AUDI hopes to broaden the appeal of its sporty S3 hatch with a new five-door Sportback model.
The new, more spacious S3, joins the rorty three-door German hot-hatch that was introduced halfway through last year.
Both the three and five-door S3s use a red-hot 2.0-litre turbocharged four that belts out a healthy 188kW of power.
At this stage it is only available with a six-speed manual, but a dual-clutch auto is expected to follow at some stage.
The S3 uses a constant all-wheel-drive system to make sure it has the best possible traction at all times.
It can bolt to 100km/h in a claimed 5.8 seconds and maxes out at an electronically-limited 250km/h.
There is also a swag of luxury gear, including supportive leather sports seats and a meaty Bose sound system.
Model release date: October 2008
The first S3 arrived in December 1999 with a price of $69,990.
From there the S3 fluctuated in price and specification.
In 2000, the price dropped to $66,950.
In 2002, it went up to $67,420.
Initially launched with 154kW and 270Nm outputs, the MY2001 model upgrade included new clear glass headlights, new grille, soft-touch electric hatch release and interior revisions.
In February 2002, the S3’s engine was upgraded to match the TT quattro’s 165kW /280Nm outputs.
From then on, the first generation remained unchanged from the few remaining examples sold in 2005.
All S3s were fitted with a six-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive.