Audi S3 Road Trip Dresden to Munich

During one of our trips to test drive the new 2015 Audi A6, S6 and RS6, we stayed another extra day in Germany. We started our road journey from eastern Germany, in Dresden, to finally reach Munich where we grabbed a plane and flew back home. Our road trip was on board on the Audi S3 in three different variants (Sedan, Sportback and Avant).

Throughout our journey, we noticed the impressive power and groundbreaking efficiency of the car; the Audi S3 sets new standards!

Its 2.0 TFSI is a high output engine, producing 300 hp available between 5,500 and 6,200 rpm and 380 Nm of torque between 1,800 and 5,500 rpm, yet consumes on average with S tronic just 6.9 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers. The uncompromising chassis and systematic lightweight construction underscore the dynamic character of the four door model.

It accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds on its way to an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h. In the NEDC, the S3 with S tronic consumes just 6.9 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers on average - a CO2 equivalent of 159 grams per kilometer.

The 2.0 TFSI is a fascinating sport engine and its resonant sound makes for an intensive experience. When the standard Audi drive select dynamics system is in dynamic mode, it responds even more directly to accelerator commands, with brief double-clutching underscoring the change of gears by the optional S tronic. The sound flaps in the exhaust system open at higher load and rpm. Two balance shafts ensure tremendous smoothness.

A six speed manual transmission and the six speed S tronic are available. The lower gears of both transmissions are tightly spaced for sporty performance. The tall ratio of the top gear lowers rpm and thus fuel consumption. The driver can operate the lightning-fast and nearly imperceptibly smooth-shifting S tronic in either the D and S automatic modes or manually using the optional paddles on the steering wheel.

For standing starts, Launch Control (only with S tronic) delivers the engine's power to the road with defined tire slip. Another feature of the dual-clutch transmission is the fuel-saving coasting mode. It is activated when Audi drive select is set to efficiency and the driver takes his or her foot off of the accelerator.

The standard quattro permanent all wheel drive gives the Audi S3 Sedan the decisive extra when it comes to traction, dynamics and stability. Its centerpiece is a newly developed, electronically controlled and hydraulically actuated multi-plate clutch; in order to distribute weight more efficiently, it is placed in front of the rear differential. The compact and relatively lightweight clutch distributes the power. Most of it is sent to the front wheels. If traction decreases there, torque is redirected steplessly to the rear wheels.

The chassis harmonizes extremely well with the powerful engine. The Audi S3 Sedan responds to steering input precisely and spontaneously, taking all types of corners at high speed and with little body movement.

A key factor is the balanced axle load distribution of 59 percent to 41 percent between the front and rear axles. The 12 degree rearward inclination of the engine and the front axle located far to the front contribute to this. Both solutions are part of the Modular Transverse Matrix. The subframe and pivot bearings of the front suspension are made of aluminum. The rear axle is a four-link design.

The sport suspension lowers the body of the S3 Sedan by 25 millimeters (0.98 in) compared with the A3 Sedan. The standard feature progressive steering makes handling even sportier. Its steering rack is designed so that the steering ratio becomes increasingly direct when turning. The result is reduced steering effort when parking and when in city traffic. Steering is extremely precise during fast, sporty driving. Steering boost varies as a function of speed to ensure excellent steering characteristics for every driving situation.

The steering works closely together with various assistance systems on board the new S3 Sedan, such as the standard rest recommendation and the optional Audi active lane assist and park assist systems.

The new Audi S3 Sedan comes standard with 8 J x 18 wheels in a five parallel-spoke design. Flow forming technology makes them very lightweight. The rim well is rolled out under high pressure and at high temperature. This process strengthens the material, thus permitting thinner wall thicknesses. 18 inch wheels in a variety of designs are available as options. 19 inch wheels are also available in combination with the optional Audi magnetic ride damper control system. 225/40 R18 tires are standard.

With a diameter of 340 millimeters (13.39 in), the front brake discs are large. Their black (optionally red) calipers bear S3 logos. The latest evolution of the ESC electronic stabilization control system intercedes every bit as sportily as sensitively.

Also standard in the Audi S3 Sedan is the Audi drive select dynamics system, which controls the function of the accelerator, power steering and the optional S tronic. The driver can switch between the modes comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency and individual at the push of a button. The individual mode allows the driver to specify his own profile of preferred settings.

Audi drive select also influences the optional Audi magnetic ride damper control system. Circulating inside the shock absorber pistons is synthetic hydrocarbon oil containing tiny magnetic particles. When a voltage is applied to a coil, a magnetic field is generated in which the particles realign so that they are oriented perpendicular to the oil flow thereby impeding its flow in the shock absorber channels.

The system's controller continuously analyzes the driver's style and the condition of the road and adjusts the damping forces within milliseconds. We had the chance to test it during our road trip. It was raining most of our road trip. We can choose between three modes. In auto mode, the dynamic four door model is very balanced; in comfort mode, relatively soft. In dynamic mode, however, it assumes a taut stance on the road. The targeted support of the wheels provides for more neutral self-steering behavior and more precise steering response.

The Audi S3 features an all-black interior, including the standard inlays in matt brushed aluminum. Many of the controls shine in an aluminum-look finish. As in every Audi, operation is simple and the quality uncompromising.

Great attention to detail documents the dynamic character. The dials of the instruments are in an S-specific dark gray metallic finish; the numbers and needles are white. The tachometer features a three-dimensional S3 logo and a boost pressure indicator. A color driver information system with lap timer is standard. The power-retractable monitor (standard with the MMI radio and above) powers up to display a special S3 screen.

A leather-covered sport steering wheel with an S3 badge is also standard in the Audi S3. A leather-covered, multifunction sport steering wheel with the rim flattened at the bottom, and shift paddles with aluminum details are available as an option in combination with the S tronic. Other S-specific features are the pedals and footrest of brushed stainless steel as well as the red rings on the start-stop button and on the specially designed gear selector lever. The aluminum door sill trims with S3 badge round out the high-quality and exclusive package.

The front sport seats provide optimum hold and support. The seat cushions can be extended, and S3 logos are embossed in the backrests.

The list of standard equipment in the S3 includes an anti-theft alarm system, deluxe automatic air conditioning, xenon plus headlights and the storage and luggage compartment package. Topping the range of infotainment choices is MMI navigation plus with MMI touch. The complementary Audi connect module supports the LTE standard to bring Audi's tailored Internet services to the car.

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