The Audi A3 is a premium compact hatchback from the German automaker and, when it went into production in 1996, featured the same styling as the A4 had at the time. The A3 was powered by a variety of four cylinder power plants with the Euro only 225 HP 1.8T equipped S3 with Quattro all wheel drive as the premier model. This version accelerated from 0 to 60 MPH in 6.6 seconds and reached a top speed of 151 MPH. In 2003, Audi released the second generation A3 for the global market. This four ring hatch is powered by everything from a 1.4 Liter TFSI motor to a 3.2 Liter FSI power plant making 247 HP and 236 lb-ft of torque with the TDI model winning a host of COTY awards. As of 2010, the pricey V6 engine has been dropped and a 2.0L turbo engine producing 200hp has been added. These engine options are mated to either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission.
In an attempt to keep us busy until theconvertible version will finally join the S3 lineup, Audi has unveiled the initial details on the Sportback version - a model set to make its world debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. What’s the difference between this and the standard S3 ? Well, the number of doors of course: the new Sportback has four doors and offers increased space for families while maintaining its sporty nature.
Except for the extra doors, the new Sportback version will pretty much remain identical to its three-door brother, meaning that customers will continue to enjoy the same performance numbers. You’ll have to consider that as the new Sportback is a little bit heavier, the 0 to 60 mph sprint will take 0.1 seconds longer.
Talking about weight, Audi managed to shave an impressive 154 pounds from the car total weight - when compared to previous generation. This result has been achieved by using weight-saving materials like an ultra-high-strength steel passenger cell and light aluminum wings and bonnet.
Hit the jump to learn full details on the new Audi S3 Sportback.
Shortly after Audi unveiled new generation A3 hatchback at the 2012 Geneva Motor it has been rumored that a convertible version will arrive in just a few months time. If until now all we had were rumors, today our spy photographers have caught the car testing for the very first time. To make it even better this is not just the standard A3 Convertible , but the even more powerful S3.
The new generation A3 Convertible will be based on the A3 sedan version we have caught testing the other weeks, meaning that it will be a little bit prettier than the current generation: you should imagine something like a smaller A5 Convertible.
In fact this is a move everyone expected, considering the current generation A3 Convertible is not the prettiest thing we have seen.
Expect the new Audi S3 Convertible to be unveiled at the end of 2013, most likely in Frankfurt.
We knew a production version of the Audi A3 sedan will be brought onto the market right after the A3 Concept sedan has been unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. Of course today we finally have the proof: the model has been caught during cold winter testings.
The sedan version of the will be built on Volkswagen Group’s flexible MQB platform, which will make the model significantly lighter than the current hatchback version. Under the hood we will see the same engine as in the rest of the A3 lineup, but rumors suggested that the 408 horsepower 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine found in the concept will also be offered.
The new Audi A3 sedan will go on sale on the US market at the end of 2013. It will also be offered on markets like China and Europe and will target models like Mercedes CLA and the previously rumored four-door version of the BMW 1-Series .
To roll with the increasing popularity of hybrid vehicles, Audi is all set to unveil a plug-in electric hybrid at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.
According to reports, the hybrid will be based on the newly announced A3 Sportback , a 4-door version of the standard A3 .
The aspect we’re interested in is the hybrid setup. The powertrain will feature a turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine coupled with an electric motor and an 8 kWh lithium-ion battery. This setup could enable the hybrid to produce a combined output of nearly 237-horsepower. Furthermore, the car is expected to average 117.6 mpge and to have an Audi-claimed 50 km (31-mile) range in electric-only mode, which is on-par with current hybrid standards, maybe better.
Audi is not setting the hybrid segment on fire, so such a model would help their quest for a cleaner footprint. However, given the expected price tag of $47,000, which is quite baffling considering the base gasoline-powered twin costs around $29,000, things aren’t looking so bright for the tree-hugging Audis.
We’ll update you once Audi officially announces the A3 Plug-in Hybrid.
There will probably come a day when 1,000-horsepower cars are the norm rather than the exception, but that day is still far away. When a car reaches four-digit ponies these days, it’s going to get serious attention.
In that light, we’d like to introduce you to this Audi S3 that’s been tuned by TS Racing. This race car that not only packs an aerodynamic kit, but it was tuned specifically for racing purposes. The kit includes a front splitter, modified bumpers, a rear diffuser, extended wheel arches, and a roof-mounted scoop. In addition, TS Racing stripped the car’s interior to its bare essentials and replaced them with a slew of new components like a carbon fiber dashboard, a full-scale roll cage, racing seats, new instrumentation, and a custom shifter.
All that being said, what makes this S3 such a spectacular piece of racing machinery is its 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that has been completely overhauled and modified to produce an astonishing 1,074 horsepower and 853 pound-feet of torque. 1,000-plus horsepower on a car is already impressive enough, but putting that much output on an S3 is even more impressive.
Check out this video of the rocket S3 courtesy of Hesleskaug as the car blows away the Audi VW Club Norwegens annual meet on Vålerbanen in Norway.
ABT Sportsline is known for tuning a variety of Audi models, providing excellent upgrades and aesthetic modifications to the already luxurious models. Their latest AS3 package gives the new generation Audi A3 its time to shine with an aerodynamic package and a considerable engine upgrade.
The most impressive upgrade offered for the engines of the A3 is the 2.0 TFSI engine which now delivers a total of 280 HP, up from the standard 220 HP. The 1.4 liter turbo engine’s output has also been increased, taking it to 170 HP from 140 HP, as was the 2.0 liter diesel engine’s output which can be taken to 210 HP or 180 HP from the standard 150 HP.
The aerodynamic package includes a new front grille and front spoiler, new side skirts, a new rear skirt insert, a striking double two-pipe exhaust, and a new rear spoiler. The final pieces of the exterior package are the wheels: customers can choose between CR and DR series, in 18 or 19" sizes.
Audi is speeding up their unveiling process by releasing details on a second model just one day after revealing the A3 Sportback . It’s the S3 version’s turn to shine as it joins the Sportback at the 2012 Paris Auto Show. The quicker version of the A3 will go on sale early in 2013 at a starting price of €38,900, or about $51,800 at the current exchange rates (price for Germany).
The Audi S3 is powered by a 2.0 TFSI turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 300 HP and 280 lb-ft of torque. This power is enough to sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds and up to a top speed of 155 mph.
In terms of design, the new S3 looks a lot like the A3, except it has added elements like an S single-frame grille, a revised front bumper, new side skirts, aluminum-look mirror caps, a new exhaust system with quad tailpipes, a roof spoiler, and a different rear bumper. These elements differentiate the S3 from the A3, unless of course you add the S-Line package to the A3, which would then make them look almost identical.
UPDATE 09/21/2012: This review has been updated with the official details and images for the new Audi S3.
The 2012 Geneva Motor Show gave way to the new generation Audi A3 , and Audi is following up that release with the debut of the five-door Sportback version at the 2012 Paris Auto Show. The new model will go on sale in February 2013, with prices in Germany starting from €22,500, or $29,144 at the current rates.
When compared to the standard three-door version, the new Sportback is 73 mm longer and has a 35 mm longer wheelbase. It is also 58 mm longer compared to the outgoing A3 Sportback . This allows the new Sportback an additional 380 liters of boot space, or about 15 liters more than the three-door model.
At its launch, the Audi A3 Sportback will be offered with a choice of one TDI and two TFSI engines, with two diesel engines and one gasoline unit arriving at a later date. All engines will be offered with a standard 6-speed manual gearbox, as well as an optional S tronic transmission.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Audi A3 Sportback.
If you’ve ever leafed through the pages of the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy, you’ll notice that there’s a lot of erotica involved between the two stars of the book, Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. We’re not going to dive into that; instead, we’re focusing on another part of the book that bears more relevance to the auto industry.
It seems that for all of his quirks, Christian Grey also has a fascination for cars, in particular, Audis . A number of Audi models were mentioned prominently in the trilogy, particularly the A3 , which Christian gave to Anastasia for her birthday.
On top of the A3, the R8 was also mentioned, as well as an unnamed Audi SUV, and a host of other vehicles from the German automaker. The multiple references of Audi on one of the fastest-selling book trilogies of all time seems to have reflected on Audi’s US sales.
In a quote from AutoNews, Loren Angelo, general manager of Audi brand communications, said that while Audi had no involvement or knowledge that their cars would be prominently mentioned in the books, the company may have benefited from the unexpected exposure.
"As Audi continues to generate momentum in the U.S. market, we’re seeing our products utilized more and more within popular culture," Angelo said.
"Those organic results are always a sign that a brand is generating real cultural relevance. Obviously, the runaway success of this series has introduced Audi to consumers who might not have previously been thinking of the brand and that certainly has a positive impact for us."
For the month of July, Audi reported an all-time sales record, earning a 28% sales increase from the same time last year. The company did clarify that they don’t have any data to prove that the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy had a direct effect on the increased sales.
Then again, when something like this happens, you only need to trace it back to the source to find out that there just might be an explanation to all of this.
When Audi launched the RS3 Sportback in the European market, we all knew that it would sell well. It boasts a 2.5-liter 5-cylinder turbocharged engine that pumps out 340 ponies and 332 pound-feet of twist, so there was no shock that it sold out in just months.
For the most part, when a car sells out, the manufacturer uses the growing demand of this now-scarce car to develop an even larger interest for the following model year. Apparently, Audi is above using demand to drive future models and focuses on taking care of its customers instead. After a fair amount of buyer begging, Audi has chosen to extend the RS3 Sportback’s production by 250 units, despite the fact that production officially ended last year.
In many cases, a manufacturer would take this opportunity to jack up the price as well, but Audi has also decided that the post-production RS3 Sportbacks will be sold at the normal MSRP of ₤39,390 (roughly $62,500).
We have to give Audi a double hat tip for its class in handling this situation, as many automakers would really use this as a screw-the-customer opportunity by ignoring requests or significantly jacking the price. Audi is really showing that it cares about its customers, or the fact that there is already plenty of profit worked into the RS3 Sportback’s standard MSRP.
We’ll give Audi the benefit of the doubt here and say that the reality likely falls somewhere in the middle of those two scenarios. Keep an eye out for the A3’s 2013 debut in the U.S., and the possible addition of an RS3 variant to the American lineup.