Sam Philip24 April 2008

More doors for S3

Audi's hot hatch goes five-door as part of A3 range spruce-up

Audi S3

Audi has given its little A3 a springtime face-lift. Really. Look closely and you'll see some nice new LED running lights and a slightly revised front bumper. Can you see it? No?

It's an understated effort, we'll give you that. But the A3 does get a bunch of mechanical revisions that are worth a closer look. First, the range-topping S3 hot hatch is now available in five-door Sportback guise.

The S3's two-litre TFSI engine will see the five-door to 62mph in 5.8 seconds - just a tenth of a second slower than a three-door - and will return a fairly respectable 28mpg.

You'll also be able to order your S3 - or indeed garden A3 - with Audi's new seven-speed S- tronic transmission, as seen in the new Q5. Similar to the VW DSG system, the new S-tronic runs a pair of dry clutches to improve efficiency.

And, as if that wasn't enough technological excitement for you, the A3 even gets the trick magnetic ride - à la TT - as an option on the higher-spec models.

It's all good stuff from Audi. However, we fear you're still going to struggle to convince people you've bought the new new A3 rather than just the new one. If you see what we mean.


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