9. Audi S3
2007. – 125.000 km – 12.000 €
In August 2006, Audi announced the second generation S3. Offered in three- and five-door body styles, the second generation—Typ 8P—S3 is powered by a modified and uprated Volkswagen Group-sourced 2.0-litre turbocharged FSI petrol engine, with a maximum output of 195 kW (265 PS; 261 bhp). As with all Audi S models, the design was done in-house by quattro GmbH. The engine features uprated high-performance pistons, revised boost/fuel mapping, increased turbocharger size (KKK K04) and larger intercooler. The most powerful form of this engine, and quattro four-wheel drive, makes for a 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) time of 5.5 s, and an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). Audi offers both six-speed manual and six-speed S-Tronic automatic transmissions with the S3.
The spring ratings and dampers were revised, along with the body kit. Like its predecessor, although badged a “quattro” model, the S3 does not employ a Torsen centre differential (as in other common quattro models), but instead uses the Swedish Haldex Traction system in its on-demand four-wheel drive transmission, due to the transverse engine layout.
Euro NCAP tested a second generation Audi A3 with front airbags, side airbags, seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters as standard. Despite Audi increasing the protection inside the car for the driver and passengers, pedestrian safety actually got 33% worse compared to the first generation and Euro NCAP gave criticism for the car offering virtually no protection at all on the front end and scoring just one star from a possible four. “A poor result for a new car” was the verdict given for pedestrian safety after the test.