Audi takes the wraps off refreshed A3 and S3 models [video] image

The Ingolstadt-based automaker has carefully updated the A3 and S3 series, though in its usual style the models are hard to set apart from the predecessors.

As always, the updated Audis look instantly recognizable, even though they bring a new front end with a modified grille mirrored on both sides by restyled Xenon plus headlights. The facelift also adds a new rear diffuser and subtly refreshed taillights. Other modifications include a wider color palette and newly optional matrix LED headlights. The cabin is mostly unchanged and drivers will only notice the new three-spoke steering wheel and updated MMI infotainment system with simpler menus and upgraded voice controls. Prospective buyers can also pay extra to have the new Audi virtual cockpit system with a 12.3-inch TFT display that takes the place of the classic instrument gauges. Technology enhancements also include a new traffic jam assist system which enables semi-autonomous driving at speeds up to 40 miles per hour, working together with the improved active lane assist system.

Audi S3 Cabriolet

Among the novelties we can also call the new powertrains. The regulars – 1.4-liter TFSI with 150 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque; 1.6-liter TDI with 110 hp; 2.0-liter TDI with 150 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque or 184 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque – are being complemented by new engines. First off is the 1.0-liter TFSI three-cylinder with 115 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque and there’s also a stronger new 2.0-liter TFSI churning out 190 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. Also available is the A3 Sportback e-tron with its plug-in hybrid powertrain or the natural gas A3 Sportback g-tron. The facelifted S3 comes with an improved 2.0-liter TFSI engine that now packs 310 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The A3 and S3 will be arriving at dealerships this summer and pricing in German starts from €23,300.