What is it?
This is the Audi S3 S Tronic. It’s the same 261bhp, four-wheel drive super-hatch that’s been around since 2006, but now it’s fitted with a twin-clutch gearbox.
The S Tronic transmission is essentially the older six-speed version of VW’s DSG gearbox rather than the latest seven-speed unit, but the shifts are smooth and rapid, and the Audi S3’s relentless shove means that the seventh ratio is rarely – if ever – missed.
What’s it like?
The addition of the S Tronic ’box to the Audi S3 is a civilising influence on an already civilised car.
The four-wheel drive Audi S3 has always been more of a swift, surefooted express rather than a tearaway hot hatch, and the quick, silky twin-clutch S Tronic only adds to the S3’s high-speed cruising credentials.
Audi claims that the twin-clutch transmission knocks two tenths of a second from the S3’s 0-62mph time, bringing it to 5.5sec. We can well believe it; the smooth turbocharged four-pot motor barely has to pause between ratios.