Audi S3 saloon review – the saloon body only enhances the appeal - Engine and gearbox

Kinder on the eye, the saloon ultimately delivers the same competent driving experience as the hatch.

Evo rating
Price
from £38,000
  • Fast, beautifully built, huge grip
  • Numb steering

The S3 is a standalone model at the top of the A3 Saloon range and shares its drivetrain with the three-door S3 hatchback and the five-door S3 Sportback. That engine is the Volkswagen Group’s ubiquitous EA888 2.0-litre, four-cylinder TFSI unit.

>Read our Audi S3 hatchback review

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

In this state of tune it develops 296bhp between 5500-6200rpm and 280lb ft from 1800rpm to 5500rpm – the same as the Volkswagen Golf R whose drivetrain evo already highly rates. Like the Golf, the S3 also comes with two transmission options – a six-speed manual and an optional S-tronic dual-clutch.

Power is sent through a Haldex part-time four-wheel drive system under the familiar quattro banner. In normal driving, torque is biased towards the front wheels, but up to 100 percent of the torque can be sent rearwards should the situation call for it – think low-grip situations rather than lurid drifts.

Most Popular

Visit/bmw/m3/202991/new-bmw-m3-touring-confirmed-yes-we-said-m3-touring
BMW M3

New BMW M3 Touring confirmed - yes, we said M3 Touring

Sixth generation M3 to offer Touring body for the first time to rival RS4 and C63 estate
12 Aug 2020
Visit/audi/s3/202806/2020-audi-s3-sportback-and-s3-saloon-revealed-the-four-wheel-drive-golf-gti
Audi S3

2020 Audi S3 Sportback and S3 saloon revealed – the four-wheel drive Golf GTI

Audi’s next S3 Sportback follows a well-trodden path, filling a gap it once defined
11 Aug 2020
Visit/review/202972/aston-martin-dbx-review-the-first-performance-suv-to-deliver-on-its-promise
Reviews

Aston Martin DBX review - the first performance SUV to deliver on its promise

Aston Martin's first SUV is more than a good SUV, the DBX is the best car the British firm makes
10 Aug 2020
Visit/maserati/ghibli/202975/maserati-ghibli-trofeo-revealed-sober-dressed-bmw-m5-rival-finally-arrives
Maserati Ghibli

Maserati Ghibli Trofeo revealed – sober-dressed BMW M5 rival finally arrives

Some seven years after the launch of its executive saloon, Maserati has given it a V8 – with 572bhp
10 Aug 2020