2015 Audi S3 Sedan: Small Car. Big Speed.
The small luxury car segment is quickly becoming the most important segment for carmakers like Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Cadillac. As such, we’re seeing more and more time and money invested in the development of cars like the Cadillac ATS, Mercedes CLA and BMW 1 Series. Not one to be left out, Audi just lifted the covers off the 2015 A3 and S3 at the New York Auto Show. The new A3 is a great car in its own right, but it’s the 2015 Audi S3 Sedan that really will shake things up.
Set for US delivery sometime in summer 2014, the 2015 Audi S3 is going to be quick. Very quick. The sprint from 0-60 miles-per-hour takes a scant 4.7 seconds. To put that in the proper perspective, the 2014 Audi R8 4.2 Coupe takes 4.4 seconds to hit the 60 mark. Like I said, quick. The A3’s top speed, like most other Euro luxury-speedsters, is electronically limited to 155 mph.
Power comes from a 2.0 liter turbo four-cylinder TFSI engine with dial fuel injection making 296 horse and 280 pound-feet of torque. Other go-fast engine upgrades include an exhaust manifold integrated into the cylinder head, Audi’s valvelift system and a rotary valve module for thermal management. Even with 296 horse, the S3 manages 34.1 mpg combined with the S tronic transmission or 33.6 mpg with the six-speed stick.
The 2014 S3 should be awfully fun in the twisties, too. Under the standard 18 inch wheels are some pretty big brakes: 13.4 in discs up front. The suspension is lowered about an inch from the standard A3 and stiffened to handle the added stresses of spirited driving. The Audi Drive Select vehicle dynamic system comes standard and the Audi magnetic ride damper control system is available as an option.
Sport seats, “S” badging, aluminum, a Bang & Olufsen audi system and a very thin pop-up nav system adorn the inside. It all looks very Audi S. The only thing I don’t like are the two googly-eyed A/C vents above the center instrument stack. They actually kind of creep me out. The split-folding rear seats are useful, though, since the trunk isn’t exactly huge.
With prices starting around $39,000, the 2015 Audi S3 Sedan is fairly affordable and is a much more palatable option than the overpriced Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG ($47,450) or the pot-bellied BMW 1 Series. Audi claims that the Audi A3 and S3 are the brand’s entry level cars in terms of price and size only, and the A3 & S3 will get all of the technology of the bigger siblings. We’ll have to wait until next year to find out.