The S3 is all new for 2015, and is the performance version of Audi's compact, Golf based, A3. Available in sedan form only, it has a 2.0L turbocharged four cylinder producing 292 hp and 280 lb-ft and routing it a six-speed dual clutch automatic and quattro all-wheel drive. It sits on standard 18-inch wheels, with 19-inch available as an option
Inside, the S3 has leather seats with eight-way power adjustment and seat heating, dual zone climate control, and a rear seat pass-through. There are two trims, Progressiv and Technik. Progressive has xenon headlights with LED's for the daytime running lights and tail lights. It also comes with a panoramic sunroof, auto wipers and lights, Audi MMI infotainment interface with 5.8-inch screen. There is also Audi drive select, which allows the driver to choose steering assist, engine and transmission responsiveness and more. An optional convenience pack adds keyless entry, push button start, parking sensors and a rear-view camera. The S3 is rated to get 10.1 L/100 km city, 7.7 L/100 km highway.
The Technik trim adds navigation and a larger 7.0-inch touch screen. The stereo is boosted from the base 10-speaker system to a Bang & Olufsen 14-speaker system. You'll also get push button start, parking sensors front and rear, and rear view camera from the convenience package in addition to blind spot warning.
An advanced handling pack adds 19-inch wheels and magnetically adjustable dampers to the suspension. An LED lighting pack adds full LED headlights. The Technology package adds lane assist, adaptive cruise with stop and go, and forward collision warning. Finally, a Sport Seat package adds Nappa leather sport seats with manual adjustment and silver contrasting shoulder pads.
The biggest competition comes from inside VW, with the GTI and Golf R both offering similar performance, if much less luxury. Other places to look would be the BMW M235i or Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG. The Audi remains direct and well-planted on the road, and is an excellent drive
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