Yes, Audi! Rarely has a model variant been technically optimised in a facelift to such an extent as the new S3. A few weeks ago we were still grumbling slightly about the rather subtle reworking of the normal A3 models, but now the sports model has been given a real makeover, turning the "warm hatch" into a "hot hatch" (or "hot saloon", if you're more in the mood for the S3 saloon).

What has happened? Well, in principle the car is technically modelled on the Volkswagen Golf R. And on top of that, it moves a whole lot closer to the top-of-the-range RS 3. Anyone familiar with the RS 3 knows that this can only be a good thing.

All-wheel drive

The main reason for this is the integration of the so-called torque splitter. In other words, the old Haldex all-wheel drive is now a thing of the past in the Audi S3. It has been replaced by the system already seen in the Golf R and RS 3 with two multi-plate clutches on the rear axle, which distribute the incoming forces between the rear wheels in a fully variable manner.

Our experiences with this system so far have been extremely positive. Whether with the Golf R, the RS 3 or even the Tiguan R - the driving behaviour is characterised by significantly more agility and a nice rear-biased feel that you could only dream of before. 

Audi S3 Sportback (2024)

However, the S3 does not have a special drift mode like the Golf R and RS 3. Customers will get over it. At least the familiar driving modes are joined by the new "dynamic plus" level. 

Here, the torque splitter sends as much drive torque as possible to the rear axle and to the rear wheel on the outside of the bend, which should result in a tendency towards oversteering driving behaviour. In addition, the ESP goes into sport mode and the engine and transmission are set more aggressively.


Speaking of the engine, the performance of the familiar 2.0-litre TFSI has been raised to the level of the Golf R with the facelift. The result is 333 PS and 420 Nm of torque, an increase of 23 PS and 20 Nm. The sprint from 0-62 mph now takes 4.7 seconds, 0.1 seconds faster than before. The top speed is 155 mph. 

Gallery: Audi S3 Sportback (2024)

Audi also promises a generally sportier set-up for the engine and gearbox. On the one hand, this is achieved by preloading the turbocharger, which is now kept at a constant speed in the partial load range under low to medium acceleration. On top of this, the 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox is given a higher starting torque, the shift times are halved under full load and the engine speed is increased under partial load in drive stage D.

All this should lead to better response behaviour. It certainly doesn't hurt, as the engine has not necessarily been the most alert at the bottom.


There is even more good news for all fans of driving dynamics. The S3 is also taking significant steps in the right direction with its suspension set-up. The use of wishbones with stiffer bushings and new strut bearings, which allow more negative camber on the front axle, should noticeably improve turn-in and grip in bends. 

The progressive steering and ESP set-up have also been revised. A sports suspension with 15 millimetre lowering is fitted as standard. A suspension with adaptive dampers is available as an option. 

Audi S3 Limousine (2024)
Audi S3 Limousine (2024)

Ex works, the facelifted S3 is fitted with 18-inch tyres with 225/40 tyres. For an extra charge, 19-inch rims with 235/35 tyres are available. Two new tyre compounds have also made it into the range - an unspecified performance tyre and a sports tyre from Falken, which is said to offer "remarkably high grip
and precise directional stability, especially on dry roads". 

The brakes have also been enlarged to match the increased dynamics. The perforated discs at the front now measure 357 millimetres. There are also twin-piston callipers with larger brake pads. 


The exterior is quickly explained. Parallel to the facelift of the conventional A3, the S3 also has a flatter, wider single-frame grille and new front and rear aprons. Of course, the various daytime running light signatures should not be missing. There are now four of them in this case. The Akrapovic titanium sports exhaust system with four rather thick tailpipes is a big treat for an extra charge. 

Audi S3 Sportback (2020)

Links im Wischer sehen Sie den S3 Sportback von 2020, rechts das Facelift-Modell von 2024

Audi S3 Sportback (2024)

Links sehen Sie den S3 von 2020, rechts das Facelift-Modell von 2024

There's also something new in terms of colour. There are four new colours: District Green, Ascari Blue, Progressive Red and Daytona Grey, available for the first time as a matt paint.


There are changes to the gear lever, the air vents, the inlays and the ambient lighting, which is now standard and has a larger surface area. Also worth noting, the surfaces in the door panels are now laser-etched 300 times and chicly backlit. 

A real benefit: the bland plastic gearshift paddles have been replaced by chrome-plated parts. In addition to the Dinamica microfibre material, a new fabric with a technical structure as well as aluminium and carbon are available as decorative inlays. 

Audi S3 Sportback (2024)
Audi S3 Limousine (2024)

In addition to the 10.1-inch infotainment screen, Audi's Virtual Cockpit and an inductive charging option for smartphones are now also on board as standard. In addition to the two USB-C charging ports in the centre console at the front, two further ports in the rear are also included as standard.

MMI Navigation Plus and the complete Audi Connect portfolio include access to the app store, which allows many applications to be used directly on the vehicle display, is available as an option. The selected content is installed in the S3's infotainment system independently of the smartphone.

Interaction with the apps via voice commands is also possible. With Functions on Demand, up to five functions from the areas of infotainment and comfort can be individually added online via the myAudi app after purchasing the vehicle.

Market launch and prices

The new Audi S3 will be available in dealerships as a Sportback and saloon from May 2024. Prices for the UK market have not been announced yet. Prices start at €55,600 in Germany.

Gallery: Audi S3 Limousine (2024)