The Advertiser - Motoring - - PRESTIGE -

FLAMBOYANCE is not part of the S3’s reper­toire. Big­ger brakes (the red calipers, pic­tured, are op­tional), a 25mm lower ride and quad ex­haust tips are the only indi­ca­tions this is a more con­cen­trated con­coc­tion than the reg­u­lar A3.

The 2.0-litre turbo cranks out 213kW/380Nm through a seven-speed dual-clutch auto and all-wheel drive.

That’s good for a sprint from rest to 100km/h in just 4.8 sec­onds, or 5.3 sec­onds if you choose the six-speed manual gear­box.

In Sportback guise, the S3 is a per­for­mance bar­gain at $62,900.

Be­yond the en­gine, the S3 is fit­ted with LED head­lamps, vir­tual cock­pit, city-speed au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing, dig­i­tal ra­dio and An­droid/Ap­ple smart­phone mir­ror­ing.

Audi says the ad­di­tions rep­re­sent $4900 in ex­tra value against the out­go­ing S3, which sold for $61,100.

The elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol can be set up to per­mit the driver to push a lit­tle harder be­fore be­ing reined in. The all-wheel drive re­peat­edly proved its worth pow­er­ing out of slick cor­ners in the Yarra Val­ley where the front-drive A3 strug­gled to grab trac­tion.

BMW’s M140i is the ob­vi­ous ri­val with com­pa­ra­ble pric­ing and per­for­mance yet its rear­wheel drive makes for a dif­fer­ent driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

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