Facelifted Audi S3 teased with more power, sharper handling

Published Feb 13, 2024


The Audi A3 range is set to receive a facelift this year, and customers of the S3 performance model can look forward to more than just a new look.

Audi has released the first teaser pics of its freshened up S3, along with some information confirming a raft of engine, gearbox and chassis revisions.

The cars you see in the pictures are disguised prototypes so you’re not going to see those crazy red wheels and grille trims in your local showroom, but the images do show off a new grille design with larger honeycomb segments appearing at the top and bottom sections.

Matching rear diffuser trim and fresh LED taillights also appear to be part of the deal for those who plan on buying the facelifted S3.

More power, more oversteer!

But the big news is under the bonnet, where Audi has confirmed a power hike for the 2.0-litre TFSI turbopetrol motor.

It will now produce 244kW and 420Nm, which is an increase of 16kW and 20Nm over the current model. That’s enough to improve the 0-100km/h sprint by 0.2 seconds, with Audi now claiming a time of 4.7 seconds.

Just keep in mind that current South African spec S3s are detuned to 213kW, while our European counterparts get to enjoy a 228kW engine, and we may once again miss out on the “full fat” tuning.

In addition to the engine upgrade, the Audi S3 also receives a sportier set-up for its seven speed S tronic dual-clutch gearbox, with shift times under full load said to have been halved.

Handling is sharpened too, as the S3 is now inheriting a rear torque splitter from its RS3 sibling. This system uses an electronically controlled multiple disc clutch on each drive shaft to distribute torque between the rear wheels in the best way possible.

But that’s not all.

A more dynamic front axle design, enabling a larger negative wheel camber, has been formulated for improved grip and steering feel, while the standard Progressive Steering system has also been tinkered with by Ingolstadt engineers.

What’s more, drivers will get to enjoy a new Audi Drive Select mode called Dynamic Plus, which uses the aforementioned torque splitter to send more drive torque to the rear wheel on the outside of the curve. What all that mambo jumbo really means is that you’re now more likely to induce oversteer during fast cornering.

A new-generation ESP stability control system, new 19-inch high performance tyre options and larger ventilated front brake discs round off the dynamic changes being made to the Audi S3.

The facelifted Audi A3 range, presumably with the S3 performance model in tow, is set to debut in South Africa around the fourth quarter of 2024.

Pricing, specifications and all that eagerly anticipated stuff will be revealed closer to launch.

Related video of current Audi S3: