Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing – Audi S3 Sedan

Audi S3 Sedan

LIKE THE proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing, the Audi S3 Sedan looks relatively anonymous, but packs a lupine howl and lope.

The relatively diminutive set of wheels is not particularly flashy to behold. It presents the Audi family badge and the prerequisite shaping that belies its true dimensions. The grille of the S3 is a bit more brightly embellished with the big, hungry air inlets, and the brushed steel finish of the mirrors are a bit of a give-away. The lights are sleeker, and in the rear the four exhaust pipes hint at what might be achieved.

Inside the cabin, it’s cosy. This is a smallish car and the biggish folks will feel the squeeze, albeit on the comfort of Nappa leather sports seats. That said, there’s enough room to manoeuvre and everything is adjustable to comfort levels. In this snug environment, the two-litre engine whips out quite a few horses.

Audi S3 Sedan cockpit
Cockpit of the S3 offers a range of useful features.

The 213kW of power are not felt immediately, but let your foot weigh down on the accelerator and whip the necks of your passengers as you hurtle from 0-100kmh in under five seconds. The effect is impressive, and given the diminutive nature of the S3, it’s a screamer.

Information Overload

The sounds may be piped in, but depending on your choice of driving mode, it will burble and growl as you pick your way through the traffic or charge down sweeping roads (of which there aren’t many in Singapore’s increasingly congested and patchy roads).

The delivery of information is key to managing the S3 in full flight. The digital dials can be partitioned according to your preference, with speed, navigation, music, etcetera, presented within sight. A head up display would have been handy.

Audi S3 Sedan instrument
Instrument information can be adjusted to the driver’s needs.

The D steering also has a bunch of functions within reach of your thumbs, including changing driving mode, should you wish to switch from comfort to dynamic, allowing the engine tone to change and the steering to stiffen.

The secondary features of the system are also accessible without too much fuss on the pop-up display and the centre console. Such failsafe redundancy probably adds to the cost of the car, but ensures that — provided you’re willing to figure them all out — you can access anything with minimal effort (other than cranial processing).

Audi S3 Sedan
The nimble Audi S3 Sedan.

Booted into action, the S3 is nimble and responsive, with the right amount of grip from the Hankook tyres loaded on. It’s an enthusiastic car, especially in the sportier mode, as the engine lurches in anticipation. On the move, however, that translates into a fuel-efficient run that responds quickly to paddle shifts and steering commands. The coasting function with the new seven-speed transmission gives way more miles to the gallon.

The S3 Sedan is a delight to drive, for its nifty dimensions, duplicitous demeanour and ability to take you through a gamut of emotions, from exhilaration through to the queasiness of  start-stop city crawling.

RATING:

Styling: 6/10

Interior: 6/10

Ride: 6.5/10

Handling: 7.5/10

Power: 8/10

Overall: 7.5/10


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AUDI S3 SEDAN 2.0TFSI QUATTRO S TRONIC TECH SPECS

Engine: Inline 4 cylinder, DOHC 16 valves

Capacity: 1,984cc

Max Power: [email protected],400–6,500rpm

Max Torque: [email protected],850–5,300rpm

Transmission: 7-speed dual clutch

Efficiency: 6.5L/100km

CO2: 151g/km

0-100kmh: 4.8 seconds

Top Speed: 250kmh (limited)

Retail price: *$234,900

Please reconfirm price with dealer.

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