The Audi S3: Exterior Design

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August 28, 2006

Source: Audi AG

Powerful and athletic – two epithets that aptly characterise the exterior design of the new Audi S3. With its muscular, taut outline, the A3 was already considered a decidedly sporty car in the premium compact class. On the S3, special details lend added emphasis to its high-performance character.

At the front end, the double chrome slats in the single-frame radiator grille that bears the red and silver S3 emblem are particularly striking. The accentuated front spoiler hints at an aerodynamic concept that is designed for increased downforces, and the enlarged inlets provide a pointer to the powerful engine’s performance potential. The pronounced tapering of the front lid and the dynamic shape of the clear-glass headlights round off the alert, self-assured impression. Xenon plus headlights with daytime running lights and front fog lights are included as standard on the new S3.

The sides: wide sills

The side view of the three-door S3 likewise creates an impression of power and substance. The sides are dominated by the modified, wide sills which underscore the car’s road-hugging character. The imposing S-design 18-inch wheels signal the car’s potential even when stationary; the black brake callipers with the S3 logos can be glimpsed through them.

The aluminium-look exterior mirror housings and the roof edge spoiler painted in the body colour add a striking highlight to the shapely silhouette. The visual emphasis of the S3 is at its tail end: it makes the entire vehicle, which sits 25 millimetres lower down than the A3, appear crouched, as if ready to pounce.

The dimensions: 55 mm extra length

Compared with the predecessor model, the wheelbase has grown by 59 millimetres to 2,578 mm. Similarly, it has gained 55 mm in length, to 4,214 mm, and 2 mm in width to 1,765 mm, whereas its height has now fallen by 16 mm to 1,399 mm. The result is a relaxed, coupé-like silhouette, the effect of which is further reinforced by the more inclined C-post and the lower window strips. Thanks to intensive aerodynamic fine-tuning, the drag coefficient is just 0.33.

At the rear of the new Audi S3, the new S-specific bumper in conjunction with the roof spoiler creates a memorable impression. It integrates a platinum grey diffuser that improves downforce at the rear wheels. The two large oval tailpipes are positioned on the left-hand side of the vehicle, and have a chrome finish in the typical style of the S models.

Together with the rear lights, the shoulder line and the dynamic line, which are also clearly identifiable at the rear, help to structure the surfaces. With its trapezoidal shape, the entire section reinforces the strong, muscular appearance of this powerful compact car. The S3 emblem is likewise displayed at the rear.

Exclusive colour: Solar Orange

As well as the three standard body colours Ibis White, Brilliant Red and Brilliant Black, there are also eight optional colours for the new Audi S3: Silver metallic, Dolphin Grey metallic, Phantom Black pearl effect, Moro Blue pearl effect, Deep Green pearl effect, Sprint Blue pearl effect, Imola Yellow and Solar Orange. The latter three colours are specifically for the S range. The colour Solar Orange is exclusively available for the new S3.

In addition to the standard-fit cast aluminium wheels of S design, quattro GmbH offers four further sets of wheels – likewise in the dimension 7.5 J x 18 with size 225/40 tyres. They are in a 20-spoke design, a 14-spoke design, a classic five-arm design or a twin-spoke seven-arm design.

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