Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures


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AUDI S3   2016 2022
2016 2022

In April 2016, Audi introduced the refreshed A3 lineup, and, along with the rest of the range, the German carmaker upgraded the S3 as well.
Since the beginning, it was one of the hottest hot-hatches on the market, and it provided an all-wheel-drive system. Over time, while the A3 range evolved, the S3 was constantly upgraded. The third generation of the A3 was refreshed in 2016 and, two decades after the first generation.

The S3 was offered in four body versions: hatchback with 3- or 5-doors, cabriolet, and sedan. A new front fascia was introduced, with a taller single-frame grille between the standard full-LED headlights. There were a pair of air-scoops to cool the brakes on the sides, and those were not only for show. The S3 showed the S-logo from the brake-calipers through the 18” light-alloy wheels with a unique design. A discrete roof-spoiler was on top of the tailgate (for the hatchback versions), and four, not so discrete, exhausts were shown under the bumper.

Inside, the S3 featured S-logos on the flat-bottom steering wheel, the door-sills, seats, and gearstick. Two bucket seats in the front offered good support on the corners. Depending on the options, the instrument cluster could feature the Audi Virtual Cockpit digital display. The MMI (Multi Media Interface) infotainment unit was fitted as standard.

Despite not having complaints about the 300 hp engine offered on its predecessor, the 2016 S3 offered 10 hp more. It was mated as standard with a 6-speed manual for the 3-door hatchback. In selected markets, such as the U.K., the 5-door version and the sedan came equipped with a 7-speed automatic (dual-clutch) S-Tronic gearbox.

Full Description and Technical Specifications
AUDI S3   2013 2016
2013 2016

The 3rd generation of the Audi S3 was released in 2013 as the fastest 4-cylinder ever built by Audi.
The liter capacity was the same as for its predecessor, however, the 2.0-liter engine was developing with 35 more hp and surprisingly the fuel consumption was reduced.

The car was offered with both a manual and an automatic transmission and for an extra $1836.48 buyers could get the 6-speed twin-clutch S-tronic. The automatic transmission cut around 0.4 seconds in the sprint from 0 to 62 mph due to launch control system.

Compared to the older model, the new S3 was lighter by 60 kg, thus it was faster and had an improved handling.

The car was equipped with an adaptive dynamic system that offered five modes: comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency or individual. Even if it was a sports hatch, the suspension and the throttle response was adjusted depending on the driver’s preferences.

The new 2.0 TFSI engine boasted 300 hp and a torque of 380 Nm. The car reached 62 mph in 5.1 seconds.

While the car looked like a regular family hatchback, it was even faster than a pure sportscar like Nissan 370Z.

The nice exterior design was completed by quad exhausts and 18-inch alloy wheels, while the interior featured sport seats covered in quilted leather and a flat-bottomed steering wheel, branded with the already known S3 logo.

Full Description and Technical Specifications
AUDI S3   2008 2012
2008 2012

The second generation of the Audi A3 was introduced in 2004 and it took another two years for the S3 version to be launched.
In 2008, the entire range went through a mid-life cycle refresh.

The S versions for Audi started with the S1 rally-car in the ’80s. From then on, all the S-models featured two main common attributes: turbocharged engines and all-wheel-drive systems, named Quattro.

The 2008 Audi S3 was offered with 3- and 5-door versions. The restyled model featured a new front fascia with the singleframe grille. Unlike other A3 models, the grille was designed with seven vertical silver bars. The same number of LEDs were installed in each headlight for the daytime running lights. From the side, the aluminum look of the door-mirrors was a standard feature for any Audi S-model. Despite sharing the same platform with the same wheelbase, the Sportback (5-door) version was longer by 70 mm (2.75”).

Inside, the S3 featured standard sport seats, but a pair of bucket-seats was available from the options list. Aluminum pedals, three different styles of inlay, and a black or silver headlining created an exclusively sporty look. Depending on the body version, the rear seats offered more or less headroom.

The engine was 2.0-liter gasoline. It featured a turbocharged and direct-injected fuel system, which made it more fuel-efficient, and more responsive as well. It was mated as standard to a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic (dual-clutch) was offered as an option. The all-wheel-drive system was standard as well.

Full Description and Technical Specifications
AUDI S3   2006 2008
2006 2008

In 2006, Audi introduced the second generation of the S3 version.
It was available as a 3- and 5-door version. It was the most powerful hot-hatch on the market.

Audi started the revolution of permanent all-wheel-drive back in the ’80s when the first Audi S1 Quattro was introduced to the rally stage and take victory after victory from its opponents. Since then, all the Audi S-models were with all-wheel-drive and the S3 was no exception.

From the outside, it looked almost like a regular Audi A3, but few clues could tell the difference. The front single-frame grille was surrounded by a silver rim. The aerodynamic package was different and the door-mirrors were silver as well. In the back, a roof-spoiler enhanced the aerodynamic flow to the back. Under the bumper, two tailpipes were discretely showing their presence.

Inside, the S3 was fitted with sport-bucket seats in the front. The pedals, gear-knob, and air-vents were made out of aluminum. The red and silver S3 badge was found on the leather seats and the steering wheel as well.

The powerplant was a 2.0-liter gasoline engine featuring direct fuel injection and a turbocharger. It could boost up to 1.2-bar of pressure (17.4 psi), which was unusual for a production vehicle. Power went to all four wheels via a 6-speed manual fitted as standard and a Haldex center differential.

Full Description and Technical Specifications
AUDI S3   2001 2003
2001 2003

A more powerful version of the Audi A3 was introduced in 1999 under the nameplate of Audi S3.
The S3 shared its platform with the TT, as well as with the VW Golf, Seat Leon, and Skoda Octavia.

The facelifted model came to life in 2001 and featured both exterior design updates, as well as improved performance.

Aesthetically, the most important changes were the new turn indicators that were now integrated in the headlights, revised front wings and rear light clusters. Inside, the interior trim was slightly upgraded with a digital clock and different audio packages.

The 1.8-liter turbocharged gasoline engine was upgraded with a variable valve timing technology, the new S3 now benefiting from a 15 hp boost.

The standard features available with the S3 included xenon HID headlamps, headlights washers, fog lamps, 17-inch alloy wheels, Recaro leather seats, climate control, electronic traction control, and an electronic stability program.

Stand-alone options included a premium Bose audio system, a trunk-mounted 6-disc CD changer, metallic paint, bigger 18-inch alloys, a glass sunroof, parking assist, heated front seats, cruise control, and part-leather combinations of seat upholstery.

Although marketed as “Quattro”, the S3 was actually equipped with a Haldex system that was designed to adjust the traction depending on the grip level.

The Audi S3 was not available for purchase on the North American market.

Full Description and Technical Specifications
AUDI S3   1999 2001
1999 2001

Audi launched the first generation S3 model in 1999.
This sportier version on the Audi A3 shared its A platform with cars like Audi TT or Seat Leon and was fitted with a 1.8L turbocharged petrol engine delivering 210-bhp. This de-tuned variant of the Audi TT engine later received a power boost of 15 bhp through a new variable valve timing system. New features included an electronic traction control/stability program, xenon headlamps, climate control, optional cruise control and heated front seats. The entry-premium Audi S3 received its first - and only - facelift in 2001, when it underwent some slight changes on its front and side design.

Full Description and Technical Specifications

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