August 11, 2020 was the day Audi unveiled the next-generation S3 performance compact model in both sedan and sedan flavors. Fast forward ten months later, the US Four Rings division is finally releasing pricing information for their rival BMW M235i Gran Coupé and Mercedes-AMG CLA35 Coupé. Again, North America is missing the five-door Sportback version since we’ll only get the sedan.
The math starts at $ 44,900 (plus $ 1,045 destination fee) for the S3 in the Basic Premium version. Upgrade to the mid-range Premium Plus and you’ll pay $ 47,700 while the premium Prestige will set you back $ 51,500. Looking at the S3 Sedan’s starting price, it is lower than its two main rivals mentioned above. The M235i, which is not a coupe, starts at $ 45,500, while the AMG CLA35, which is not a coupe, starts at $ 47,850.
Despite being the most accessible of the German trio, the S3 Sedan packs a little more oomph. Its 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine produces 306 horsepower, which is four horsepower more than the AMG and five more than the BMW. That said, while Audi’s 295 lb-ft of torque matches that of the AMG, the Bavarian model has the advantage with 331 lb-ft.
Equipped with Quattro all-wheel drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, the 2022 Audi S3 Sedan takes four and a half seconds at 60 mph. It’s 0.8 inches wider and 1.6 inches longer than its predecessor, while still delivering 18 horsepower and an additional 15 lb-ft. The optional S sport suspension provides damping control, allowing the suspension to react automatically to road conditions and driving behavior in a matter of thousandths of a second.
As for the normal A3 sedan, it has a starting price of $ 33,900 for the Premium version ($ 37,200 for Premium Plus and $ 41,200 for Prestige). It is satisfied with a 2.0-liter mild hybrid turbo engine with an output of 201 hp and 236 lb-ft. A3 and S3 come standard with a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and 10.1-inch touchscreen, the former upgradeable to the 12.3-inch Audi virtual cockpit .
While the A3 / S3 are beautiful and all, we can’t wait to see the RS3. Teased yesterday in the four and five-door versions, the competitor AMG A45 / CLA45 will likely debut in the coming weeks. Again, it’ll have Audi’s glorious 2.5-liter inline engine with somewhere in the 400-horsepower region. Again, we don’t expect to see an American license plate on the RS3 Sportback.