New Audi S3 2021 detailed: Australia to get most powerful version of Mercedes-AMG A35 rival

Audi has revealed the next-generation S3 Sportback hatchback and sedan, with the hot pair to arrive in Australia in the second half of next year with the most potent engine tune available.

The current-generation S3 is detuned from 221kW/400Nm in Europe to 213kW/380Nm in Australia due to Audi’s ‘hot climate’ classification for the country, but the new model will punch out 228kW/400Nm in both continents.

Of course, the S3 remains powered by a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine, which is again mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and Audi’s signature quattro all-wheel-drive system.

This combination helps the new S3 sprint from a standstill to 100km/h in 4.8 seconds while on the way to its electronically limited top speed of 250km/h. Both performance figures are unchanged.

The new S3 is fitted with variable-ratio steering and sports suspension, which lowers ride height by 15mm and can be enhanced with adaptive dampers.

Compared to the next-generation A3 upon which it’s based, the new S3 stands out with more aggressive front and rear fascias, which are headlined by a rhombus-patterned Singleframe grille insert and a diffuser element with quad exhaust tailpipes respectively.

Inside, the new S3 differentiates itself with sports seats, a sports steering wheel and unique upholstery and trim options. Otherwise it’s a familiar affair.

Audi Australia will announce pricing and full specification details for the Mercedes-AMG A35 rival closer to its launch. For reference, the current Sportback and sedan are priced from $64,200 and $65,800 plus on-road costs respectively.