2022 Audi A3 and S3 return with improved engines and technology

The redesigned 2022 Audi A3 compact luxury sedan and S3 sport variant arrive in the U.S. with more potent turbo-4 engines, a mild-hybrid system, a refreshed look outside, and upgraded convenience and safety technology. The 2022 Audi A3 and S3 can be ordered now at a starting price of $34,945 and $45,945 respectively, Audi announced on Thursday.

Audi skipped the 2021 model year of the A3 and S3 due to pandemic-related constraints, same as the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder, 2022 Infiniti QX60, 2022 Acura MDX and other redesigned volume models.

The 2022 Audi A3 five-seat compact appears wider and more muscular due to pronounced sculpting on the rocker panels and with bulging fenders. The mesh grille gets wider as well, and narrower LED headlights with teardrop elements drip over more pronounced lower air intakes. LED head- and taillights are standard, or available matrix LED headlights and LED taillights with an “available animation” can be added, Audi said. We’ll update that when we see it. 

2022 Audi S3

2022 Audi S3

2022 Audi S3

2022 Audi S3

2022 Audi S3

2022 Audi S3

The S3 flexes its muscle even more, and is 0.8 inches wider and 1.6 inches longer, though the wheelbase remains the same. Larger quad exhaust tips define the rear, and an available black-out treatment adds some more sinister elements. Audi says design changes to both models improve aerodynamics. 

Parent company Volkswagen updated the A3’s MQB global platform with adaptive damping, adaptive steering, and a mild-hybrid powertrain. The 2022 A3’s 2.0-liter turbo-4 pairs to a mild-hybrid system that increases output to 201 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque (from 186 hp and 221 lb-ft in the 2020 Audi A3). The 48-volt mild-hybrid system helps take off and adds torque at low engine speeds, but can also shut off the engine while coasting to improve fuel economy. The engine teams with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission in front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is available for an extra $2,000.

For a greater punch (and greater price) the 2022 Audi S3’s 2.0-liter turbo-4 makes 306 hp and 295 lb-ft, improvements of 18 hp and 15 lb-ft. The S3 also comes with the 7-speed dual-clutch and standard all-wheel drive. Audi says it hits 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, which is a few tenths quicker than the 2020 S3. The suspension sits 0.6 inches lower than the A3, and shoppers can add adjustable dampers and upgrade to 19-inch wheels instead of 18s. 

Inside the 2022 A3, front passengers get standard heated eight-way power seats shod in leather, panoramic sunroof, three-zone climate control, and a 10.1-inch touchscreen with Audi’s latest MIB 3 operating system and a 10.3-inch digital cluster. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard. 

Options include a 12.3-inch instrument cluster, or virtual cockpit, that is one of the best on the market; wireless smartphone charging; enhanced navigation and more.

The 2022 Audi A3 and S3 come standard with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, active lane control, and automatic high beams. Blind-spot monitors and adaptive cruise control are optional. 

The A3 comes in Premium trim for $34,945 (an increase of $600 from 2020), Premium Plus for $38,245, and Prestige for $42,245. The 2020 had S line packaging, but no Prestige trim. All-wheel drive is $2,000 extra on any trim.

The S3 comes standard with all-wheel drive and costs $45,945 for Premium, $48,745 for Premium Plus, and $52,545 for Prestige. 

Hatchback and performance-oriented RS models have not been announced. 

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