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Why am I opening a review of the S3 by talking about its VW cousin? Because the Audi gets none of that stuff.

Yes, there’s a new six-plate Haldex clutch to direct torque as the car’s brain sees necessary, and yes, it can theoretically send up to 100 per cent to the rear, but IRL, the S3 seems to have no interest in doing so.

The passive suspension setup of our test car (adaptive dampers are a cost option) verges on being too firm. The low-speed ride is choppy, but things do calm down enough when speeds rise, at least. In any case, the S3 gets away with this lack of give because it’s so damn refined. It’s quiet and relaxing, and the cabin feels mostly solid.

Despite these minor misgivings, the S3 does all it needs to. It’s more exciting than BMW’s weirdly underwhelming M135i, and although it’d do well to match the aggression of the Mercedes-AMG A35, it’s hard to argue with its blend of straight-line performance and all-weather capability.

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REVIEW: Audi S3. GLORIFIED VW Or Nah?

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