The Volkswagen core brand has been keeping itself rather busy lately by introducing no fewer than three high-performance R models. We’re talking about the Arteon R, Arteon R Shooting Brake, and the Tiguan R, with a Golf R to be revealed in the coming months. They all share the VW Group’s EA888 evo4 engine, pushing out an ample 320 horsepower and 420 Newton-meters (310 pound-feet) of torque.
Why are we talking about VW models in an Audi article? Because the new S3 Sportback and S3 Sedan are expected to use just about the same turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine. Interestingly, reputable German magazine Auto Motor und Sport claims the dynamic duo will use a slightly more powerful specification of the aforementioned EA888 evo4.
The magic number would have to be 330 hp or an extra 10 hp over VW’s own R models. There’s no word about torque, so it will either remain intact or get a minor increase as well. All-wheel drive is a given, as is a standard dual-clutch, seven-speed S tronic gearbox in charge of sending the TFSI’s increased output to the road. The Quattro will actually be an evolution of what you’ll find in the TT, splitting power evenly between the axles in normal driving conditions or sending as much as 100 percent to each axle depending on the situation.
The Audi S3 models are also bound to receive progressive steering more pronounced than before and with three modes to pick from: Comfort, Balanced, and Dynamic. 19-inch bespoke wheels with model-specific Bridgestone tires are also on the menu, along with new dampers to sharpen up handling and provide a better ride.
Engineers haven’t fiddled with the suspension as it will be largely carried over from the previous S3, with a MacPherson setup at the front and a multi-link configuration for the rear. The wheelbase will also remain pretty much the same, but spy shots have shown there will be some significant differences. Audi has already previewed the S3 with a camouflaged prototype of the Sportback flaunting large air intakes and a quad exhaust system.
The interior will be essentially borrowed from the A3, but with the usual sporty bits added, including body-hugging front seats and some visual tweaks like different stitching and S3-exclusive trim. The S3 has been spotted at the Nürburgring without any camouflage whatsoever, so an official debut should take place in the coming weeks.