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by Adam Lynton
Packing a new 296-hp 2.0-liter direct-injection turbo engine, the new S3 is set to take on the premium hot-hatch market in Europe.
Hot on the heels of the A3 Sportback comes the reveal of the new S3, the two variants of the same model heading to Paris for their unveiling next week. The performance-oriented S3 packs a brand-new 2.0-liter TFSI turbo four, delivering 296 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque to all four wheels. Based on VW's MQB platform, the new S3 is a good 60 kg lighter than its predecessor, making for an optimized power-to-weight ratio. Just don't look for it in US showrooms, as American customers will get a new A3 sedan.
Audi claims a 0-62 mph time of 5.1 seconds with the 6-speed dual-clutch transmission, and 5.4 seconds with the manual, representing a good half-second drop over the model it replaces, all the while returning 20% better fuel economy. Upgraded suspension, brakes, electric power steering, and 18-inch alloys are all present, while drivers are given the chance to adjust settings such as throttle response, power steering assistance, and the available magnetic dampers. Sports seats andf a flat-bottom steering wheel upgrade the interior, while a single-frame grille, roof spoiler, integrated diffuser and four chrome oval tailpipes distinguish the S3 from the standard A3.