The 2013 Audi S3 hatchback is a car for the authority, a nod and a wink to those in the know. Unlike the obvious bluster of the Ford Focus ST, or even the soon-to-be-launched Mercedes CLA45 AMG, this S3 doesn't create big promises with its styling.
The Volkswagen territory has not developed rich by overcomplicating matters. Not only does the 2013 Audi S3 traverse on the MQB platform that also underpins models from Seat, Skoda and VW, it also utilizes the company's recognizable 2.0-liter turbo engine.
With traction support by the standard Quattro four-wheel-drive system, Audi claims a 0-62-mph gallop time of 5.2 seconds for the six-speed manual transmission. When prepared with the S-tronic double-clutch transmission, the only gearbox that will be obtainable in the States, that time drops to 4.8 seconds according to Audi.
On the road, there's no refute the S3 is quick, but its performance is so missing in drama that it never feels very quick. The engine emphasizes torque over raw power, relying more on midrange drag than high-rpm zing. And, despite the enclosure of both an electromechanical sound actuator and a sports fatigue system, it simply doesn't match the acoustic urgency of the 2013 Ford Focus ST.
The S3 places its confidence in lightweight technologies and deception electronics to deliver its fun. General use of aluminum has reduced its curb weight by 132 pounds, which puts it at an unassuming 3,075 pounds. The electronics focuses on Audi's Drive Select system, which permit you to control the steering, throttle, gearbox and even the damping if you opt for the attractive ride constraint control system.
For all the technological improvements intrinsic in this car, the support character of the S3 hasn't changed. It is a handsome, fast, sophisticated and comfortable car that's easy to live with.