Audi unveiled today the new Audi A3 and A3 Sportback. Innovative technologies such as the S tronic dual-clutch transmission with seven speeds and Audi magnetic ride, the suspension control system, makes for even greater driving pleasure. Its sharper, more striking design lends even greater expression to the A3 family.
Audi is bringing the A3 and A3 Sportback onto the market with eight different engines – five gasoline and three diesel versions. Six of them are pioneering four-cylinder direct injection units with turbocharging.
The 1.6 unit develops 102 hp, the 1.4 TFSI 125 hp, the 1.8 TFSI 160 hp and the 2.0 TFSI 200 hp, while the 3.2 quattro with its six cylinders musters 250 hp. The 1.9 TDI delivers 105 hp and the 2.0 TDI 140 hp or 170 hp, depending on specification. Both two-liter diesel engines have been extensively reengineered – a new common rail injection system now assures ultra-refined running.
The 1.6-liter gasoline engine can also be supplied in conjunction with manual transmission for low-cost running on ethanol E 85 fuel. The diesel with an output of 105 hp is the power unit of the extremely efficient 1.9 TDI e version which, thanks to special fine-tuning measures, clocks up 100 kilometers on a mere 4.5 liters of diesel (52.27 mpg).
The dynamic range-topping member of the A3 family sports new features, too. There is now a second top model on the market, with the S3 Sportback joining the three-door Audi S3. Both versions are equipped with the same engine, the reengineered 2.0 TFSI with an output of 265 hp. With 258.15 lb-ft of torque available constantly from 2,500 to 5,000 rpm, the direct-injection, two-liter turbo catapults the three-door model from 0 to 62.14 mph in 5.7 seconds (Sportback: 5.8 seconds); the top speed is limited electronically to 155.34 mph.
The Audi A3 and A3 Sportback, the premium compact models from Audi, are raising their sporty profile with a raft of improvements and an accentuated design. Innovative technologies such as the S tronic dual-clutch transmission with seven speeds and Audi magnetic ride, the suspension control system, makes for even greater driving pleasure. Its sharper, more striking design lends even greater expression to the A3 family. Additional equipment features, such as the Audi parking system at front and rear, the parking assistant and the reversible loadliner, also add to the appeal of these models. The Audi S3 developing 195 kW (265 hp) is now also available as a Sportback version, a new top model that rounds off the range. Shipping will commence in the summer, with prices starting at € 20,350.
The Audi A3 created the entirely new market segment of the premium compact car when the first-generation model made its debut in 1996. The brand with the four rings has been notably successful in that market segment and has since built 1.9 million units of the Audi A3 . After four successive record-breaking years, the one millionth specimen of the second-generation A3 – which went into production in 2003 – left the assembly line just a few days ago. Audi is now solidifying its lead.
The exterior: even sportier profile
New visual details for the three-door A3 and A3 Sportback bring its stretched, sporty profile into the foreground. The front lid and fenders are more expressively styled, and the bumper and large single-frame radiator grille have been modified. A curved trim element in the headlamps known as the "wing" accentuates their technical perfection. Daytime running lights are standard features, and the optional bi-xenon headlamps incorporate LEDs. Down the sides, the highlight features are exterior mirrors with integral turn indicators, new door handles and attractive wheels.
At the tail end, the modified bumper and the lights help this car make a grand exit; the A3 Sportback now has innovative fiber optic rods arranged in a flat, continuous strip that creates an impressive optical effect in the dark. The three-door A3 has a modified tailgate with a new light edge. As a result of the design modifications, the A3 has grown by 2.5 centimeters (0.98 in) in length to 4.24 meters (166.93 in), while the sporty proportions of the Sportback remain virtually unchanged at 4.29 meters (168.90 in) in length.
The interior: sporty elegance
Inside the car, too, the designers fine-tuned the atmosphere of sporty elegance. Aluminum-look elements on the air vents, light switches and center console accentuate the premium character of the Audi A3 and A3 Sportback. The switches and controls beneath the audio system have been given a new, modern look. The instruments have black dials and red needles to reinforce the impression of precision and advanced technology, and a shift indicator displays the recommended gear in any given circumstances in the driver information system. The driver information system’s display and the time, date and distance display – standard with the Ambiente and Ambition equipment lines – shows the information in high-resolution white type. The leather sport steering wheel for the Ambition line has new aluminum trim clips, and Audi can supply a flat-bottomed leather sport steering wheel for the Ambition as an option.
New inlays for the Attraction and Ambition, new colors and a wide selection of upholstery fabrics enhance the interior through their sportiness, impressive material quality and meticulous crafting. The upholstery range even includes Fine Nappa leather for the sport seats.
The A3’s trunk is the roomiest in its class, at 350 to 1,080 liters (12.36 to 38.12 cubic ft.), with an even larger 370 to 1,100 liters (13.06 to 38.83 cubic ft.) on the A3 Sportback. On quattro versions the trunk floor is a few centimeters higher, to accommodate the special rear axle. A particularly ingenious feature is available for the front-wheel-drive versions – a sturdy, reversible loadliner that is a practical, easy-to-clean tray e.g. for carrying wet items, which can be removed from the car as a carrying tray. Audi can also supply the options of roof rails and a panoramic sunroof for the versatile A3 Sportback.
Powerful drive: the engines
As before, Audi is bringing the A3 and A3 Sportback onto the market with eight different engines – five gasoline and three diesel versions. Six of them are pioneering four-cylinder direct injection units with turbocharging. Their abbreviations TFSI and TDI encapsulate the strengths of Audi’s engine technology – performance, high torque, dynamism, refinement and efficiency.
The 1.6 unit develops 75 kW (102 hp), the 1.4 TFSI 92 kW (125 hp), the 1.8 TFSI 118 kW (160 hp) and the 2.0 TFSI 147 kW (200 hp), while the 3.2 quattro with its six cylinders musters 184 kW (250 hp). The 1.9 TDI delivers 77 kW (105 hp) and the 2.0 TDI 103 kW (140 hp) or 125 kW (170 hp), depending on specification. Both two-liter diesel engines have been extensively reengineered – a new common rail injection system now assures ultra-refined running.
The 1.6-liter gasoline engine can also be supplied in conjunction with manual transmission for low-cost running on ethanol E 85 fuel. The diesel with an output of 77 kW (105 hp) is the power unit of the extremely efficient 1.9 TDI e version which, thanks to special fine-tuning measures, clocks up 100 kilometers on a mere 4.5 liters of diesel (52.27 mpg). Most of the other engines likewise slash fuel consumption by as much as 15 percent. The 1.8 TFSI and the technically closely related 2.0 TFSI have been frictionally optimized and have new cylinder bores, pistons and oil pumps.
High tech from Audi: the new transmissions
The range of transmissions has been extended and become even more appealing. Almost all engine versions are supplied as standard with six-speed manual transmission. The 1.6 and 1.9 TDI are outfitted with five-speed manual transmission, and the 3.2 is available exclusively with the S tronic dual-clutch transmission, now also available optionally for all engine versions. The high-tech S tronic changes gears with extreme speed and smoothness. The driver can set it to operate in a fully automatic mode or change gears manually – either at the selector lever or with the standard shift paddles on the leather sport steering wheel (from 103 kW/140 hp).
The S tronic on the six-cylinder engine, the 2.0 TFSI and the diesel versions has six speeds, whereas the 1.6, the 1.4 TFSI and the 1.8 TFSI feature a newly developed seven-speed S tronic. Both its clutches are dry-running – an innovative approach. This means that they do not need a separate oil supply, further adding to their already impressive efficiency. The seven gears are closely spaced for a sporty response, though the top gear is sufficiently high-geared to reduce the engine speed, cutting fuel consumption as a result.
The quattro versions, which put the A3 in a different league to the other players in the premium compact class, likewise have even more to offer. The all-wheel-drive system is available for five engine versions – for the 1.8 TFSI, the 2.0 TFSI, the 3.2 (as standard) and the two 2.0 TDI versions. In its latest technical form the central hydraulic multi-plate clutch responds even faster when the engine’s power needs to be redistributed between the front and rear wheels. This increases stability, traction and driving pleasure for the driver.
The standard-fit dynamic suspension, too, provides safety, dynamic handling and comfort all rolled into one. The captivating precision with which the Audi A3 and A3 Sportback handle and their well-balanced character owe a great deal to elaborate concepts such as the four-link rear suspension and the efficient electromechanical power steering. There is optional sport suspension that supports the body 15 millimeters (0.59 in) lower; it is standard on the Ambition, in conjunction with 17-inch alloys. The option of acoustic glass for the windshield (standard on Ambiente) enhances occupant comfort and improves the car’s acoustic behavior.
Way ahead of the competition: Audi magnetic ride
There is another new feature that puts the A3 and A3 Sportback streets ahead of their challengers: The adaptive-action shock absorber control system by the name of Audi magnetic ride. This system overcomes the age-old conflict between dynamic behavior and ride comfort. The driver can choose between "Normal" and "Sport" programs by flipping a switch. A magneto-rheological fluid circulating in the shock absorbers changes its flow properties within milliseconds when a voltage is applied; this affects the damping characteristic, which can be varied from comfortably supple to crisply firm. Audi can supply the electronic damping control system as an option for the gasoline versions from 118 kW (160 hp) upwards, as well as for both two-liter TDI versions.
The equipment range for the Audi A3 and A3 Sportback has also been greatly extended. As before, there are three lines to choose from. Attraction is the version with compelling character; the dynamic-looking Ambition for instance includes sport seats, sport suspension and 17-inch wheels, and the luxurious Ambiente equipment line features such items as cruise control, a light and rain sensor, an interior lighting package and the new addition of a windshield with acoustic glass.
For an even more customized specification there are the S line, comprising an exterior package and a sport package, the deluxe Audi exclusive line, and the choice items available within the Audi exclusive range. On all equipment lines and engine versions for the German market, the chorus radio system with four speakers is now standard. There are also modern infotainment systems available, including the Bose Sound System; the Audi exclusive range includes a connection socket for an iPod.
The array of other new options demonstrates the high technological standard of the A3 car line. These include deluxe automatic air conditioning, adaptive light – the dynamic cornering light system – and the Audi parking system for front and rear, displaying the distance from an obstruction via the frequency of the signal emitted. Then there is the new parking assistant. Its pioneering ultrasound sensors scan the parking spaces by the roadside as the car is driven slowly past; the driver is informed in the instrument cluster if one of them is sufficiently large to back into. If the reverse gear is engaged and the accelerator pressed, the system manipulates the electromechanical steering to guide the car automatically into the space. All the driver need do is attend to the accelerator, clutch and brakes.
Pure performance: the new S3 Sportback
The dynamic range-topping member of the A3 family sports new features, too. There is now a second top model on the market, with the S3 Sportback joining the three-door Audi S3 . Both versions are equipped with the same engine, the reengineered 2.0 TFSI with an output of 195 kW (265 hp). With 350 Nm (258.15 lb-ft) of torque available constantly from 2,500 to 5,000 rpm, the direct-injection, two-liter turbo catapults the three-door model from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 5.7 seconds (Sportback: 5.8 seconds); the top speed is limited electronically to 250 km/h (155.34 mph). Yet the S3’s fuel consumption is astonishingly low, at an average of 8.5 liters per 100 km (27.67 mpg).
A six-speed manual transmission handles the business of getting the power from the engine to the standard quattro driveline; 18-inch wheels provide a firm grip with the road. The sport suspension holds the body 25 millimeters (0.98 in) lower and integrates lightweight aluminum components. Black brake calipers act on 17-inch disk brakes. Audi’s compact premium sports model offers the reflexes of a top athlete. It reacts spontaneously to steering movements and its handling remains stable, precise and almost neutral right up to its physical limits. When coming out of a bend it veritably seems to dig its claws into the tarmac, enabling the driver to start accelerating again at the earliest possible moment.
Like the A3, the S3 has been optically modified and is clearly distinguished by a number of striking lines, for example on the radiator grille, on the bumpers and on the roof spoiler, as well as by the aluminum-look exterior mirrors. Inside, the driver and front passenger are greeted by sport seats with cloth, Alcantara/leather or all-leather upholstery; Audi exclusive bucket seats are available as an option. Aluminum pedals, three different styles of inlay and a black or silver headlining create an exclusively sporty look. Deluxe automatic air conditioning, an anti-theft alarm and xenon plus headlamps with LED daytime running light extend the range of standard features.
The further optimized Audi A3, A3 Sportback and the two S3 versions are about to go on the market; shipping of the new models will begin in the summer. In conclusion, the comprehensively improved A3 comes with an extended range of standard equipment, including the chorus radio system – all at a starting price of € 20,350.
An expressive exterior design and lines which surge forwards – the athletic exterior of the Audi A3 and the A3 Sportback has been further streamlined. The new features at the front end are the most eye-catching. The single-frame radiator grille has been fitted with a new trim grille and a redeveloped chrome frame, further emphasizing its striking character. The bumper and the air inlets – with integrated fog lamps in the sporty Ambition equipment line – have also been redesigned. Modifications to the engine hood and the fenders cause the front end to appear more clearly defined and wider.
With their confident look, the headlamps express the entire philosophy with which Audi develops its models – they are small, technical works of art of the very highest precision. The integrated, vapor-deposited chrome trim, the "wing", has already advanced to become a typical feature of the brand, as has the innovative safety system of the daytime running lights. Depending on the design of the headlamps, both components reveal slight differences.
In the high-powered H7 halogen headlamps, long-life bulbs are employed in the lower area for the daytime running lights. Each of the optional xenon plus headlamps, which can be further refined with adaptive light, the dynamic cornering light system, are fitted with seven light-emitting diodes located at the upper edge of the headlamps.
Further new details accentuate the coupe-like side view of the A3 and the A3 Sportback. The exterior mirrors are equipped with integrated turn signal indicators and the door handles have been redesigned. Powerful 16-inch wheels fill out the wheel housings; the wheels fitted in the Ambition line have a diameter of 17 inches and are manufactured from cast aluminum. The Audi exclusive range available from quattro GmbH also offers extremely sporty 18-inch wheels in four different designs.
The rear view of both models has now also become more expressive. The wide lamps, which are drawn into the trunk lid from the side panels, emphasize the horizontals. Plastic rods, which are supplied by LEDs, form flat light coronas in the A3 Sportback during the hours of darkness; these light guide rods additionally generate a particularly homogeneous and precise light profile. In the three-door A3, the trunk lid has been provided with a new light edge. Modifications to the bumper further enhance the end of the vehicle. Engines as of an output of 77 kW (105 hp) are equipped with an exhaust system with twin tailpipes.
Moderate: Increase in length
Due to the design changes, the length of both A3 variants has increased. The length of the three-door version has increased by 25 millimeters (0.98 inches) to 4.24 meters (13.91 feet), with six millimeters (0.24 inches) being added to the five-door Sportback (4.29 meters (14.07 feet)). The vehicle’s sporty proportions therefore remain virtually unchanged. The width of 1.77 meters (5.81 feet) and the height (1.42 meters (4.66 feet)) remain unchanged; the drag coefficient is 0.33. Four new colors make the color charts even more attractive – Aruba Blue, pearl effect; Glass Blue, pearl effect; Condor Gray, metallic; Meteor Gray, pearl effect. A total of 14 (3-door A3) or 15 (A3 Sportback) paint finishes are available.
Customers who value an even sportier look can order the S line exterior package, which offers identical components for the A3 and the A3 Sportback. At the front, the package provides specially designed grille inserts, bars, fog lamp surrounds in
chrome-look and the bumper. A roof spoiler and tailpipe trims for the fourcylinder vehicles catch the eye at the rear, with door sill strips and lettering at the sides.
The interior of the A3 model series treats occupants with its generous amount of space throughout. On the rear bench seat, the Sportback actually offers a full 903 millimeters (35.55 inches) of leg room, therefore setting standards in the premium
compact class. Like the three-door A3, it has a long wheelbase of 2.58 meters (8.46 feet).
The fascinating atmosphere of sporty elegance is also typical of Audi. The basic characteristics of the exterior design are reflected in the interior – clear lines encompass generous surfaces, all elements are harmoniously coordinated. These high esthetic qualities are combined with ergonomically perfect styling. Fine materials and an uncompromisingly high-quality finish create an intensive experience of precision and quality.
The cockpit: With the look of a sports car
The high, wide center console dominates the cockpit; as in a sports car, it is joined to the transmission tunnel via two struts. A sporty dome arches over the instrument cluster. The four round air vents – refined with discreet chrome inserts, as is the light switch – call the TT Roadster to mind. The switches and the air conditioning controls on the center console are presented in a new, elegantly rounded design. An optional light package lends the interior further splendor.
The topic of ergonomics is always one of the primary concerns in Audi’s specifications catalog; it has been implemented to perfection in the A3 and A3 Sportback. Numerous storage compartments are available; a special package includes nets on the front seat backrests and on the tunnel, a stowage compartment beneath the driver’s seat and a net beneath the rear shelf. This package is fitted as standard in the Ambiente line, and is available as an option in the other equipment lines.
In the instrument cluster, red pointers move over redesigned, sporty, black dial faces. Located between the speedometer and the tachometer, two smaller gauges indicate the coolant temperature and the fuel tank capacity. The Ambition and Ambiente lines are equipped with the driver information system as standard. Its display provides important information in brilliant white lettering. Within this, the gear change display indicates the ideal gear as a recommendation for efficient driving. The logic implemented in the optional navigation system and the navigation system plus, which includes a DVD drive and a 6.5-inch color display, follows the intuitive operating logic of the MMI concept fitted in the large Audi model lines.
The steering wheel in the Audi A3 and A3 Sportback can be adjusted axially and vertically; the Ambition line is equipped with a three-spoke leather-covered sports steering wheel with discreet aluminum trim strips. Multifunction buttons are also available for the audio and navigation systems; when the S tronic transmission is fitted, these are joined by shift paddles (standard as of 140 hp). Audi also offers various three-spoke steering wheels for the Ambition line; as in a racing car, the rims of these are flattened at the bottom.
Precisely as desired: Seats
A wide range of options is also available for the seats. In the Attraction line, the driver’s seat can be adjusted vertically; this is joined by the passenger seat in the other two lines. In the Ambition, both front seats offer sporty styling, whilst a center armrest provides additional comfort in the Ambiente. An electric four-way lumbar support, heating for the front seats or also for the two outer rear seats plus electric seat adjustment (option for A3 Sportback) are available for particularly demanding customers.
The standard seats are covered with cloth. Depending on the line, these are available in different designs and colors, and are named Frequency, Dynamic and Meridian. Vienna leather is also available as an alternative. Audi offers a wide range of leather grades for the sports seats – Vienna leather, Fine Nappa leather and a combination of Alcantara and leather. The leather range encompasses a total of six colors, including the two new colors mineral gray and mustang brown.
Audi’s interior designers have perfectly coordinated the seat designs to the colors of the cockpit and the shades of the carpets and door linings. Depending on equipment line, new standard inlay variants named pearlescent, micrometallic and vavona wood are available. Aluminium Medial finish silver or Walnut brown inlays are also available as options.
The S line sports package lends the interior a particularly cool touch. The interior is designed in black, whilst the seams of the seat upholstery, the floor mats and the steering wheel are either silver or black. The covers are available in three versions – cloth/leather, Alcantara/leather or Vienna leather. The sports steering wheel, the door sill strips and the trim inserts – in aluminum or piano finish black – are specifically differentiated.
The products available from quattro GmbH’s Audi exclusive range – whose highlights include bicolor-look seat upholstery in three colors – offer even greater individuality. The optional extras available from Audi exclusive also include highlights such as optional paint finishes or a style package in black.
Practical quality: Large luggage compartment volume With a load-through width of one meter (3.28 feet) and a volume of 350 to 1,080 liters (12.36 to 38.14 cubic feet), the Audi A3 offers the largest luggage compartment in its class, with the A3 Sportback topping this at 370 to 1,100 liters (13.07 to 38.85 cubic feet). These values are a few liters lower in the variants with quattro drive due to the special rear axle.
A load-through aperture – with an armrest and cup holders or also with a ski bag – is optionally available. The rear seat backrests in all models can be split 1/3:2/3 as standard; they can be released and folded down effortlessly. The extended luggage compartment in the three-door version has a length of 1.52 meters (4.99 feet), that of the Sportback 1.54 meters (5.05 feet). Bag hooks and lashing points are fitted as standard; instead of the tire repair set, Audi supplies a compact spare tire free of charge if desired.
A luggage compartment package, which includes a versatile safety net and a 12 V socket, is optionally available for all versions of the A3 and the A3 Sportback; Audi also offers a reversible mat. A particularly clever feature is optionally available for the front-wheel drive versions – a reversible load floor. Depending on its position, it can be used either as a level floor or as a drip tray for damp objects; when removed from the luggage compartment, it can also be used as a
tray. Roof rails and a panoramic sunroof are also available for the Audi A3 Sportback leisure vehicle.
The Audi A3 and the A3 Sportback will be launched with eight powerful and efficient engines, six of which are state-of-the-art four-cylinder direct injection engines with turbocharging. Their abbreviations, TFSI and TDI, stand for the strengths of Audi engine technology – for performance and tractive power, for dynamics, smooth running characteristics and efficiency.
The range of power transmissions has been further expanded and is therefore even more attractive: Five of the eight engines leave the assembly line with standard six-speed transmissions. The high-tech S tronic transmission is available for all variants, in a new seven-speed version for certain variants. The quattro four-wheel drive system is available – in a further improved evolutionary stage – for five engines.
The five gasoline engines cover a wide range in terms of output. The entry-level assembly is the tried-and-tested 1.6-liter engine with aluminum crankcase and variable intake manifold. It has an output of 75 kW (102 hp) and offers 148 Nm (109.16 lb-ft) of torque at 3,800 rpm. This refined short-stroke engine actuates its valves with low friction via roller rocker fingers; a range of other components have been frictionally optimized to achieve low fuel consumption.
Agile performance: Result of lightweight design
In combination with the new seven-speed S tronic transmission, the three-door A3 sprints to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 11.7 seconds, continuing up to its top speed of 185 km/h (114.95 mph). This agile performance is also thanks to its low weight of just 1220 kg (2689.64 lb) – consistent lightweight design is one of the major strengths of the entire model range. The A3 1.6 consumes an average of 6.7 liters of fuel per 100 km (35.11 mpg). It is fitted with a five-speed manual transmission as standard, and is driven via the front wheels.
At the other end of the gasoline engine range is the V6 with a displacement of 3189 cm3. It offers maximum torque of 320 Nm (236.02 lb-ft), which is available between 2,500 and 3,000 rpm, and output of 184 kW (250 hp). The particular characteristic of this long-stroke engine is its extremely low cylinder angle of just 15 degrees – enabling it to be fitted with two camshafts. Both can be continuously adjusted, by 52 degrees on the intake side and 42 degrees on the exhaust side. The 3.2-liter V6 is a high-torque, sonorous and free-revving engine. It accelerates the A3 from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 6.1 seconds. Its top speed is 250 km/h (155.34 mph) (governed), with average consumption of 9.4 liters per 100 km (25.02 mpg). The V6 is always coupled to the six-speed S tronic and quattro fourwheel drive.
TFSI: Superior engine technology
The three medium-sized gasoline engines in the A3 and in the A3 Sportback are four-cylinder TFSI engines – with which Audi is again demonstrating its leading position in engine construction. They ideally combine the superior technology of FSI gasoline direct injection with charging via a turbocharger.
In direct injection, the fuel is injected directly into the combustion chambers at high pressure; valves in the intake tract specifically cause it to swirl together with the air blown in by the turbocharger. Fuel evaporation lowers the temperatures, solving the old, basic problem of all turbocharged engines – high heat development and the tendency to knock. Despite charging, the engineers have succeeded in providing these engines with high compression, making a vital contribution towards highly efficient combustion.
The smallest TFSI engine is a perfect example of another of Audi’s successful efficiency strategies – downsizing, which replaces displacement via charging. This short-stroke engine has a displacement of just 1,390 cm3, but offers an impressive torque of 200 Nm (147.51 lb-ft), which is additionally available over a wide engine speed range from 1,500 to 4,000 rpm. 80 percent of this torque are practically available as of idle speed, at 1,250 rpm – a top value in this class. The 1.4 TFSI also sets standards with its smooth running and pleasant sound profile.
The small four-cylinder engine, which always drives the front wheels, offers impressively agile performance, particularly when the vehicle is fitted with the seven-speed S tronic instead of the six-speed manual transmission. With this, the three-door Audi A3 1.4 TFSI sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in just 9.3 seconds, continuing up to 203 km/h (126.14 mph). However, its average consumption is a mere 5.6 liters/100 km – the equivalent of only 133 grams of CO2 per kilometer (214.04 g/mile).
The next largest turbocharged gasoline engine, the 1.8 TFSI, also combines all of the features of cutting-edge engine technology. It is very light, weighing just 135 kg (297.62 lb). One intake camshaft, which can be adjusted by a crank angle of 60 degrees, improves combustion chamber filling; two balancer shafts compensate the second-order inertia forces, thereby ensuring highly cultivated running. With its volumetric flow regulation and two-stage pressure control, the oil pump reduces fuel consumption by 0.2 liters per 100 km. Complex fine-tuning on the pistons, the cylinder bores and the crankshaft bearings reduces internal friction.
The water-cooled turbocharger is designed for a spontaneous response – at an engine speed of 2,000 rpm, the engine only requires 1.2 seconds to offer its maximum torque. The four-cylinder engine is spontaneous, fleet-footed, freerevving and high-torque. From its displacement of 1,798 cm3, it generates a similar amount of power as a naturally aspirated V6 engine a few years ago: It offers an output of 118 kW (160 hp), with a high maximum torque of 250 Nm (184.39 lb-ft) from 1,500 to 4,200 rpm.
Its performance is accordingly superior: 0 – 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 7.5 seconds, top speed of 220 km/h (136.70 mph) – with an average consumption of just 6.6 liters/100 km (35.64 mpg). These values apply to the three-door vehicle with front-wheel drive and seven-speed S tronic. A six-speed manual transmission is fitted as standard. The A3 1.8 TFSI can also be optionally fitted with quattro drive.
Subscription to victory: The 2.0 TFSI
The most powerful four-cylinder engine fitted in the A3 family is the 2.0 TFSI. Technically related to the 1.8 TFSI, it is a particularly successful model: Since 2005, an international jury comprised of journalists has voted it "Engine of the Year" four years in a row. The two-liter engine also operates with an adjustable intake camshaft and two balancer shafts. Audi has given it a high compression of 10.5:1, previously reserved for sporty naturally aspirated engines; thanks to this, thermodynamic efficiency is improved still further.
The four-valve engine has a displacement of 1,984 cm3; it combines superior tractive power with high peak output. In the manner of a powerful diesel engine, it transmits 280 Nm (206.52 lb-ft) onto the crankshaft at just 1,700 rpm; this maximum torque is constantly available up to 5,000 rpm. Its output peaks at 147 kW (200 hp).
The 2.0 TFSI engine accomplishes all of its tasks with absolute ease. Together with the six-speed S tronic, which is optionally available in addition to the sevenspeed manual transmission, it accelerates the front-wheel-drive three-door A3 to
100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 6.8 seconds, reaching a top speed of 238 km/h (147.88 mph). An average of 7.0 liters of fuel/100 km (33.60 mpg) suffices. Optionally, the A3 2.0 TFSI also leaves the assembly line with the high-tech powertrain combination of S tronic and quattro.
TDI: The modern embodiment of sportiness
Audi’s TDI engines also set the standards amongst the competition. The brand with the four rings introduced this technology back in 1989, and has been gradually extending its lead ever since. The Audi diesel engines are the modern, smart embodiment of sportiness – the two Le Mans victories celebrated by the R10 TDI racing car in 2006 and 2007 demonstrated the power offered by the TDI engine. In the three four-cylinder engines which Audi fits in the A3 and A3 Sportback, high outputs, high torques, low consumption values and refined running come together to form a rounded overall picture.
The 1.9 TDI is a modern classic – high-torque, powerful and extremely efficient. The two-valve engine with its displacement of 1,896 cm3, which is supplied by a unit injector, has an output of 77 kW (105 hp) and transmits 250 Nm (184.39 lb-ft) of torque onto the crankshaft at just 1,900 rpm. As in the case of all Audi TDI engines, its exhaust gas is cleaned in a particulate filter. The 1.9-liter engine is available in both the conventional variants of the A3 and A3 Sportback and in the particularly economical e models.
It always drives the front wheels; a five-speed transmission is fitted as standard, whilst the six-speed S tronic is available as an option (not in the e model). The three-door A3 and the A3 Sportback 1.9 TDI e consume just 4.5 liters of diesel per 100 km (52.27 mpg) – corresponding to CO2 output of 119 g/km (191.51 g/mile) and a range of over 1200 km (745.65 miles) with one tank of fuel. In the e models, the engine electronics are specifically and extensively coordinated to achieve low consumption. A longer gear ratio for gears three to five, rolling resistance-optimized tires and specific fine-tuning measures on the body help to achieve this high efficiency. Typically of Audi, driving pleasure does not suffer as a result – quite the opposite: With a top speed of 194 km/h (120.54 mph), the three-door A3 1.9 TDI e is actually 7 km/h (4.35 mph) faster than the entry-level version. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) remains the same at 11.4 seconds.
The intensively redeveloped four-cylinder TDI engine, which has a displacement of 1968 cm3, builds on the characteristic strengths – driving pleasure, economy and smooth running characteristics – of its predecessor, the most frequently built diesel engine in the world. The piston geometry has been modified. Two balancer shafts further reduce vibrations. The toothed belt drive has additionally been redeveloped in terms of acoustics. The turbocharger is also of a new generation; it operates with adjustable guide vanes to build up torque rapidly. Electric motors control the position of the swirl flaps in the intake manifold to adapt the inflowing air to the load and engine speed.
Smoother running characteristics: Common rail injection
Important progress has also been achieved in the injection system: A common rail system has replaced the previously implemented unit injectors. The rapidly switching piezo injectors, with their eight-hole nozzles, are able to inject fuel up
to five times per working cycle – this precise modulation audibly reduces the noise level. The system pressure of 1,800 bar equates to extremely fine fuel atomization and efficient combustion.
This combined progress leads to a high maximum engine speed of 5,000 rpm and improved thermodynamics in the combustion chambers. These enable the 2.0 TDI to be operated with up to 60 percent recirculated and cooled exhaust gas, significantly reducing untreated nitrogen oxide emissions.
Audi is equipping the A3 model series with two versions of the further developed 2.0 TDI engine, generating 103 kW (140 hp) and 125 kW (170 hp). Both can be combined with three drive variants – front-wheel drive with six-speed manual transmission, front-wheel drive with six-speed S tronic or quattro with manual transmission.
In the 103 kW (140 hp) version, the two-liter engine provides torque of 320 Nm (236.02 lb-ft), which is available from 1,750 to 2,500 rpm. With 8.9 seconds for the standard sprint and a top speed of 207 km/h (128.62 mph) (three-door version with front-wheel drive and S tronic), the diesel engine offers sporty performance. It consumes an average of 5.1 liters of fuel/100 km (46.12 mpg).
In the more powerful version, the 2.0 TDI offers an impressive 350 Nm (258.15 lb-ft) of torque from 1750 to 2500 rpm. The three-door version with frontwheel drive and S tronic reveals dynamic key values of 7.8 seconds for the standard sprint and a top speed of 222 km/h (128.62 mph). In view of this performance, its low standard consumption of just 5.6 liters/100 km (42.00 mpg) is particularly impressive.
High-tech from Audi: Power transmission
Front-wheel or four-wheel drive, manual transmission or S tronic – in the A3 family, Audi offers a range of power transmission systems unlike any other competitor in the premium compact class. The six-speed manual transmissions, which are fitted as standard with all engines except the 1.6, the 1.9 TDI and the 3.2 engines, have particularly light magnesium housings. They can be shifted precisely and smoothly over short distances, and are extremely efficient.
One of the highlights which lends the A3 and the A3 Sportback their exceptional position amongst the competition is the optional S tronic (standard in the 3.2 quattro). Audi’s dual-clutch transmission combines the comfort of an automatic transmission with torque converter with the dynamics and efficiency of a manual transmission.
The driver can control it manually via a one-touch lever or with paddles on the steering wheel. Two fully automatic operating modes are additionally available – D for Drive and S for Sport. In N mode, the transmission management system ensures that the engine runs at low speed whenever possible, in order to save fuel. The extremely compact S tronic is able to change its gears at lightening speed without any interruption in tractive power. The so-called mechatronics – a block consisting of the central processor and the hydraulic actuator complex – control its operation. Two gear train halves are integrated into the S tronic housing; the first consists of the gear set for the odd gears, the second of the gear set for the even gears. The two clutches are positioned in series; they operate two input shafts on a common axle. Clutch 1 is connected to a full shaft, which acts on gear train half 1, clutch 2 to a hollow shaft, which encapsulates the full shaft and operates gear train half 2.
The two gear train halves are permanently active, but only one is frictionally connected to the engine. When, for example, the driver accelerates in third gear, which lies in the first gear train half, the fourth gear is already engaged in the second gear train half. Shifting gears takes place by switching clutches – whilst clutch 1 opens, clutch 2 closes. This process is so smooth and comfortable that the driver barely notices it. It takes only a few hundredths of a second and is carried out with no noticeable interruption in tractive power.
Completely new: S tronic with seven gears
Audi fits two different versions of the S tronic system in the A3 and the A3 Sportback. The familiar six-speed version, which is able to cope with high torques, is installed in the 2.0 TFSI, the 3.2 quattro and the TDI engines. For the 1.6, the 1.4 TFSI and the 1.8 TFSI engines, a newly developed, particularly lightweight seven-speed assembly has been implemented. Unlike the six-speed S tronic, its two clutches are dry. Discontinuation of the oil supply offers progress which further enhances the transmission’s already high efficiency. A further solution helps to attain low fuel consumption: Six of the seven gears are short and sporty, whereas the seventh reduces the engine’s speed thanks to its relatively long ratio.
Further technology which is superior to that of the competition, and which Audi offers in the A3 model line, is the quattro four-wheel-drive system. It is optionally available for the four-cylinder TFSI (as of 118 kW/160 hp) and the two 2.0 TDI engines; it is fitted as standard with the six-cylinder 3.2-liter engine. The quattro drive provides the A3 and the A3 Sportback with a vital advantage under all conditions, both in summer and in the winter – the high, additional grip, slip-free acceleration, vehicle dynamics, stability and straight-line stability make the difference.
The core element of the quattro drive is an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch. It is mounted at the end of the propshaft in the rear end – a location which improves the distribution of weight in the vehicle. Under normal driving conditions, the clutch transmits the engine’s power to the front wheels; when required – i.e. when the front wheels move onto a slippery surface – it diverts this power continuously to the rear wheels. On switching over, the plates in the interior of the clutch are compressed by means of high oil pressure. A new pressure reservoir for the pump now makes this process even faster – it only takes a few milliseconds.
Sportiness and comfort – the chassis of the Audi A3 and the A3 Sportback offers both. Its high qualities are best experienced on winding, secondary highways. The initial, subjective impression is the result of the precision and ease with which the vehicle follows the steering angle, plus the stability with which it holds the road on fast corners – almost neutrally at the handling limits, with only slight understeer.
The suspension in the A3 and the A3 Sportback responds gently and absorbs impulses from the road surface with composure at any speed. The steering also remains imperturbably calm and always imparts a fine sensation of road contact plus a precise, firm steering feel.
Aluminum subframe: Front suspension
The front suspension, which has a track width of 1,534 millimeters (60.39 inches), follows a tried-and-tested design form – it is a McPherson design with lower wishbones. The subframe to which it is linked consists of lightweight aluminum, which improves load distribution between the front and rear axles.
The electromechanical rack-and-pinion steering with speed-dependent power assistance is characterized by its low energy consumption. As the system does not have to consume any energy when driving straight ahead, it saves an average of 0.2 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers. With its ratio of 16.2:1, the steering is of a sporty, direct design.
Networked with the ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Program) sensors, the steering automatically undertakes minor corrections if the A3 or the A3 Sportback drifts from its straight course, due to crosswinds, for example. A second function intervenes if the vehicle appears likely to start skidding: It inhibits steering corrections on the part of the driver, which would exacerbate the situation, by temporarily reducing power assistance, therefore making the steering "heavier". In contrast, positively impacting corrections are supported with increased servo power.
A further technical highlight in the Audi A3 and A3 Sportback is the four-link rear suspension with a track width of 1,507 mm (59.33 inches). It separately supports the longitudinal and lateral forces, which offers major advantages in practice. The trailing arms absorb the drive and braking forces; their bearings are of a relatively soft design in the interests of ride comfort. In contrast, the three wishbones per wheel are rigidly connected to the axle carrier, benefiting vehicle dynamics.
As on the front axle, the rear axle carrier is rigidly bolted to the body to increase stiffness. All of the links are manufactured from high-strength grades of steel. The shock absorbers and the compact coil springs are separate, enabling a largevolume luggage compartment. Anti-roll bars are fitted on the front and the rear axle.
In the Ambition equipment line, the Audi A3 and the A3 Sportback are factoryfitted with a sports suspension, which lowers the body by 15 mm (0.59 inches); this can also be optionally deselected. It is available as an option in the Attraction and Ambiente lines. quattro GmbH offers an S line sports suspension which lowers the body by a further 10 mm (0.39 inches).
Powerful wheels: Diameters from 16 to 18 inches
The Attraction variants are fitted with 16-inch wheels on which 205/55 tires are mounted as standard. Optional cast aluminum wheels are available with the same tire format as those fitted in the Ambiente line. The Ambition line is equipped with 17-inch wheels with 225/45 tires. Audi additionally offers a range consisting of around nine wheel variants, including four particularly sporty quattro GmbH versions in 18-inch format. A tire pressure monitor is also available as an optional extra.
The brake system harmonizes perfectly with the sporty character of the model series. Its pedal feel is spontaneous and taut, whilst its response can be precisely dosed. The size of the brakes is coordinated to the relevant engines. The ventilated front disks reveal diameters of 280 or 288 and 312 millimeters (11.02 or 11.33 and 12.28 inches), whilst the solid rear disks measure 255 or 286 millimeters (10.04 or 11.26 inches).
When fine-tuning the ESP system, the engineers attached great importance to reducing the braking distance and to both sporty and discreet regulation. The ESP system’s functions include dry braking in wet conditions, in which the pads are repeatedly and briefly applied onto the disks. The ESP system can be optionally extended with a starting-off aid called the Audi hill hold system; this is standard in combination with the S tronic transmission. The system continues to maintain the brake pressure for a moment when the driver has released the foot brake. He is therefore able to start off effortlessly uphill without the risk of rolling backwards.
Audi magnetic ride: Dynamics precisely as desired
An impressive high-tech solution is available for the gasoline engines as of 118 kW (160 hp) and both two-liter TDI engines as of 103 kW (140 hp): The electronic shock absorber control system, Audi magnetic ride, solves the conflicting aims of comfort and vehicle dynamics. Once again, the A3 and the A3 Sportback easily leave their rivals standing with this technology. A synthetic hydrocarbon oil, in which minute magnetic particles with a grain size of just three to ten micrometers (one thousandth of a millimeter) are enclosed, circulates in the shock absorber plungers. Applying voltage to a coil leads to the formation of a magnetic field, in which the alignment of the particles changes. They are positioned transverse to the oil’s direction of flow, thereby inhibiting its flow through the plunger ducts. This changes the damping characteristics within a matter of milliseconds.
The system’s control unit constantly analyses the status of the road and the driver’s style, and adjusts its operating mode adaptively. The driver can switch between normal and sports mode at the push of a button. In the normal setting – with high oil flow – the Audi A3 and A3 Sportback offer a well-balanced, comfortable ride. In sports mode – with low viscosity – they hug the road tightly and closely; rolling motions are consistently suppressed. The steering responds even more precisely, and specific support of the wheels makes the vehicles’ self-steering behavior even more neutral.
Their equipment also underlines the Audi A3 and the A3 Sportback’s character as compact premium vehicles. The extensive range of standard and optional features underpins their outstanding position.
Even in the Attraction line, which is itself full of character, both body variants leave the assembly line with two or four electric windows (3-door A3/A3 Sportback), a stowage compartment beneath the passenger seat and daylight driving lights. An easy-entry function for the front seats (3-door A3), radio remote control for the central locking system, electrically adjustable exterior mirrors with turn signal indicators plus a vertically adjustable driver’s seat round off the comfort equipment. The chorus radio system with four speakers is fitted as standard.
The standard range of restraint systems is comprehensive. It encompasses airbags for the driver and passenger, front airbags which protect the chest area and the pelvis plus a curtain airbag system. Added to these are five head restraints, five three-point seat belts – with tensioners and belt force limiters in front – and the integral head restraint system on the front seats. The front bumper and the engine hood are designed to minimize the effect of collisions with pedestrians as far as possible.
For sports fans: The Ambition line
The sporty Ambition line can be clearly recognized even from the exterior – thanks to 17-inch aluminum wheels, fog lamps and a sports suspension. Its interior offers two height-adjustable sports seats. Specially designed sill strips and inlays plus a leather-covered sports steering wheel in 3-spoke design refine the interior. A driver information system, a radio clock and a manual sunscreen for the rear window, which is integrated into the luggage compartment cover, are particularly practical features.
The Ambiente equipment line represents luxury, externally documented by 16-inch aluminum wheels in an elegant 7-arm design. Its interior offers a wealth of equipment – inlays in amber-coloured Vavona wood, a four-spoke leathercovered steering wheel, a storage compartment package, an outside temperature indicator, a cruise control system, a center armrest in front, an interior light package, an interior mirror with automatic anti-dazzle function, a light and rain sensor and a windshield which dampens external noise using a special acoustic film.
Audi offers further equipment lines for pronounced individualists. This involves the S line, which contains an exterior package and a sports package, the luxurious Audi exclusive line and the refined options from the Audi exclusive range. The regular range of optional extras already includes numerous attractive convenience features. These encompass electrically heated and folding exterior mirrors, a windshield with acoustic glazing, a cruise control system with improved operation, multifunctional steering wheels for operating the telephone, audio and navigation systems, sun blinds and assistance systems for making parking more comfortable: Rear parking aid or front and rear parking aid and the Park Assist system.
The deluxe automatic air conditioning system with sun sensor enables the driver and passenger to control the temperature individually. The options available for the seats are also extensive: A vertically adjustable passenger seat, electric lumbar supports, heating for two or four seats, sports seats and electrically adjustable front seats (A3 Sportback) – no desire is left unfulfilled.
Park Assist system: The A3 steers itself into the parking space
The Park Assist system is a brand new, particularly comfortable high-tech system. It operates using ultrasonic sensors which register longitudinal parking spaces at the side of the road when the vehicle is traveling at speeds below 30 km/h (18.64 mph). If a space is sufficiently large to reverse into, a corresponding indication is provided in the driver information system.
If the driver now engages reverse gear and accelerates, the Park Assist system takes over the electromechanical steering – it automatically steers the A3 and the A3 Sportback into the space in one maneuver. The driver only has to operate the accelerator, the clutch and the brake due to reasons of safety.
In the field of safety, Audi offers an anti-theft alarm system, fog lamps, a tire pressure monitoring system, Iso fix anchors for child seats and rear side airbags (in the A3 Sportback). Xenon plus headlamps and the cornering light system, adaptive light, turn night into day.
The A3 also offers many intelligent solutions in terms of practicality. Storage compartment packages are available for the interior and the luggage compartment, plus a load-through aperture with center armrest plus a ski and snowboard bag for the rear bench seat.
A luggage compartment mat and a reversible load floor make the luggage compartment extremely versatile. An electrically driven glass roof is optionally available for the three-door model, whilst the A3 Sportback offers the optional panoramic sunroof – a very large glass roof which enables the interior to be flooded with light. A further option for the Sportback are the roof rails, available in anodized aluminum or in black.
Audi offers a wide selection of multimedia devices for optimal entertainment. The standard chorus CD radio, which comes equipped with four speakers, forms the basis of the range. This continues with the MP3-capable concert radio (six speakers) and the symphony radio with CD changer up to the Bose sound system, whose amplifier contains an integrated digital sound processor. This has an output of 195 W and controls eight or ten speakers (3-door A3/A3 Sportback) via six channels. As of the concert radio, AUX-in jacks on the transmission tunnel are fitted as standard. The Audi exclusive range offers preparation for iPod installation in the glove compartment.
Navigation: The A3 knows the way
The A3 and the A3 Sportback optionally show the driver the way. The smaller solution is a navigation system with a monochromatic 6-inch screen, which reads its data from a CD. The large navigation system plus operates with a DVD player, and is equipped with a 6.5-inch color monitor which optionally shows the route as a 3D image. It contains a radio with dual tuner, slots for reading SD cards and an AUX connection: It can be further upgraded with a speech dialog system. A TV module is also available.
Both navigation devices are located in the center console; their operating logic is oriented towards the highly-praised MMI system fitted in the large Audi model series. For mobile telephony, Audi offers an optional Bluetooth link for the
mobile phone plus a hands-free system; this link also supports UMTS-capable mobile phones.
Sale of the new-look Audi A3 and A3 Sportback will be getting off to a start in the next few days, with delivery scheduled to commence in the summer. With only marginally adjusted prices, this means a much improved A3 at an attractive starting price of €20,350.