Tue | Jun 27, 2017

Audi S3 - A pit bull in a suit

Published:Sunday | February 19, 2017 | 2:05 AMKareem Latouche
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Design element
Impressive engineering
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Most persons will be quick to admit that when they are thinking about an Audi, they are not thinking about an insanely fast sports car. This is the premise that the Audi S3 is trying to dismiss.

While other sports subcompact cars primarily focus on speed, the S3 switches things up a bit by creating a unique synergy with speed and luxury.

 

My Impression from driving the S3

If you pull up beside this car, it's easy to mistake its sleek lines and elegant design touches as a passive luxury car. However, once you are behind the steering wheel, the performance of the turbo engine puts you in a different frame of mind.

Despite it being a turbo, the lag is unnoticeable, which is symbolic of how advanced Audi's engineer team is. The engine is also paired with a dual clutch transmission, a feature it shares with the VW Golf R.

 

Impressive engineering

The acceleration comes on rapidly in a way that engages the driver. Once dynamic mode is selected and the gear lever is in drive, the six-speed dual-clutch automatic does all the thinking and allows the driver to just drive. It was so satisfying that it dissipated the desire to use the paddle shifters.

As I made my way from Kingston to the cusp of St Thomas, I felt confident that I could overtake someone without losing control. My only challenge was being conscious of how fast I was going, due to the extremely low road noise. There were times I was going at 100 km/h and it felt like 50 km/h.

 

Design element

The cabin is very clean with a modern design theme that is very minimalistic. The center console is not stacked with buttons, other than the temperature controls. There is also no multimedia screen on the dashboard.

With the click of a button, the screen emerges in a smooth, mechanical manner. This will be the preferred state for most drivers, since this model does not come with the virtual cockpit.

Kudos to the phantom black S sport seats, which have multiple options for adjustment such as lumbar support as well as an extension of the base for those with long thighs. The side bolsters also snug the body quite comfortably, however, i wish the headrest had the customary adjusted telescopic feature present on many Audis.

 

Standouts

- Despite its compact size, it has a/c vents for rear passengers. This is welcome in our tropical climate.

- The Bang & Olufsen Sound System sounds clear and is not muffled at high volumes.

- Bluetooth connects effortlessly. There is also the option for it to access your media player only, which means that if your phone rings, the caller's information will not be shown on the car's multimedia screen.

- very good warranty package from dealer.

Gripe

- The steering wheel leather is not perforated, which means that if your hand starts to sweat profusely, it can feel slippery.

- The roofline above the back seat is low, which won't be comfortable for anyone over 5'10".

Type: subcompact

Competitors: Subaru Impreza Wrx, Mercedes AMG CLA 45, and the BMW M2

Engine: 2L turbo

0-60 MPH: 4.7 sec

HP: 292

Main features: Panoramic glass roof, dual-zone climate

Cost: 9.8 million

Vehicle provided by ATL Automotive Ltd, 1876-754-0013,

email: sales@atlautomotive.com

Web: atlautomotive.com

- Check out the review on our Youtube page.