Audi A3

Audi A3

  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.

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.

Source: AutoNews
Audi RS3 Sportback

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.

The Audi A3 began production back in 1996 and, after being previewed by the A3 Concept , the car is now entering its third generation. After months of speculation the car has finally made its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show. The new A3 will go on sale in the spring, and first deliveries to customers will be this summer. Prices in Germany will start from 21,600 euros ($28,500 at the current exchange rates).

Audi has use the latest lightweight technology that helped them to reduce the car’s weight by about 176.37 lbs. In the same time the chassis is tuned for a sporty and agile driving style. At its launch, the new A3 will be offered with one TDI and two TFSI engines, with power ranging from 122 to 180 HP.

The A3 is now 13.91 feet long with its front being dominated by a single-frame radiator grille and LED daytime running lights. The interior has also been completely redesigned and has received new materials, workmanship and ergonomics.

UPDATE 03/05/2012: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs. Hit the jump to read more about the third generation Audi A3.

UPDATE 05/07/12: If you’re interested to know how the current Audi A3 came to be in terms of its design history, Audi has presented a new video chronicling the model’s design evolution. Check it out by clicking on the photo above!

Audi will be bringing the new generation A3 hatchback to the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in March, leading the way to the unveiling of the S3 and RS3 versions shortly thereafter. The RS3 will be the last to arrive, but will undoubtedly be the most impressive.

The new RS3, like the entire A3 family, will be built on a new MQB platform that will make the car about 10% lighter when compared to its predecessor. Audi will also adopt an updated exterior language as seen in the A3 Concept unveiled last year at the Geneva Motor Show. There will also be an improved interior and an upgraded infotainment system.

Under the hood, the next RS3 will retain its usual turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine, but its output will be increased from the current 340 HP to 350 HP. Audi will also be working to improve fuel economy.

More details about the next RS3 will follow shortly, so stay tuned! Until then, check out our rendering and let us know what you think!

Audi R8 E-Tron

Audi is prepping the automotive industry for the next year with a new documents detailing its future plans. The first item on the agenda are plans to invest a total of €13 billion, in new products and technologies, as well as in expanding its sites by 2016.

"To maintain our profitable growth, we will step up investment spending on new products," said Axel Strotbek, Member of the Board of Management for Finance and Organization at AUDI AG. "The Audi Group plans to invest over € 2 billion annually in new products and technologies."

In their immediate future, Audi will be putting their new A8 hybrid on sale, which will then be followed by the launch of the Audi A3 . Of course, the most awaited model is the R8 e-Tron which will be unveiled at the end of 2012. When the new R8 e-Tron is released, it will make Audi the first premium manufacturer to bring an all-electric sports car onto the market in a small series.

Audi A3

The next generation Audi A3 has been caught testing yet again, this time during some winter testing. Audi was the first automaker to take full advantage of the winter testing grounds in Northern Sweden, right when the weather was just right. This marks the vehicle’s final testings, which means the launch date is right around the corner.

The new A3 will come in four different body styles. The first to arrive will be the three door hatch, which will then be followed by a five door hatch, - called the Sportback - a convertible, and for the first time, a four door sedan. The new model will be slightly larger than the current model and will be built on Volkswagen’s new MQB platform. The engine line-up will include a choice between six enginesc consisting of both TSI and TDI variants. Power will range between 105 HP and 210 HP, and all engines will bring a 20% improvement in fuel economy. Audi has also announced that they will be be bringing in all-electric and hybrid models for 2013.

Audi may be sending out the current generation TT-RS with one final special edition - the TT-RS Plus - but they are introducing another with that same package. At least, that is what a leaked document is suggesting.

Back in June 2011, Audi reported that all of the 2,700 units of the highly anticipated RS3 Sportback had been sold out, but if this document is to be taken seriously, then customers may have another chance to snag the sports hatch in an even cooler package. The RS3 Plus will take the turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine - also found in the TT-RS - and jump-start it by 20 HP, leaving it with a total of 360 HP and 342 lb-ft. of torque. And just like with the TT-RS Plus, the RS3 Plus will be a few pounds lighter, thus making it a little bit faster. Expect to see different carbon fiber elements as well, most likely a specially designed wheel and a fixed rear wing.

The Audi RS3 Plus will be unveiled in May 2012, a month after the TT-RS Plus.

Audi A3

After being previewed by the A3 Concept version at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, the Audi A3 is preparing to enter its third generation sometime in the middle of 2012. With this generation, Audi is overhauling the A3’s design and our spy photographers have captured the new and improved model testing somewhere in Argentina. When the Audi A3 does hit the market, it will be offered in both hatchback and sedan versions. The sedan will mostly be offered in the US market where Audi hopes to boost the A3 sales with the new version.

The new A3 will be built on Volkswagen’s new MQB platform and will be offered with a choice of six different engine options, all of them delivering up to a 20% improvement in fuel consumption. There are even rumors of hybrid and electric versions, but, if true, those won’t see the light of day for a couple of years.

When discussing the next A3, Audi’s design boss, Stefan Sielaff said: "Three-door cars will be more compact and sharper in design, while the four-door will have different dimensions and detailing around the car – it’ll be a sporty, peppy design with a sexy back end!"

With that said, expect to see a design inspired by the A3 Concept , but from the looks of these spy shots, nowhere near the extravagance of it.

Audi has turned the corner on their new "Audi balanced mobility" moto with the launch of a new project called the TCNG e-gas project. The e-gas project will go into production starting 2013 and is the world’s first automotive manufacturer to set up an entire portfolio of sustainable sources of energy.

The TCNG e-gas project will use wind-generated electricity to manufacture hydrogen by means of electrolysis. Hydrogen can be used in the future as a source of energy for fuel-cell vehicles or, in an additional step, can be used to manufacture methane. Such methane is known as Audi as e-gas. It is chemically identical to natural gas and can power combustion engines. More important, it is completely CO2-neutral.

"Ecology and economy in unison: that is the greatest challenge of the future. To attain this we must bring mobility completely into equilibrium – with people and their new values and with the environment. CO2-neutral mobility is our goal," says Audi Chairman Rupert Stadler. He continues: "On the way to achieving this we are systematically using clean power. We are producing climate-friendly fuels and forming a new mindset for which our entire company stands. That’s the objective of Audi balanced mobility."

Audi has taken their E-tron concept a step forward with the unveiling of the E-tron A3 concept - a compact car featuring a powerful electric motor and a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery. Although the concept looks almost identical to the production A3 , there are a few elements that will help distinguish it. The concept has received a revised instrument cluster, leather Alcantara seats, a heated windshield, and an optimized air conditioning system.

The most important difference between the two concepts can be found in the powertrain. As a hybrid concept, Audi decided to use a different engine than the one found in the A3 Sedan Concept. Instead of the 2.5-liter turbocharged engine of the A3 concept, the E-tron version has a slightly less powerful 1.4-liter TFSI turbocharged gas engine that doesn’t come close to the output the former has.

Of course, being a hybrid concept, performance takes a back seat to fuel efficiency and that’s where the E-tron A3 Concept has the upper hand over the gasoline-powered A3 Concept.

Details on the Audi E-tron A3 after the jump.

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