It doesn't look like high-performance hot hatch at a glance however. The only real giveaway is the quad rear exhausts, as even the red 'S' badging is available on lesser S Line.
The big difference, of course, is in the performance the Audi S3 delivers. Power comes from a 2.0-litre TFSI petrol engine (familiar from the likes of the latest Volkswagen Golf GTI) but with power cranked up to 300PS and torque to 380Nm across a broad rev range 1800-5000rpm. The result is excellent performance of 0-100 kmh taking 4.8 seconds with the S Tronic gearbox specified.
As with all performance Audi models the S3 features quattro all-wheel drive and it works to maintain traction and keep the car planted and stable on twisting roads, whether at high speeds or when accelerating out of slower turns or roundabouts. It offers enjoyable performance and handling but it feels safe and controllable, which is a great blend for a family-sized hot hatchback.