- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 3, 2006

THE HAGUE — Audi has released details of the S3, top version of the Audi A3 model. From 1999 to 2003, Audi produced the first generation that was built on the platform of the A3, TT, Volkswagen Golf and its cousins of the European Seat and Skoda brands.

The S3 was sold in Europe, Australia and the United Kingdom, but was not officially marketed in North America.

In 2001, the model was face lifted and although the second generation A3 was introduced in 2003, we had to wait until now for the new S3.

The S3 will get the turbocharged 2.0-liter FSI engine, that is also used in the other GTI-models of the Volkswagen Group. Thanks to a redesigned turbo, the four-cylinder in the S3 will deliver 265 horsepower, while it has 258 foot-pounds of torque, that will be brought to the road via a six-speed manual and all-wheel drive. Acceleration from 0-60 mph should be possible in 5.5 seconds and the top speed is limited to 115 mph.

The S3 will have a one-inch lowered sport suspension and stands on 18-inch aluminum wheels. The car also gets bigger (17-inch) brakes.

The exterior gets large air intakes in the front bumper, side skirts and a diffuser in the rear. Furthermore a chrome grille, side mirrors and exhaust tips will mark the differences with the normal A3 body.

In the cockpit Audi uses S-logos, aluminum trim and a special steering wheel.

The car goes on sale in fall in Europe for 35,150 euro, or $45,000.

Officially Audi says the S3 will not be sold in the U.S. within due course.

But that does not mean it will not cross the Atlantic to join the S4, RS4, S6 and S8 in the future.

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