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How quick is the Audi S3 from 0-100km/h?

Audi's S3 still out-sprints rivals, and there's a new generation on the way.

Audi’s S3 is currently the entry-point to its performance S range after the discontinuation of the S1 with the previous-generation car.

Exactly how fast is the S3? As of 2020 Audi claims a 0-100km/h sprint time of 4.8 seconds for both the sedan and Sportback (hatchback) variants, with the slightly heavier Cabriolet (convertible) version coming in a smidge slower at 5.3 seconds.

The sedan and hatch, therefore, are the fastest amongst their key Mercedes-AMG CLA35 (0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds) and BMW M235i xDrive (0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds) rivals.

Independent testing from multiple outlets have returned real-world numbers surprisingly close, from between 4.8 seconds (the actual number) and 5.1 seconds to 100km/h.

Motivating all S3 variants is a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine producing 213kW/380Nm. This is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, driving all four wheels via the brand’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system. The S3 has an electronically-limited top-speed of 250km/h.

The S3 is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine producing 213kW/380Nm. The S3 is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine producing 213kW/380Nm.

Interestingly, this is why Audi says it will not be building an S1, as the new-generation small car’s MQB A0 platform does not support all-wheel drive, and thus will not live up to the promise set by its S performance sub-brand.

The S3 currently costs $64,200 before on-roads for the Sportback, $65,800 for the sedan, or $73,400 for the convertible.

Want to go faster? Audi also offers its RS3 sedan/hatchback with a blisteringly quick 0-100km/h time of just 4.1 seconds thanks to its 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo upping power to 294kW/480Nm. 

We should also note that in the second half of 2020 the next-generation S3 is set to arrive on Australian shores. Again powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder mated to a dual-clutch automatic, the new generation Sportback and sedan at least will maintain the current S3's 0-100km/h sprint time of 4.8 seconds, despite a bump in power to 228kW/400Nm. It will also maintain the current S3's max speed of 250km/h. 

Innovations on the new-generation car will be completely overhauled cabin technology and design, as well as variable-ratio steering, and lower, sportier suspension with the option for adaptive dampers.

The new S3 will share its underpinnings and much of its technology with its mainstream cousin, the new-generation Golf R. The Golf R is also all-wheel drive and its 2.0-litre turbo has even more power than the current S3, with outputs set (internationally, at least) to 235kW/420Nm allowing for a 0-100km/h sprint time of just 4.7 seconds. According to the latest information, however, the new Golf R is not set to arrive in Australia until 2022.

Audi has not yet revealed full pricing and specification for the 2021 S3 range, so stay tuned next year as we inch closer to its launch window.

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