2025 Audi S3: Faster, stronger hatch and sedan debut

The facelifted Audi S3 brings not only a fresher look for the hot hatch and sedan, but also changes under the skin that make it faster and sharper than before.

As previously teased by Audi, the 2025 S3 features a new exterior look with an updated grille and lower front bumper plus revised LED headlights. The visual changes continue at the rear with a new bumper and tail light signature.

Audi Australia is yet to confirm when we can expect the new S3 hatch (or Sportback in Audi speak) and sedan in local showrooms.

All of these changes to the S3’s exterior were previewed by the facelifted version of the Audi A3, which continues to open the range and has come closer to looking like its performance sibling with the deletion of its chrome trim elements.

There are new wheel designs for the S3, with the pictured examples wearing the 19-inch optional rims, though a set of 18-inch alloys will be standard fit overseas.

Behind the sleek wheels are larger front brake rotors – now measuring 357mm in diameter (up 17mm) and 34mm thick (up 4mm) – which have been teamed with a revised front suspension setup which allows for 1.5 degrees of negative camber, double that of the pre-facelift model.

Adaptive dampers are optional, while the updated A3 also features a revised steering setup.

The biggest changes to the Audi S3 have come under the bonnet, with its turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine now producing 245kW of power and 420Nm of torque – improvements of 17kW and 20Nm on the outgoing model.

This means Audi has finally put the S3 ahead of its Volkswagen Golf R twin under the skin for the first time since 2020. 

While the two cars have traditionally shared the same power outputs, the most recent Golf R has produced 235kW and 420Nm, making it more potent than the S3 despite also being cheaper.

The Audi S3 retains its existing seven-speed dual-clutch (DSG) automatic transmission and all-wheel drive system, however it now benefits from a ‘torque splitter’.

First featured on the five-cylinder RS3, the torque splitter utilises a clutch in the rear differential to better distribute torque across the back axle.

Audi claims this can optimally distribute the torque between the rear wheel on the inside and the outside of the curve, depending on what drive mode has been selected and the prevailing road conditions.

While the all-wheel drive system is inherently front-biased, the new dynamic plus drive mode sends the maximum available torque to the outside rear wheel, essentially enabling a drift mode.

Additional changes when dynamic plus is engaged includes a higher idle speed (1300rpm, up 200rpm), faster gear shifts and more torque on the transmission’s clutch packs.

According to Audi, these changes have resulted in a 0-100km/h sprint time of 4.7 seconds, a 0.1-second saving compared to the outgoing S3 and now identical with the lighter Golf R.

The Audi S3 carries over a number of minor interior changes from the A3, including a new surround for the drive-by-wire gear selector and a revised steering wheel centre.

Existing equipment from the pre-facelift model such as a 10.5-inch digital instrument cluster and 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system are unchanged.

The 2025 Audi S3 is due to go on sale in Europe throughout the second quarter of 2024 (April to June inclusive), priced from €55,600 – equivalent to $91,580.

In Australia, the outgoing Audi S3 hatchback is priced from $75,400 before on-road costs in hatch guise, and $77,500 before on-road costs for the sedan.

MORE: Everything Audi S3

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