It was somewhat odd that the Volkswagen Golf R, despite being less luxurious, boasted greater power than the Audi S3. However, this disparity no longer exists. For the 2025 model year, Audi’s sporty sedan from Ingolstadt receives a significant update, enhancing its horsepower and torque.

The latest S3 model, is more than just an upgrade; it’s a complete overhaul of driving dynamics. With an increased output of 333 PS and 420 Nm of torque, the enhanced 2.0 TFSI engine in the S3 ensures powerful acceleration and confident pulling power. The engine delivers maximum torque over a wide range, enabling it to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.7 seconds.

The S3’s engine tuning has been optimised for a more spontaneous power delivery. The preloaded turbocharger maintains a constant RPM for steadier speeds and low to medium acceleration. This adjustment, particularly noticeable in dynamic mode and the new dynamic plus profile, significantly improves the engine response.

Audi has also reworked the seven-speed S tronic transmission of the S3 for a more spontaneous takeoff, thanks to a higher starting torque. The result is a highly responsive vehicle, with faster shift times under full load and increased engine speeds under partial load. Like the Audi RS3, the S3 now features a torque splitter that enhances both agility and stability. This innovative technology allows for active, fully variable torque distribution between the rear wheels, adjusting according to the driving situation and the selected Audi drive select mode.

The new dynamic plus mode in the S3 raises the bar for driving dynamics. This mode directs maximum drive torque to the rear axle and the rear wheel on the outside of the curve, promoting a tendency to oversteer. The electronic stabilisation control (ESC) activates automatically in sport mode, with modest interventions that elevate the driving experience, especially on surfaces with varying friction coefficients. In simple terms, this is an Audi S3 that more playful and exciting than any other car in this class.

Audi has redesigned the front axle of the S3 with a McPherson strut and a new pivot bearing, enabling a larger negative wheel camber. The increase in camber improves steering response and offers more grip and dynamics when cornering. The stiffer wishbones contribute to the vehicle’s agility. The standard progressive steering in the S3 has been adjusted for improved steering feel. The steering is more centred, especially in the middle position, enhancing precision and feedback for better overall handling.

With increased driving dynamics comes a greater demand on the brakes. The S3 now boasts larger ventilated disks on the front axle and new twin-piston brake calipers, improving braking performance. The larger pads and increased friction surface of the disks enhance thermal and load capacity. The S3 upgrade includes two new 19” 235/35 tyre options: performance tyres with optimised dry handling and braking performance, and particularly sporty tyres from Falken. These tyres provide high grip and precise track stability, especially on dry roads.

Finally, the S3 features a next-generation electronic stabilisation control (ESC). All suspension control systems have been specifically tuned for dynamic turn-in response and handling. The upgraded wheel-selective torque control ensures that the S3 turns into curves more easily and follows the steering angle more precisely, enhancing driving dynamics and stability at the limit. The ESC’s sport mode is designed for maximum dynamics in combination with the engine, transmission, and torque splitter.

This comprehensive upgrade puts the 2025 Audi S3 at the forefront of compact sports car performance, promising an unparalleled driving experience for enthusiasts. This came as a very pleasant surprise and presented a driving experience that left me wanting more.

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