Earlier this year, Audi unveiled the latest generation of its A3 compact sedan, which picked up a whole host of upgrades. Now, it’s time to see how these changes affect its sporty variant, the S3.
While we first saw a glimpse of the 2022 Audi S3 earlier this summer, the automaker has now seen fit to roll out some more information regarding the version destined for US shores. Like the A3, the S3 rocks a much more aggressive look than before, with harder angles lending a much more interesting appearance. The S3’s body is the same 1.6 inches longer and 0.8 inch wider than the model that came before it, while the body sits 0.6 inch lower to the ground than the A3, thanks to a standard sport suspension. Out back, the exhaust tips are larger, just in case all four of ’em weren’t pronounced enough.
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Inside, Audi takes cues from its larger luxury cars and translates them well into a smaller form factor. Sporting even more angles than before, the S3’s new interior looks far more premium than in the past, thanks in part to bits like the new power sport seats, because diamond stitching always ramps up the fancy. The seats carry some green cred, too, as they’re made mostly from recycled plastic bottles.
There’s plenty of tech tucked away in the 2022 S3. Even though it’s a compact car, the S3 can be equipped with an available surround-view camera system, while an also-optional head-up display can help keep distraction to a minimum. If you’re keen on screens, you’ll likely dig the standard 10.1-inch touchscreen running the latest version of Audi’s MMI infotainment system. A 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster is standard, but a 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit upgrade is available for those looking to get the biggest and most feature-packed screens possible. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are, of course, standard.
The 2022 Audi S3’s powertrain also gets a bit of a juicin’. In Europe, the S3’s 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 will put out about 305 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, improvements of 17 and 15 respectively, but the engine has not yet been given an official rating in the US, so Audi can’t confirm specific output for the States just yet. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission will be standard in both markets, though, as will all-wheel drive. The Euro-spec S3 will reach 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds, so this tiny sedan is no slouch.
But there’s more to how the S3 will scoot than just the engine. A new optional S sport suspension will bring adaptive dampening into the fold, changing its characteristics based on vehicle mode. There’s also a new handling controller buried in the car’s electronics that promises better communication between the all-wheel-drive system, the stability control and the optional adaptive suspension. It’s not the electrified-platform vehicle dynamics processor the automaker introduced earlier this year, but it sounds along those lines, and I’ll be looking forward to seeing how it all gels once Audi lets us take a crack at the S3 on the road.
Suffice it to say, there’s a whole lot of newness going on with the 2022 Audi S3. While we don’t yet have pricing for US models, the S3 heading to Germans in October will start around 47,000 Euro (about $56,000, directly converted). For additional context, the 2020 Audi S3 starts around $43,000.