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VIDEO | New Audi S3 review – prototype 333hp hot hatch DRIVEN

The hot hatch for grown-ups, the Audi S3 is getting some upgrades – Rory gets an early taste of what's in store

Mark Nichol

Words by: Mark Nichol

Published on 13 March 2024 | 0 min read

Audi is about to release an updated version of the S3 hot hatch. But before it does, Audi invited Rory to Oman to drive a prototype and give his feedback. So, we filmed the whole thing to give you a look at what it’ll be like when it goes on sale in the middle of 2024.
The S3 sits below the RS3 at the pinnacle of the Audi A3 range. It’s less hardcore than the supercar-quick, 400 horsepower RS3, but it’s still designed to be one of the most exciting hot hatches on the planet. For the update, Audi has lifted the power from 310 horsepower to 333, and changed the settings of the gearbox and turbocharger to make the driving experience even sharper and more involving. It's 0.1 seconds quicker to 62mph than it was – now 4.7 seconds – and the suspension has been revised to give it more road feel while remaining a reasonably comfortable car day-to-day; a hot hatch by definition should be equally at home on a fast B-road as it is doing a school run or some other mundane daily task. Audi has also introduced a new ‘Dynamic Plus’ mode that does a few things to enhance the ‘hot’ part of ‘hot hatch’. It makes the gearshifts quicker, the turbo more responsive, and loosens off the stability programmes… basically lets the car slide a bit more, if you’re into that sort of thing. But there’s a risk that in making it more entertaining to drive, Audi has made it significantly less comfortable… but you’ll have to watch the video to find out whether that’s the case. Hit play above, or head to our YouTube channel and watch it there. And if you’re not already a subscriber to our channel, hit the subscribe button to keep on top of the best car content out there.