The Audi S3 – one of South Africa's most desirable hot hatches – has received a power upgrade to coincide with a facelift to the Ingolstadt-based manufacturer's premium hatchback range. It should arrive in the final quarter of 2016.
The most significant development is an update to the turbocharged 2.0-litre four cylinder motor that produces 228 kW and 400 Nm, up from the current version 221 kW and 380 Nm. Bear in mind, however, that South African-spec Audi S3 engines have been detuned to operate at higher altitude and in hotter-than-average temperatures. While the power output of the current SA-spec cars sits at 210 kW, we expect the updated S3 to produce around 220 kW.
Meanwhile, the six-speed S-tronic dual clutch transmission has been replaced by a newly-developed seven-speed S-tronic 'box, and there have been revisions to the car's electronic stabilisation control (ESC) system. Performance figures have not been announced, but as the current S3 is claimed to hit 100 kph from standstill in 5.0 seconds, with the introduction of a revised gearbox and more power, we predict the time will drop to 4.8 seconds.
While the exterior is not dramatically different compared with the outgoing model, the biggest changes appear in the cabin. The Audi Virtual Cockpit will feature in the Audi A3 for the first time and we'll see technological features such as traffic jam assist, cross traffic alert and inductive charging fitted too.
Watch the Audi S3 sedan take on the BMW M235i