What is it?
The liveliest version of the A3 Sportback, at least until the S3 and rumoured RS3 arrive. There will be a slightly more powerful diesel version early next year, too, but that won’t offer the high-revving thrills of the TFSI powerplant.
It will be available with a four-wheel drive quattro powertrain as an option, but the car we’re testing is mated the standard-fit S-tronic dual-clutch automatic gearbox with a front-wheel drive configuration.
It’s worth pointing out that this isn’t a cut-price S3, which is something its 7.3sec 0-62mph benchmark will attest to. But the fact that the car isn’t available in entry-level SE trim – just Sport and the S-line we’re testing here – suggests it sits at the warmer end of the range.
Addressing criticisms of the way more sporting Audis ride, each A3 Sportback is available with the softer suspension setup from the model below as a no-cost option. The Sportback is significantly lighter than the secong-generation model it replaces, but still adds around 30kg over the three-door largely thanks to an increased wheelbase.