2020 Audi S3 revealed: price, specs and release date

Nick Lette van Oostvoorne
August 12, 2020

Audi has revealed the all-new Audi S3 Sportback and Saloon – its alternative to the likes of the Mercedes-AMG A35, BMW M135i and VW Golf R.

  • New Audi S3 revealed
  • Sportback and Saloon models
  • 2.0-litre 4cyl turbo engine
  • 310hp and 400Nm
  • quattro four-wheel drive
  • 0-60mph in 4.8 seconds
  • On sale now
  • Costs from £38,000

The new Audi S3 could well be the perfect hot hatch if you reckon the Golf R is a bit ordinary, the Mercedes AMG A35 is a bit showy, and the BMW M135i is a bit, well, ugly. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

The new S3 Sportback looks more aggressive than ever.

2021 Audi S3 Sportback design

The new Audi S3 Sportback looks pretty similar to S Line versions of the standard A3. Only it gets plenty of extra black bits. The massive hexagonal grille is a dead ringer, but look closer and you’ll spot chunkier mesh and the all-important S badge.

Four exhausts, but are they all real?

The intakes under the headlights get some contrasting black trim that matches the new black splitter but the three tiny vents between the headlights are lifted from the A3 S Line. The vents under the brake lights don’t look particularly functional, and we can only hope that all four of the S3’s exhausts are real.

The S3 Sportback produces 310hp and 400Nm of torque.

2021 Audi S3 Sportback engine and driving

Audi’s fitted the new S3 with the same basic 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine as the old car. They’ve only tweaked it a bit, so now it produces 310hp instead of the old car’s 300hp, but it produces the same 400Nm of torque as the old model.

All-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox come as standard. 

Audi says the new S3 Sportback will do 0-60 in 4.8 seconds. Which is actually a tenth of a second slower than the old car. The top speed is the same as the old S3 – both cars are limited to 155mph.

Every S3 comes with a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox as standard. They also get suspension that’s 15mm lower than the standard A3 and 18-inch alloy wheels as standard.

Adaptive dampers will likely be a worthwhile extra.

You can also pay extra to get adaptive dampers that let you choose between firmer, sporty setups or softer, more comfortable ones. Considering the size of the potholes we get in the UK, you’re probably going want to tick that on the options list.

A flat-bottomed wheel is among the biggest changes inside.

2021 Audi S3 Sportback interior

The latest A3 already gets a really smart-looking interior. So Audi didn’t go wild changing things for the new S3. The dashboard gets the same sweeping design. And those air vents STILL look like they’ve been pinched off a Lamborghini Urus.

More supportive sports seats come with S3-specific stitching.

There’s loads of cool brushed metal trim. Just like on high-spec A3s. But the flat-bottomed steering wheel is an S3 exclusive. The seats are a bit racier than the ones in a regular A3. And you can get them with some pretty bold contrasting stitching if you fancy. How does bright yellow sound?

Passenger space is unchanged from the standard A3.

The new Audi S3 Sportback is about a centimetre longer than the regular A3, but it’s no wider. This means you get the same amount of space inside, so it should be fine for four adults but carrying five will be a bit of a squeeze.

They won’t be able to carry as much luggage, though. Because Audi’s used up some of the A3’s boot space by fitting four-wheel drive. You can carry 325 litres of stuff in the S3 compared with 380 in the regular A3 Sportback.

Audi’s also revealed the new S3 Saloon.

2021 Audi S3 Saloon

Audi’s also revealed the new S3 Saloon. There’s also a new S3 saloon if you fancy something a bit different. Besides the swoopy bodywork, it’s pretty much identical to the standard S3 Sportback – even down to its 325-litre boot capacity.

Both Saloon and Sportback are available in ‘Edition One’ guise. 

2021 Audi S3 Edition One

Audi loves to make a big song and dance about its new cars, usually by selling some special edition version. For the S3, it’s called these limited editions the ‘Edition One’, which isn’t particularly imaginative.

These top-spec versions get all the same bells and whistles as the regular car with Nappa leather sports seats, bigger 19-inch alloys and exclusive paint colours. There’s Tango Red for the saloon and Python Yellow for the Sportback. Which is eye-catching, at least…

Vorsprung versions won’t go on sale until later in 2020.

2021 Audi S3 price and release date

The new S3 is on sale now. The Sportback version starts from just under £38,000 and the Saloon costs about £500 more. But, there’s a catch – you can only get entry-level models for now.

You’ll have to wait until later in 2020 if you want to get your hands on a high-spec Vorsprung S3 with a slightly bigger digital display and more tech.

Read our in-depth Audi S3 review for full details on the outgoing Audi S3.

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