Audi S3 Sportback 2.0 TFSI S Tronic Review
More than a hot hatch...

Story and Photos by Benjamin G. Kline
1 Apr 2014

Introduction, Exterior

The hot hatch buyer has always been spoilt for choice even in our challenging local climate. Recently Volkswagen unveiled their latest iteration of the Golf R based on the Mk VII Golf. Both the S3 and Golf R punch out similar figures on the charts and they should. Both are more than just related, they share the same heart.

Under the bonnets of both hatches is the latest third generation EA888 that’s also present in the current Golf GTI. Despite the increase in horsepower, the engine’s wall thickness remains as little as 3mm. Helping to save five kilograms over the generation before.



Despite the heady performance of the S3, this Audi hot hatch doesn’t scream out its performance potential every chance it gets. While keen observers would be able to spot the minor differences, most would pass off the S3 as the A3.

While the previous generation used to be offered as a three-door hatch, the latest generation is only offered as a Sportback which is Audi speak for five-door hatch. A direct effect of the less practical three-door configuration.

That decision has led to a design that’s much longer than S3s in the past. And the new design makes the S3 appear more like a smaller sized Avant.

The S3 sits 20mm closer to the ground than the standard A3 which gives it a mean stance. That is further accentuated by the presence of larger front intakes and side skirts. The most obvious clue that it’s an S3 are the quad pipes flanking each corner of the rear diffuser. New 18-inch wheels hide 340mm four pot brakes in the front with calipers painted black and adorned with the ‘S’ logo. 

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Engine Capacity 1984cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 9.3:1
Bore x Stroke (82.5 x 92.8)mm
Power 280bhp @ 5100rpm
Torque 380Nm @ 1800rpm
Power to Weight 193.8 bhp per ton


Acceleration 5s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 250 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 14.5 km/L
Drag Coefficient 0.340

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed 6-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission
Drive Type F4
Steering Electric


Body Type 5 Door Hatch
(L x W x H)
(4324 x 1785 x 1404) mm
Wheelbase 2631 mm
Turning Circle 5.45 metres
Kerb Weight 1445 kg
Boot Capacity 340 L
Boot Capacity (folded) 1180 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 55 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Ventilated Discs