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by Adam Lynton
Following the reveal of the 2014 S3 hatchback last September, Audi has now introduced the five-door Sportback variant with 300 horsepower and a 5-second 0-62 time.
Audi has joined Mercedes at the new high-performance hot-hatch party, revealing its new S3 Sportback the same day its German counterpart takes the lid off the A45 AMG. Clearly there's no comparison when it comes to performance - the RS3 will be the A45's true rival - but the overhauled four-pot in the S3 Sportback is no slouch. Audi has tuned the 2.0-liter TFSI to deliver 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, while the addition of new tech such as dual injection and Audi's valvelift system results in impressive efficiency.
The Volkswagen Group (of which Audi is part) plans to use this same engine in other hot models including the next Golf R. When mated to the six-speed dual-clutch transmission with paddle shifters, the S3 Sportback can sprint from 0-62 mph in 5.0 seconds. The six speed manual requires just half a second more. The five-door car has a curb weight of 1,445 kg - 70kg less than the outgoing model - its new lightweight construction contributing to improved performance. Power is transferred to the new 18-inch alloys via Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system, riding on a 25mm lowered suspension. The progressive steering system further improves handling.
Audi Drive Select comes as standard on the new S3 Sportback, giving drivers the choice of comfort, dynamic and efficiency modes, with a push of a button altering the characteristics of the electronic gas pedal, shift points on dual-clutch gearbox and the steering ratio accordingly. Exterior styling highlights include an S-specific single-frame grille, four chrome oval tailpipes, a roof spoiler, integrated rear diffuser, and faux-aluminum mirror housings. The A3 Sportback on which this S3 is based has yet to be confirmed for the US, but it's hoped that both models will join the new A3 sedan at some point down the line after the new S3 Sportback is unveiled next month in Geneva.