After seeing the new Audi A3, we were very excited to see the sportier S3. Just the standard A3 brought new, fresh styling that was more aggressive than the previous model, so we were excited to see just how sporty the S3 would look. Thankfully, we no longer have to wait, as the 2021 Audi S3 has just hit the scene.
Both the Audi S3 Sportback and Sedan have officially been revealed and they look surprisingly different from the A3 on which they’re based. Of course, the S3 isn’t drastically changed from the A3, this is Audi after all, but there are more differences than we expected and it seems Audi took a bolder approach to its styling.
For instance, the new Singleframe grille is now much more pronounced than before, thanks to its more aggressive honeycomb inserts and the fact that it seems to plunge lower into the front bumper. In fact, it looks like it’s almost touching the ground, thanks to loads of black trim.
The front air intakes are also much larger and more aggressive, the hoodline has Audi’s new triple-vent styling and the headlights have two little vertical LED bars in their lower portions. The Audi S3 also seems to get black mirror caps, which is unusual on an ‘S’ model. Typically, Audi ‘S’ cars get silver mirror caps and Audi Sport models get black ones. So maybe Audi is changing up its little design cues.
Unfortunately, for us Americans, we won’t be getting the better version of the S3 — the Sportback. We’ll only be getting the S3 Sedan but at least it looks good too.
Hopefully it’s as sporty as it is to drive. Under the hood, the new Audi S3 will pack a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 306 horsepower (310 PS) and 295 lb-ft of torque. That’s not any different than the previous-generation S3, really but it’s still quick. According to Audi 0-60 mph happens in 4.8 seconds.
Paired with that four-cylinder engine is the same seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox that powered the previous-generation car but it now has a free-wheeling feature to help improve shift speed. It worked well in the last car and it still works well in most Audis today. So don’t fix what ain’t broke, I guess.
The new Audi S3 gets a four-link rear suspension setup and new adaptive dampers for the sport suspension option. Audi hopes to create a more noticeable difference between comfort and sport modes. There’s also a new brake-by-wire system, using an electronic brake booster.
Inside the Audi S3, it’s your pretty standard sporty Audi interior. It looks just like the Audi A3 S-Line but with some even more red stitching and ambient lighting. According to Audi, the new sport seats get an as-standard upholstery made from recycled materials. That will help customers who want animal free interiors.
What we’re more excited about with this Audi S3 is its new chassis. The previous-gen S3 was quick too and it had a nice interior and some good styling. But it was just a bit dull to drive. We’re hoping that for this new car Audi has improved the handling and dynamics to a point where it actually provides some driver thrills.