Spy photographers have caught the 2020 Audi A3 in S3 Sportback form undergoing testing in Sweden and now we’re finally getting a glimpse inside the cabin of the premium compact.
Snapped at a distance, the interior of the upcoming A3 is noticeably sportier than its predecessor. Drivers sit behind a leather-wrapped steering wheel and find themselves facing what is likely a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. While we can’t see the cluster in the photos, it is flanked by two large air vents which protrude from the dashboard in a Lamborghini-esque fashion.
Further below, we can see a driver-oriented infotainment system that appears to be the same one used on the 2019 A1. This likely means it’s a 10.1-inch touchscreen display.
Additional styling details are hard to make out, but the cabin has metallic accents and what appears to be to chrome door handles.
Sharper, but familiar exterior
On the outside, the S3 adopts an evolutionary design that is instantly recognizable. The front of the hot hatch is dominated by a massive Singleframe grille with features a honeycomb mesh insert. The model also has large air intakes and familiar headlights.
The evolutionary styling continues aft of the A-pillar, but redesigned model has a more prominent shoulder line and a sportier greenhouse. This particular prototype also wears five-spoke alloy wheels that are backed up by a beefy braking system with large front discs.
The rear of the car is heavily camouflaged, but we can see some aerodynamic styling changes as the tailgate-mounted spoiler is now joined by vertical components which help to direct air around the back of the vehicle. Further below, we can see new taillights and a rounded bumper which incorporates wider reflectors. Lastly, there’s a familiar four-tailpipe exhaust system.
Platform and engine
Audi has been tight-lipped about the upcoming S3, but the model is expected to ride on an updated version of the MQB platform just like the Volkswagen Golf Mk8. The updated platform should enable the model to be lighter and stiffer than its predecessor.
Performance specifications remain unconfirmed, but the current S3 Sportback has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 295 hp (221 kW / 300 PS) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque. It is connected to a seven-speed S tronic transmission which sends power to a quattro all-wheel drive system. This enables the hatchback to accelerate from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 4.7 seconds before hitting a limited top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h).
The upcoming model will likely be more powerful than its predecessor as Audi presumably wants to steal bragging rights away from the Mercedes-AMG A35 4Matic which uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 301 hp (225 kW / 306 PS) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque. Despite being more powerful than the current S3 Sportback, the Mercedes also accelerates from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 4.7 seconds and has a limited top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h).