2020 Audi S3: prices, specification and performance

The latest version of the Audi S3 hot hatchback is now on sale in the UK – and it’s also available as a sleek four-door sports saloon

James Allen
Oct 22, 2020

You have lots of options if you’re shopping around for a fast new family car, and there’s now another car for you to consider: the latest version of the Audi S3 hot hatch. This speedy machine is similar in many ways to the VW Golf R - the high-performance version of the Golf, as Volkswagen and Audi are part of the same company.

Picking up where the previous version left off, the new Audi S3 is one of the fastest and most powerful performance hatchbacks on sale right now. Under the bonnet is a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine that produces a substantial 310hp and 400Nm of torque. As a result, the car’s claimed 0-62mph acceleration time of 4.8 seconds is fast enough to put some two-seater sports cars to shame.

To complement the performance, Audi has given the S3 a more aggressive and sportier look than the regular Audi A3. Details up front include a re-styled bumper and a black surround for the big grille, and there are four shiny exhaust tips poking out from underneath the rear bumper.

Audi has also crammed a decent amount of technology into the new S3. Standard equipment ranges from go-faster bits like bigger brakes and stiffer suspension, to features like a digital instrument display, a 10.1-inch touchscreen media system that you can connect your smartphone to and driver aids like adaptive cruise control and an emergency braking system.

That level of performance and in-car tech does mean the new Audi S3 is priced towards the top of the hot hatch pecking order. Prices start at £37,900, which puts the car on par price-wise with its closest rivals from BMW and Mercedes. There’s a small premium to pay if you’d prefer the four-door saloon, as prices for that version begin at £38,465.

Quick facts

  • 310hp and 400Nm of torque on offer
  • Rapid 0-62mph time of 4.8 seconds
  • All-wheel drive and automatic gearbox
  • Saloon and Sportback versions
  • Priced from £37,900 upwards
  • Available to order now

2020 Audi S3 engine and performance

Audi has kept things very simple on the engine front with the new S3: there is one, a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine. It’s a very powerful engine on paper - Audi says it produces an impressive 310hp and 400Nm of torque - giving it similar performance to the previous version.

That amount of power means the new S3 is very fast. According to Audi, both the Sportback - that's the hatchback - and Saloon versions are able to accelerate to 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds (no doubt helped by the standard-fit all-wheel drive system minimising the amount of wheelspin), and the top speed is limited on both cars to 155mph. This means the S3 has similar performance to purpose-built sports cars, such as the Porsche 718 Cayman and the Alpine A110.

Fuel economy is also fairly decent, considering the power and performance on offer. Official figures show the Audi S3 is able to return up to 39mpg, which means the car is slightly more frugal than rivals like the BMW 1 Series M135i (up to 36mpg) and the A35 AMG version of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class (up to 36mpg).

2020 Audi S3 dimensions and practicality

Audi hasn’t revealed full interior details for the new S3 Sportback and S3 Saloon, though they should be fairly similar to the regular A3 models on which they’re based. That means both cars should have good amounts of room in the front and rear rows for the driver and passengers - though adults who are over six feet tall may be left wanting for head room in the back.

Both S3 versions have a fairly good amount of boot space, too: with the rear seats in place, the S3 Sportback offers 325 litres of room, whereas the S3 Saloon is a bit bigger at 370 litres. However, because of the way the car’s under-the-skin performance parts are packaged, they don’t have the same practicality as the standard A3 Sportback (380 litres) and A3 saloon (425 litres) on which they’re based. You can blame the parts needed to send power to the rear wheels as well as the front ones for this reduced boot space.

2020 Audi S3 specifications and in-car tech

Being a performance-orientated car, the Audi S3 comes with lots of sporty parts that aren’t available on the regular Audi A3. Larger disc brakes, leather-trimmed sports seats and sports suspension come as standard on the S3, and there’s also an optional adaptive suspension system that can be made softer, for better comfort, or stiffer, to provide a more responsive and sporty feel, depending on the driving mode that’s selected.

Other tech that’ll come as standard on the new Audi S3 includes a fully digital instrument display, built-in sat-nav that can provide real-time traffic information and safety aids such as autonomous emergency braking and a lane keep assist that can help you stay within your lane on a motorway.

2020 Audi S3 prices and delivery dates

Prices for the Audi S3 start at £37,900 for the Sportback five-door hatchback model, and at £38,465 for the saloon version. The first deliveries are due to commence in autumn 2020.

 

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