2020 Audi S3: hot saloon variant spotted ahead of A3's reveal

Audi S3 saloon front two

Audi’s new generation A3 will appear at September’s Frankfurt motor show, with 300bhp+ S3 to follow soon after

Audi’s next-gen S3 has been caught testing in saloon form ahead of the mainstream A3‘s reveal at September’s Frankfurt motor show.

The S3, which is set to get more power and a significant technology upgrade, will be part of an eleven-strong next-generation A3 model line-up due before 2022. 

Spotted previously in five-door hatchback form, using the current car’s MFA platform, the A3 will also have four-door saloon and five-door liftback variants. The latter is expected to take the Sportback name from the five-door hatchback, while that variant will be simply badged A3, as the three-door A3 was discontinued back in 2017.

2019 Audi A3 to feature ‘big-time’ changes

Regular and S3-badged convertible models will complete the line-up, although, as is currently the case, there will be no RS3 drop-top.

The other variants will also gain S3 and RS3-badged models, meaning eleven cars will make up the A3 range. With competition from the new BMW M135i and Mercedes-AMG A35 – both set to come in four-door forms – covering the 300-335bhp bracket, the S3 is expected to stay within these limits, with 325bhp mooted by sources.

If it follows the example set by the TTS, with which the current S3 shares an engine, it will get a petrol particulate filter. This has reduced power slightly to 302bhp, but a boost of 15lb ft has taken torque up to 295lb ft. The TTS ditched its six-speed manual gearbox for a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, too. 

The RS3, meanwhile, will likely increase in power, with 400bhp-plus opposition from the Mercedes-AMG A45 on the way. It’s expected to keep the 2.5-litre five-cylinder unit from the current car. 

This 11-car line-up will cover all the bases covered by the Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchback and saloon and CLA coupé ranges, including the 35 and 45-badged AMG variants.

The styling of the new A3, as seen on the spied development car, will follow the rest of the Audi range with a more geometric front-end treatment and sharper tail-lights. Inside, there’ll be Audi’s Virtual Cockpit as standard, with a choice of two infotainment screen sizes.

Read more about the S3-rivalling AMG A35 here

Read more: 

Audi A3 liftback to replace three-door hatchback in next generation

Mercedes-AMG A35 2019 review

New BMW 1 Series and M135i revealed

 

Source: – autocar
2020 Audi S3: hot saloon variant spotted ahead of A3's reveal