Just as we’re about done salivating over the Audi S3 unveiled late last year, here comes the 5-door Sportback version of the premium hot hatchback. Longer than the standard S3 with an extended wheelbase plus two extra doors, the S3 Sportback gets the same 300 hp engine to offer “best-in-class performance”. Naturally it’s quicker than the model it replaces but it’s also lighter, more economical and is no more expensive than before.
The headlining 300 hp figure is achieved from various tweaking of the venerable turbocharged EA888 2.0 litre engine. Replacing the boosted EA113 motor in the old model, the S3 gets a healthy increase of 35 hp and 30 Nm (now 380 Nm). That puts it just 40 bhp and 70 Nm shy of the last-gen RS3 Sportback.
It now gets from 0 to 100 km/h 0.6 seconds faster, completing the task in five seconds flat with the optional six-speed S-tronic dual-clutch gearbox. The standard manual is half a second slower and their top speeds are limited to 250 km/h.
Fuel economy also sees a significant improvement, now averaging 6.9 litres per 100 km. More efficient engine, redesigned quattro all-wheel drive system and 70 kg lighter weight amounts to the 18% reduction, as do the use of a taller sixth gear.
To handle the extra power over the standard Sportback models, the 5-door S3 get 25 mm lower S sport suspension, revised steering, larger brake discs all around and lightweight 18-inch wheels wearing 225/40 rubber.
The standard Audi drive select tailors the throttle response, shift pattern, steering assistance and when paired with the optional Audi magnetic ride system, variable dampers to suit your preference.
It carries much of the same visual addendums introduced on the 3-door S3, including the beefed up grille, bumpers, side sills, aluminium wing mirrors, plenty of S3 badges and four exhaust pipes. The roof rails are specific to the Sportback, giving it a pseudo-estate look rather than a plain Jane hatchback.
As you may remember, the previous generation S3 Sportback shared the same mechanicals with the Volkswagen Golf R and its Cabriolet cousin. The upcoming ultimate Mk7 Golf will most likely have the same relationship with this car, making it a 300 hp Golf. Oh my, looks like our continuous salivating is not going to stop anytime soon.