folding down the rear seat backs; its volume is 245 litres when the top is down.
Fine details emphasise the dynamic character of the open-top four-seater. The standard inlays are made of matt brushed aluminium, and many of the controls gleam in an aluminium look. The instrument dials are in S-specific dark grey metallic and the digits and needles are white. A three-dimensional S3 logo and a boost pressure indicator complete the tachometer. The colour driver information system is standard; the power-retractable on-board monitor powers up to display a special S3 screen.
The S sports seats guide and support the body, and the backrests have embossed S3 logos. The upholstery is finished in Fine Nappa leather with S embossing and contrasting stitching. Combinations of Alcantara and leather are available as options. Alternatively, the Parade red design package offers pronounced upper shoulder sections and door trim inserts in Parade red with contrasting stitching. A special colour pigment on all leather trim prevents seats from heating up too much in the sun.
A leather multifunction sport steering wheel is standard with a flat-bottomed rim and shift paddles. Other standard features are the pedals made from brushed stainless-steel. The aluminium door sills bear S3 logos. Other standard features include heated front seats, Xenon plus headlights and the storage and luggage compartment package.
The range of available options is also highly attractive and includes head-level heating in the front seats, LED headlights and the advanced key, to name just a few. MMI navigation plus with MMI touch and a high-resolution seven-inch monitor top the infotainment range. The supplementary Audi connect module delivers the brand’s customised Internet services to the car using the fast LTE standard. The Bang & Olufsen Sound System ups the ante with 13 speakers.
Rest recommendation is equipped as standard, and customers can choose to equip a host of other optional driver assistance systems including adaptive cruise control, Audi side assist, Audi active lane assist, park assist with selective display and the Audi pre sense safety system.
RS246 was invited to Goodwood MMS by Audi UK. What an excellent day!!
Many highlights of the day from many manufacturers, but going “up the hill” in the new Audi RS6 Avant was the icing on the cake. The car was in its standard form; very capable and very responsive. By 2pm the driver had the opportunity to built his knowledge of the track, decide that having the gearbox in Sport was the best option and balance the car perfectly. The new RS6 is certainly worthy of the “uber bahn stormer” RS status again with its excellent performance, handling and ability to seat 4 people comfortably and a boot suitable for high speed tip runs!!
Pictures often speak louder than words, so we have created a gallery for your pleasure 🙂
Is this the new face of Audi or representative of the target market? Discuss in the S3 forum 🙂
Performance hatchback adds more doors and more wheelbase length for improved passenger and luggage accommodation and even broader appeal
- Totally new 2.0 TFSI engine with turbocharging and direct injection
- Ample power and minimal consumption: 300PS and 380 Nm, but also up to 40.9mpg
- From zero to 62mph in 5.0 seconds (with S tronic transmission)
- Optional all-LED headlights and Audi magnetic ride
- Available to order in the UK from April, first deliveries in September
- UK pricing will be no higher than outgoing model despite performance and equipment gains
Savouring 300PS thrills while also satisfying the demands of a family will be easier to accomplish in the all-new, five-door Audi S3 Sportback. With a longer wheelbase than both its predecessor and the three-door S3, the new high performance hatchback variant will give even more priority to passengers and luggage, without giving any less to compelling pace, or surprising economy. Despite its further improved multi-tasking capabilities over the S3, the capacity for 40mpg-plus remains very much undiminished.
Due to make its debut at the Palexpo in Geneva next month (March 7 to 17) before opening for UK ordering in April and reaching its first UK customers in September, the latest S3 Sportback derives its 300PS and 380Nm from a brand new long-stroke 2.0-litre TFSI engine which shares only its 1,984cc displacement with its predecessor. Peak power is available at 5,500rpm, and peak torque between 1,800 and 5,500 rpm, and when linked to the S tronic twin-clutch transmission the S3 Sportback can use these to deliver a 5.0-second sprint to 62mph on the way to a governed 155mph top speed (5.5 seconds with the manual transmission). Combined fuel economy stands at 40.9mpg (manual 40.4mpg).
The powerful four-cylinder engine bristles with new technologies which help to push the S3’s boundaries in terms of both output and economy. These include the use of both direct and indirect injection, the integration of the exhaust manifold into the cylinder head and the use of innovative thermal management for faster warm-up. Two balancer shafts rotating at twice the speed of the crankshaft take care of refinement, but thanks to an electromechanical actuator in the bulkhead the cabin is filled with just the right amount of sound, with just the right sporting tone. The exhaust system also includes a sound flap that opens at certain engine speed ranges to give this even greater depth.
Despite its complexity and high output, the new 2.0 TFSI weighs just 148 kilograms – more than five kilograms less than the previous engine. This is just one example of the many steps taken to shave a total of 70kg from the kerb weight of the previous S3 Sportback, taking the total to 1,445kg. The lion’s share of the weight savings are on account of the body with its ultra-high-strength steel passenger cell and light aluminium wings and bonnet.
The all-new modular transverse platform (MQB) underpins the new S3 Sportback, and enables the front axle with its aluminium subframe and pivot bearings to be shifted forward 52 millimetres compared with the previous model. The new arrangement helps to effect an even more favourable axle load distribution of 59% to 41% front-to-rear.
As is customary for ‘S’ models the S3 Sportback is quattro permanent all-wheel drive-equipped. The latest incarnation of the system, with redesigned multi-plate clutch, enables the sophisticated S sports suspension with its McPherson-based front and four-link rear configuration and wider front and rear tracks to discharge 300PS without drama. It also gives the new variable ratio progressive steering system the freedom to deliver improved weighting, feedback and feel when cruising and attacking tight corners. In the straight-ahead position the new system draws no power from the alternator, helping to further improve fuel economy.
As an option, handling characteristics can be brought into even sharper focus by Audi magnetic ride, an electromagnetic damper control system using pistons in which a synthetic hydrocarbon oil containing microscopically small magnetic particles circulates. When a coil applies a voltage, the particles align perpendicular to the direction of flow of the oil, impeding its flow through the channels in the pistons to tauten cornering attitude.
The control unit constantly analyzes the condition of the road and the driver’s style, repeatedly adapting the damper forces within milliseconds. The driver can choose between three modes. The new S3 is balanced in normal mode and tightly connected to the road in sport mode. Steering response becomes even quicker, and yaw movements are largely suppressed.
The brakes deliver the firm but progressive pedal feel expected of an S model. The front discs are internally vented and measure 340 millimetres in diameter. Their black-painted calipers are branded with S3 logos, and can be coloured red if preferred. The new electromechanical parking brake, which the driver operates via a button, is integrated into the rear axle brake system. The latest evolution of the ESC electronic stabilization control intercedes very precisely.
Standard Audi drive select adaptive dynamics
Audi drive select is standard in the new Audi S3. It allows the driver to alter the characteristics of the throttle pedal response, the boost of the progressive steering, the shift points of the optional S tronic transmission and the configuration of the optional magnetic ride system at the touch of a button. A choice of comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency or individual modes is available, and in the latter, drivers can compose their own preferred profile within certain limits.
In efficiency mode, the function of the standard dual-zone climate control, the cruise control, the adaptive cruise control and the adaptive light is adjusted for optimal fuel consumption. In this case, the S tronic transmission switches to coasting mode when the driver takes his or her foot off the throttle pedal.
As expected the taut and muscular body of the new Audi S3 Sportback incorporates the time-honoured S model hallmarks. The S-specific single-frame grille has an aluminium-look finish and matt platinum grey inserts. Its horizontal double bars also have an aluminium-look finish. The newly designed bumpers feature aluminium-look double ribs integrated into the lateral air inlets. Pronounced edges frame the large air inlets with high-gloss black honeycomb inserts. Additional implied air openings are located close to the wheels.
In profile, the aluminium-look exterior mirrors and the pronounced side sills catch the eye. The rear bumper has also been redesigned. The platinum grey diffuser houses the exhaust system’s four oval tailpipes, which feature chrome tips. A large roof spoiler generates downforce on the rear axle.
S badges adorn the rear and the single-frame grille. Highlights among the 14 colours available for the Audi S3 are the exclusive crystal-effect finishes Panther Black and Estoril Blue.
The standard xenon headlights with their LED daytime running lamps incorporate Audi adaptive swivelling cornering lights for improved corner illumination. These can be upgraded with special lighting functions for urban, extra urban and highway driving, as well as for junctions and tourist attractions. When combined with the front-facing camera, the light-dark boundary of the headlights is automatically and steplessly adjusted for substantially improved visibility and safety.
Optional all-LED headlights
As an option which breaks new ground in the compact class, an upgrade to LED headlights will also be offered. Previously only available in full-size models, their low beams are generated in two free-form reflectors with a total of nine high-performance LED chips. Ten high-performance LEDs in the matt aluminum trim provide the high beams. Depending on the features chosen, the high beams are switched on automatically and LED cornering lights illuminate tight corners. Inter-urban, motorway and tourist attraction lighting can also be incorporated. The all-weather lights enhance safety in fog or snow.
More passenger and luggage space
The exterior’s sporting overtones are of course carried over into the interior. Its controls are clear and intuitive, as in every Audi, and quality is exceptional. There is an even more generous supply of passenger space, helped by the 35mm increase in length over the three-door S3 between the front and rear axles. The luggage compartment offers 380 litres of capacity in the basic configuration, 15 litres more than the S3. This expands to 1,220 litres with the seats folded down.
The instrument dials are grey, the needles white. Another S-specific feature can be found on the rev counter, which now includes a boost pressure indicator. The driver’s information system with rest recommendation is standard; the power-retractable on-board monitor powers up to display a special S3 screen when the ignition is turned. The optional leather multifunction sports steering wheel has been redesigned with the flat-bottomed rim. In models equipped with S tronic, it also has aluminium-look shift paddles. The pedals and footrest are also in aluminium.
The sports seats with pull-out seat cushions are also a new development. The seat coverings are a mix of Velvet leather and Fine Nappa leather in UK specification S3 Sportback models, with Alcantara / Leather a no cost option. Audi also offers optional S sport seats with integrated head restraints and diamond quilting.
The interior of the S3 Sportback, including the headlining, is in black with contrasting stitching. S logos adorn the door sill strips, the steering wheel, the gear/selector lever knob and the instruments. Dual-zone electronic climate control and the storage package are standard.
The new S3 Sportback can be equipped with all of the groundbreaking mobile infotainment and driver assistance solutions available for the model series. Audi connect is the name for a broad range of tailored online services that network drivers with their surroundings and rapidly supply them with key information in an easy-to-comprehend format. A new, even more sophisticated version of Audi connect will be available for the S3 Sportback later in 2013.
Audi has designed a variety of infotainment elements for using the new services, topped by MMI navigation plus with MMI touch. The high-end system boasts a super-flat, power-retractable, seven-inch monitor and a new operating concept in which MMI touch is integrated into the rotary pushbutton. The Audi Phone Box connects mobile phones to the vehicle in a convenient way, and the sound system from Bang & Olufsen offers exceptional sound reproduction, with LED light guides accentuating the woofers in the doors.
The assistance systems in the S3 come directly from the full-size class. The range begins with adaptive cruise control, which when combined with the safety system Audi pre sense front brings the car to a stop autonomously from speeds below 19mph, and continues through Audi side assist, Audi active lane assist and camera-based traffic sign recognition to the park assist system. There are also a number of convenience options, including adaptive light (also with variable headlight range control), the advanced key and the panoramic glass sunroof.