August 28, 2006
Source: Audi AG
The concept outwardly identified by the letter S represents an established philosophy at Audi; it has been the embodiment of sports power for over two decades. The S1 from 1985, the legendary final stage in the evolution of the Sport quattro for the Rally World Championship, came to epitomise triumphs in competition racing. After this, the first production car allowed to use the letter as part of its name was the Coupé S2 making its first appearance with a 147 kW (200 bhp) five-cylinder turbo engine as the successor to the “Ur-quattro” in 1990. The S2, too, now featured quattro four-wheel drive.
This combination of a turbo engine and quattro still enjoys immense appeal. A direct line of evolution can be traced between the S2, with its dynamic but refined character, and the new S3, which now spearheads the compact car line. In total, Audi has sold more than 150,000 S models, including 32,000 of the first-generation S3. The S3 is lean and precise in focusing on maximum sports performance. Alongside the S4, S6 and S8, it rounds off the successful S range.
On the growing market for high-powered compact cars, the new S3 is aimed at customers who express a keen interest in technical innovations. They are young with an average age of 38 generally male, and with a relatively high income. On top of the driving fun and performance that the A3 offers, these customers are looking for a car offering considerable everyday utility for sport and leisure activities, but suitably differentiated by its exclusive equipment and visual finish.