2025 Audi S3 coming with more power, RS 3’s torque splitter

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Audi is close to launching an updated version of the current A3 compact sedan and hatchback, and updates are also planned for the performance-oriented models in the range, the S3 and RS 3.

Audi on Monday provided the first details on its planned updates for the S3, which will bring a major step up in performance for the car.

Details for the U.S. are still pending, but elsewhere the updated S3 will extract 328 hp from a 2.0-liter turbo-4. The same engine in the current S3 makes 306 hp for models delivered to the U.S. The extra power will help deliver a 0-62 mph time of 4.7 seconds and a top speed governed to 155 mph, Audi said.

A 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission carries over, but engineers have optimized the unit to deliver higher starting torque and as a result more rapid acceleration. Shift times have also been cut in half under full load.

2025 Audi S3 prototype

2025 Audi S3 prototype

Another key change is the addition of the torque splitter handed down from the RS 3. This is a Haldex differential with multi-disc clutches on each rear axle shaft that apportions torque between the rear wheels, meaning the updated S3 can not only direct torque between the front and rear axles, but now also between the rear wheels. This will help improve handling through corners.

Further control of the drive torque is possible via a brake-based torque vectoring system. The system, which is designed to brake the inside wheels during cornering, has been further refined, along with the traction control, Audi said.

To further aid the handling, the S3’s McPherson strut front suspension features a new pivot bearing that enables a larger negative wheel camber. Together with stiffer wishbones, the updated S3 delivers more grip and as a result improved control during cornering, according to Audi.

The driver can control the severity of many of the electronic chassis systems using the drive mode selector which on the updated S3 gains a new Dynamic Plus mode. This mode also affects the engine by increasing the idle level for improved throttle response, and ensures the transmission delivers later upshifts and earlier downshifts.

2025 Audi S3 prototype

2025 Audi S3 prototype

2025 Audi S3 prototype

2025 Audi S3 prototype

2025 Audi S3 prototype

2025 Audi S3 prototype

Engineers have also upgraded the brakes to handle the extra performance. There are now twin-piston brake calipers at the front, as well as larger rotors and pads. The front rotors now measure 357 millimeters, up 34 mm from before.

The updated A3 range is expected to debut shortly. The cars should arrive as 2025 models in the U.S., and once again only the sedan body style should be sold here.

With Audi planning to go the full-electric route in most markets later this decade, any future A3 is likely to be an electric vehicle. This means the updated A3, including the S3 and RS 3 models, will likely be the last with gas engines.

The A3’s corporate cousin, the Volkswagen Golf, is also getting an update. The updated Golf was shown in January, and once again the U.S. will only receive the Golf GTI and Golf R performance models. Like the Audi, the Golf is also set to transform into an EV for its next generation, meaning the updated range is likely the last to still offer gas engines.