Look for the redesigned 2022 Audi A3 and S3 to reach dealer showrooms in the third quarter of this year with a bevy of refinements, a bump in power and a sublimely updated design.
Its arrival is surprising, given that Audi axed the A3 Cabriolet for 2020. The company has said its future lineup will revolve around electric mobility, and has already shown the four-door Audi A6 e-tron on its “Premium Platform Electric” architecture. With production expected in to begin in late 2022, one wonders how much longer it will be before this model of the A3 is replaced – or eliminated.
Its appearance is also surprising given Americans’ overwhelming preference for crossover utility vehicles. A crossover’s overall proportions more naturally lends itself more naturally to electrification. Add in the continued decline in sales of compact luxury sedans, and the debut of a redesigned A3 and S3 is welcome news, although the Sportback Wagon offered in Europe will not make the trip across the pond.
Here’s what we know about the new models so far.
A more streamlined exterior design
Most immediately apparent is the new model’s wider, more aggressive “Singleframe” grille with a honeycomb texture that caps a more sculpted hood. Side sculpting is more pronounced as well. It lends the whole car a wider appearance, which, in fact, it is by nearly an inch. It’s 1.6 inches longer as well.
Audi aerodynamically improved the new A3’s body and modified the side mirror deign to further reduce wind resistance. LED headlights are standard; matrix-design LED headlights with unique daytime running lights are optional. Standard LED taillights can be optioned with animation when locking or unlocking the car. Quad exhaust tips are larger this year, and the S3’s available Black optic package adds black exhaust tips and a black roof – aka the vinyl roof for the new millennium.
More power? Why of course
At a starting price of $34,945 (including destination), the Audi A3 comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 201 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. A standard 48-volt mild-hybrid system boosts power when extra torque is needed. Front-wheel drive is standard, quattro all-wheel drive is a $2,000 option.
The more-powerful S3, which starts at $45,945 (including destination), has a similar four-cylinder powerplant that pumps out 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, an increase of 18 horsepower, and 15 pound-feet of torque from the 2021 model. Reaching 60 mph takes 4.5 seconds thanks to standard Quattro all-wheel drive. The S3’s suspension is a half-inch lower that than the A3, and benefits from larger 14.1-inch front disc brakes, although all four are ventillated for better cooling performance. An optional adjustable S sport suspension varies the car’s suspension behavior by changing the oil flow to the dampers through the A3’s Audi Drive Select modes.
A well-equipped cabin
Front seat passengers get standard heated, eight-way power seats with four-way power lumbar support. Memory positioning for the driver seat and mirrors is optional. Other standard amenities include leather seating surfaces with contrast stitching, panoramic sunroof, and three-zone climate control. S3 buyers can opt for S sport seats with available diamond stitched Nappa leather.
Audi doesn’t skimp on this car’s screens, with a standard 10.1-inch touchscreen with handwriting recognition. It’s paired with a standard 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, although a 12.3-inch virtual cockpit is optional. Drivers can adjust the instrument cluster to one of three designs: Dynamic, Sport or Classic mode. A head-up display is optional. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard.
More details on the 2022 Audi A3 and S3 should be coming next few months, as well as news on the even hotter RS 3, which published reports suggest could top 400 horsepower.