What is it?
Powering the S3 is a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that produces 305bhp and 295lb ft. It features both direct and indirect injection systems, aluminium pistons, high-strength connecting rods and twin balancer shafts.
Drive is distributed among all four wheels via a six-speed dual-clutch S tronic gearbox and Audi's quattro system. Launch control and paddle shifters, for quick manual changes, are standard.
Power is sent primarily to the car's front wheels, with an electronically controlled hydraulic clutch shifting torque to the rear axle if it senses a drop in traction at the front.
Other upgrades include the standard fitment of Audi's Drive Select system and adaptive magnetic dampers, 19-inch alloys, large 340mm front disc brakes, S sport suspension – entailing a 25mm drop in ride height – and a progressive steering system with modified gearing.
Further revisions include the introduction of a new on-the-limit capability for the Audi's electronic stability control system, which permits it to apply gentle braking to the inside front wheels. This reputedly improves cornering responses at speed.
Much like the S3 saloon, the S3 cabriolet receives a range of cosmetic tweaks – including aluminium-finish door mirrors, redesigned bumpers and Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights.
Interior changes are pleasingly restrained, comprising a flat-bottomed three-spoke wheel, grey dials with white needles and heated, S embossed front seats. It's also pleasing to see a boost gauge integrated into the instrument cluster, although it does admittedly take the place of the temperature gauge.
Standard equipment isn't exactly dazzling, with the additional premium for the S3 instead primarily going towards performance upgrades, but on the list of standard equipment is - 19in alloys, Audi's adaptive sports suspension, progressive steering system and an aggressive bodykit on the outside, while inside there is Nappa leather upholsterty, heated front seats and Audi's sound system.