The New Audi S3 is Finally More Powerful Than the Golf R

1 month, 2 weeks ago - 10. April 2024, Motor1
Audi S3 (2024)
Audi S3 (2024)
And it borrows the torque splitter from the RS3.

It always felt strange that the Volkswagen Golf R had more power than the fancier (and slightly pricier) Audi S3. But that's no longer the case. Ingolstadt's sports sedan gets a mid-cycle facelift for the 2025 model year that brings more horsepower and some extra torque to boot.

At the heart of the 2025 Audi S3 is an uprated turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine making 328 horsepower and an estimated 310 pound-feet of torque. That's an increase of 22 hp and 15 lb-ft, enough to make the S3 stronger than a Golf R (315 hp and 295 lb-ft)—for now. VW's hot hatch is due for a facelift later this year, so there might be some extra power planned there too. In Europe, there are already special editions with 328 hp, matching the new S3.

The RS3's rear torque splitter trickles down to the lesser performance derivative. The technology enables fully variable torque distribution between the rear wheels. In conjunction with the newly added Dynamic Plus mode, the car sends as much torque as possible to the rear axle for a tail-happy experience. Audi doesn't call it a dedicated drift mode but does mention the S3 now has the tendency to oversteer when the sportiest settings are active.

Elsewhere, the 2.0 TFSI engine idles at 1,300 rpm (up by 200 rpm) for better off-the-line performance and the engineers have made the throttle response even more direct. In addition, the gear ratios are slightly shorter than before and the new S3 upshifts later and downshifts earlier to maintain a higher rpm for greater power availability.

It takes 4.4 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standstill, making it a tenth of a second quicker than the 2024 S3. The top speed remains unchanged, at 155 mph. There are now 235/35 Falken performance tires for the 19-inch wheels, along with bigger front brakes with perforated discs and new two-piston calipers. Audi is also fitting an evolution of the S3's electronic stability control system and stiffer bearings for the wishbone suspension to improve handling.

As before, we only get the four-door flavor in the United States, but the five-door Sportback also gets an update in Europe. There are some subtle styling changes to bring the S3 in line with the recently launched 2025 A3. It gets customizable LED daytime running lights by choosing from four designs via the infotainment system. The taillights show a different animation when you lock/unlock the car, and there are four fresh colors: Ascari Blue, District Green, Arkona White, and Progressive Red.

An ambient lighting package will be standard in the United States but that flat-bottomed steering wheel is going to cost you extra. Unlike the Golf R, there are still plenty of physical buttons below the 10.1-inch touchscreen. With the 2025MY, LED contour lighting has been added to the center console and cup holders. In addition, the new fabric panel for the front doors was laser-cut 300 times and is backlit.

Pricing details have yet to be disclosed but the old one retailed for $48,495 after factoring in the destination charge.

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