August 11, 2020 was the day when Audi unveiled the new-generation S3 performance compact model in both hatchback and sedan flavors. Fast forward ten months later, the US division of the Four Rings is finally releasing pricing information for their BMW M235i Gran Coupe and Mercedes-AMG CLA35 Coupe rival. Once again, North America is missing out on the five-door Sportback version as we'll only be getting the sedan.
Math starts at $44,900 (plus $1,045 destination charges) for the S3 in the base Premium trim. Step up to the midrange Premium Plus and you'll be paying $47,700 while the range-topping Prestige is going to set you back $51,500. Looking at the S3 Sedan's starting price, it's lower compared to its two main rivals mentioned above. The not-a-coupe M235i retails from $45,500 while the also-not-a-coupe AMG CLA35 starts from $47,850.
Gallery: 2021 Audi S3 Sportback and S3 Sedan
Despite being the most attainable of the German trio, the S3 Sedan has a little bit more punch. Its turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine is rated at 306 horsepower or four more ponies than the AMG and an extra five over the BMW. That said, while Audi's 295 pound-feet of torque matches that of the AMG, the Bavarian model has the edge with 331 lb-ft.
Fitted with Quattro all-wheel drive and a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission, the 2022 Audi S3 Sedan takes four and a half seconds to 60 mph. It's 0.8 inches wider and 1.6 inches longer than its predecessor while packing an extra 18 hp and 15 lb-ft. The optional S sport suspension brings damper control, which enables the suspension to automatically react to the conditions of the road and the driving behavior in a few thousandths of a second.
As for the normal A3 Sedan, it carries a starting price of $33,900 for the Premium trim ($37,200 for Premium Plus and $41,200 for Prestige). It makes do with a 2.0-liter turbo, mild-hybrid engine rated at 201 hp and 236 lb-ft. Both the A3 and S3 get a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.1-inch touchscreen as standard, with the former upgradable to the 12.3-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit.
While the A3/S3 are nice and all, we are anxious to see the RS3. Teased yesterday in both four- and five-door flavors, the AMG A45/CLA45 competitor will likely be debuting in the following weeks. Once again, it'll have Audi's glorious inline-five 2.5-liter engine with somewhere in the region of 400 horsepower. Also once again, we are not expecting to see a US license plate on the RS3 Sportback.
It's Already Been Put Through Its Paces In Europe: