Is Audi Working on More Powerful S3 Plus?

Audi S3 sedan 1 photo
Photo: screenshot from Youtube
Ever since Mercedes proved you could get 360 PS from a 2-liter turbo engine, everybody has been looking at Audi for an answer to the A 45 and CLA 45. It seems that answer is finally coming, as this S3 sedan has re-started its testing at the Nurburgring.
According to our friends at TouriClips, Audi was testing this S3 sedan at the Nurburgring late last month. The silver sedan prototype is equipped with GPS telemetry and other testing equipment, so engineers are taking these hot laps very seriously. The engine still sounds like a 2.0 TFSI, not a five-cylinder, so this isn't the RS3 sedan in disguise. So what is it then?

It's long been rumored that Audi wants to plug the gap between the S3 and RS3 with another model powered by the 2-liter turbo. This could be pushed to around 330 horsepower with minimal changes and the all-wheel drive system can easily cope with more power. The Volkswagen Golf R, which shares the same platform and engine, is also the subject of speculation, with an R Evo model being suggested.

Some have even gone as far as to say the Golf R400 concept they showed in China earlier this year was a preview.

On a number of occasions, Audi used the "Plus" moniker to mark more hardcore limited edition models, such as the ones for the TT RS or the previous RS6. Could this be the first "S Plus" model ever?

Another, admittedly less likely, possibility is that work has begun on the mid-life facelift for the S3. The first 8V A3 models came out in 2012, so minor tweaks cosmetic tweaks might be planned for late 2015. If that's the case, this updated S3 sedan would merit the 310 PS version of its engine that's offered in the TTS.

Also something that needs to change in the future is the six-speed twin-clutch gearbox, which is good, but is being left behind by the 8-speed auto that the BMW M235i offers. Audi has a already developed a 7-speed unit, but has yet to offer it in compacts.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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