Audi's cut-price STI rival

Hot hatch fans rejoice – from December you’ll be able to buy Audi’s new all-paw, turbo-charged S3 screamer for less than a Subaru WRX STI.

At $59,900, the new S3 Sportback not only undercuts the WRX and the automatic Mitsubishi Evolution, but is significantly cheaper than the hot hatches offered by Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

Merc’s new A45 AMG will be $15,000 more expensive ($74,900), while BMW’s M135i will set you back $64,900.

Set to go on sale in December, the S3’s 2.0-litre turbo four pot develops 206kW/380Nm. That’s enough grunt to shoot it from 0-100km/h in just 5.0 seconds – again almost a second quicker than the WRX or Evo.

An additional S performance package is available for $4990, which adds LED headlights, Bang & Olufsen sound system, 18-inch wheels, S sports seats and Audi’s magnetic ride system.

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