There are very few things better than driving the Circuit Of The Americas (COTA) F1 racetrack in a 2015 Audi S3.
The car comes with a turbocharged 2.0L TFSI four-cylinder engine with 292 horsepower @ 5,400 rpm and 280 lb-ft of torque @ 1,900 rpm. This may not sound like a lot in the world of 707 horsepower Hellcat cars, but it’s plenty to go exploring a tough track like COTA. The S3 weighs in at a relatively low 3,450 lbs, and this including all the goodies: Quattro all-wheel-drive with torque vectoring and a 6-speed S Tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The new S3 is one of the most balanced and neutral Audi S-cars of recent history. The compact and light-weight 2.0L motor helps remove unwanted weight up front. These laps were done in Audi’s “Dynamic Mode” that changes the character of the car in several ways. The steering becomes heavier, the magnetic-ride suspension stiffens up, and the engine / transmission mapping is more aggressive.
The car helps the driver to feel confident on a big and challenging F1 racetrack. The S3 turns in quickly into the corner, and the torque vectoring all wheel drive helps pull the car through on exit. The 292 horsepower were enough to push the car to around 125 MPH on the back straight and around 110 MPH on the front straight. Better corner execution can get these speeds even higher. This is plenty of speed to get anybody excited.
Check out this fun TFLcar video as Nathan and I have way too much fun in the 2015 Audi S3 around COTA.
Andre Smirnov is a life-long automotive enthusiast, writer, reporter, and software engineer. He has been writing and reporting at TFL since 2011.