2024 Audi S3 receives a facelift and power surge

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2024 Audi S3 receives a facelift and power surge

Approaching four years since the debut of its current-generation S3, Audi is gearing up to introduce a refreshed version of this compact performance standout, showcasing significant updates in both hatchback and sedan forms. Clad in Audi Sport's signature camouflage, the facelifted S3 hints at an array of mechanical enhancements that are unusually comprehensive for a mid-cycle refresh.

Central to the revamped S3 is a more potent iteration of the well-known turbocharged 2.0-litre gasoline engine. This refined powertrain now delivers a robust 329 horsepower and 420 Newton-meters (310 pound-feet) of torque, marking a notable increase of 23 hp and 20 Nm (15 lb-ft) over its predecessor. This enhancement aligns the S3 with the performance figures of the Volkswagen Golf R 333 special edition, with which it shares mechanical underpinnings.

Improvements to the seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission complement the engine's augmentation. Audi has optimized gear shift times, cutting them in half during full acceleration, promising a more exhilarating driving experience. A significant addition to the S3's arsenal is a rear torque splitter borrowed from the RS3. While it foregoes the RS3's drift mode, it aims to heighten the S3's cornering prowess and driver confidence through superior rear-wheel torque distribution.

To match its increased power, the facelifted S3 is equipped with upgraded front brakes. The new 18-inch steel brakes boast a 357-mm diameter, now thicker by 4 mm, resulting in a 34-mm thickness. These are new twin-piston callipers and larger pads, enhancing the braking surface. Audi has also partnered with Falken to develop a new, more adhesive set of 235/35 tyres for the 19-inch wheels, ensuring a better grip.

Further mechanical refinements include a new pivot bearing for the MacPherson strut at the front axle and sturdier wishbones. With an enhanced progressive steering system and retuned dampers, Audi asserts these updates render the S3 sharper and more dynamic than ever.

The unveiling of the updated A3 family, including the S3, is anticipated later this year, with expectations that the engine lineup will reflect the recent Volkswagen Golf facelift. The RS3 is also slated for updates, potentially boosting the power of its five-cylinder engine beyond the current 401 hp (394 hp in Europe) without leaning on electrification.

Inquiries have been made to Audi USA regarding whether the American models will receive these European updates. However, enthusiasts might need to temper expectations for the availability of the S3 Sportback stateside.

Integrating these developments into the broader narrative, Audi's approach to refreshing the A3 and S3 models signifies a commitment to enhancing performance, driving dynamics, and appeal. With a keen eye on aesthetic and mechanical upgrades, Audi is set to reinforce its position in the compact performance segment, offering a compelling blend of power, precision, and sophistication in its latest iteration. The anticipation for the full reveal and subsequent launch underscores the brand's continuous innovation and the high expectations of its loyal following.


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