By Sala Masindane
We all have people, superheroes, or cars that we idolized at a young age. Often, the experience of meeting these is usual an anti-climax. The Audi S3 is one those cars that I shared a similar feeling growing up but never had the opportunity to drive. Santa heard my wishes and at the close of the year I had the pleasure of spending time with the fourth-generation Audi S3 TFSI Quattro Sportback.
The hot hatchback S3 also boasts a single-framegrille with a large rhombus patterned and large air inlets.At the rear end, the large diffuser and itsfour exhaust tailpipes accentuate the vehicle’s sportiness. It also stands out from the rest of the range with S model specific bumpers, and other S detailing across the car.
Inside, the S theme is continued with S seats and steering wheel. There’s a 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment angled towards the driver as well as a standard digital instrument cluster.The cabin is premium, and the introduction of the compact gear knob has created additional space on the console. Our music needs were also taken care of through the optional Bang & Olufsen sound system. Rear headroom and legroom do feel a bit cramped but this to be expected from a hatchback.
Powering the S3 is a 2.0-litre engine with outputs of 213kW/400Nm and is paired to a seven-speed S tronic transmission gearbox which sends power to all four wheels via Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system. The new S3 handles and rides smoothly while offering comfort through most surfaces. It’s also receptive around twisties. Power is available on tap and that didn’t seem to upset the consumption. Audi claims figures of 8l/100km, and we managed a return of 8.4 l/100km during our stint.
The narrative has always been that the Audi S3 is the understudy of its older sibling the RS3. However, if you look at the hatch in isolation, not forgetting its competitors, it’scomposed on the road without bringing attention to itself as the RS3 would be due to the pops and crackles. The S3 is fun and enjoyable. It does lack in terms of driver engagement compared to the likes of the Honda Civic Type R or the BMW 1 Series M135i but those are more performance based then the all-round offering.
The Audi S3 Audi S3 TFSI Quattro Sportback is priced from R815,000and comes standard with a five-year Audi Freeway Plan.
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