A brand new generation of Audi’s premium compact, the A3 will be offered at the end of 2010. This car is intended to become the most attractive vehicle in the segment and will be offered in at least three different body types.
The first new A3 to go in production will be a 3-door sports hatch with a very dynamic line and an ascendant profile. The front will be even more dynamic than it currently is, and the rear will offer an inclined window. The other two will be a 5-door sedan and a convertible.
LEDs will be included in the front lights for daytime use, in the side mirrors and also in the rear as braking lights. The lateral protection strips will be eliminated for a cleaner design. The wheelbase will be slightly increased and the car will also be widened.
New petrol FSI and diesel TDI engines will be offered matched with brand-new gearboxes including a 7-gears dual clutch DSG transmission. A future S3 top model equipped with a turbo engine is expected to offer up to 300 bhp. Also not confirmed, an RS3 might also be possible.
Inside information points that the next generation A3 will also offer hybrid propulsion, test mules from Audi and Volkswagen being currently in tests. The development of the hybrid models is less likely to be ready until 2010; therefore they will not be available at the initial launch of the A3. But they are expected to represent a key element in the popularity of the future model, offering the Audi performance with a low fuel consumption and significantly reduced pollution.
Audi unveiled the A3 for the first time in 1996, a small family car based on the Volkswagen A platform. There are only two generation of the A3 ever made, one from 1996 to 2003 and the second one from 2003 until now. The third generation A3 will be unveiled in 2010.
First generation: 1996–2003
The first generation A3 made its debut in the compact range as a three-door saloon in 1996. And it immediately established the benchmark in its market segment more than any other car at its time, the proverbial premium quality of the A3, its elegant body design and outstanding dynamic performance establishing a new trend for a new era.
With the A3, Audi introduced new values and, indeed, a new philosophy. The strategy of success was based on Audi’s self-imposed standards in terms of safety and quality, design and innovation carried over from the brand’s large model series and transferred to the compact segment.
The A3 was powered by a transversally mounted four-cylinder engine. Later Audi unveiled more powerful engines, including a 1.8 Turbo with 180 PS and a 1.9 TDI Diesel with pumpe-düse technology and variable geometry turbocharger.
The sporty version of the A3, the S3 was initially developing 206 hp and then 225 hp.
The second generation A3 was unveiled in 2003 at Frankfurt Motor Show. The new A3 featured both four- and six-cylinder engines with up to 250 bhp, quattro drive and the new, automatic DSG Direct Shift Gearbox.
The second generation, with its distinct sporting character, highly advanced technologies and the most dynamic design of any car in its class, qualifies again for the pole position that went immediately to the first-generation A3 when it appeared in 1996.
Next to the three-door hatchback model, Audi launched a five-door version in 2004. Called A3 Sportback , the new version was 8 cm (3 in) longer than the base three-door body, and includes improved rear cabin space and a larger luggage compartment (370 litres). It also received the new front grille originally introduced in the A8 W12.
In 2006 Audi launched a more powerful 2.0 TDI with 170 hp.
The S3 is powered by a 2.0 TFSI engine delivering 265 hp and is available with a standard 6-speed manual and Quattro. The second generation S3 is capable of accelerating to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.7 seconds.
The 1-Series went on sale in the Spring of 2007. It is a model line up that includes the most fuel efficient production vehicle BMW has ever produced. The introduction of a three-door model and a revised five-door come as a raft of new fuel-saving innovations are rolled out across the range.
The BMW 118d, BMW’s most economical car, manages its record 60.1mpg figure courtesy of these features in conjunction with the use of further lightweight engineering. The car now has an aluminium crankcase to save weight. Aside from the BMW Hydrogen 7, the BMW 118d also posts the lowest ever CO2 emissions of any BMW recording 123g/km (putting it into the Band C category for Vehicle Excise Duty).Other engines in the new 1 Series range record economy improvements of up to 24 per cent compared to the previous model, while emissions have also been cut by up to 21 per cent. These improvements have not been to the detriment of driving pleasure. The new 1 Series is powered by a range of engines whose outputs have increased by up to 20hp with a consequential improvement in performance figures.
The 130i is powered by the world’s lightest six-cylinder production engine with VALVETRONIC and Bi-VANOS technology achieves zero to 62mph in 6.0 seconds (five-door is 6.1 seconds) and an electronically limited top speed of 155mph. Output is 265bhp while peak torque is 315Nm. Combined fuel consumption is 34.0mpg and CO2 emissions are 197g/km.
The 120 i is powered by the new four-cylinder engine with High-Precision Direct Injection and Bi-VANOS technology achieves zero to 62mph in 7.7 seconds (7.8 seconds for five-door) before going on to a top speed of 139mph. Output is 170hp (up 20hp) while peak torque is now 210Nm (up 10Nm). Combined fuel consumption is 44.1mpg (improves by 17 per cent), CO2 emissions are 152g/km (down 16 per cent).
The 118i is powered by the new four-cylinder engine with High-Precision Direct Injection and Bi-VANOS technology achieves zero to 62mpg in 8.7 seconds (8.8 seconds for five-door) before going on to a top speed of 130mph. Output is 143hp (up 14hp) while peak torque is now 190Nm (up 10Nm). Combined fuel consumption is 47.9mpg (improves by 24 per cent), CO2 emissions are 140g/km (down 20.5 per cent).
The 116i is powered by a four-cylinder engine with Bi-VANOS achieves zero to 62mph in 10.9 seconds and a top speed of 124mph. Output is 116hp and peak torque is 150Nm. Combined fuel consumption is 37.7mpg and CO2 emissions are 179g/km.
The new Volvo C30 has been unveiled for the public at the Paris Motor Show in September 2006. A sporty design, two doors, four individual seats, and a glass tailgate give the C30 a unique character that will attract new Volvo buyers.
The Volvo C30 is very nimble to handle, even in limited space. Otherwise, it is built according to the same principles as the other Volvo cars. A compact and solid body, a generous track width, and a relatively long wheelbase contribute to giving it inspiring and stable driving characteristics. The chassis, with MacPherson front wheel suspension and a Multilink rear axle, is optimized to enhance fun to drive. High level of body control and precise response are key properties. A lowered sport chassis is available as an option.
DSTC, Dynamic Stability and Traction Control, is standard in most markets. Steering is electro-hydraulic (hydraulic for the 1.6-litre petrol), with a distinct and controlled steering feel. The range of options for the Volvo C30 includes a number of alloy wheels in sizes from 15 to 18 inches. Range of engines from 100 to 220 hp
The new Volvo C30 has a wide selection of engines, ranging from a 100 hp, four-cylinder 1.6-litre petrol engine, a clean and efficient four-cylinder, 1.6-litre diesel with 109 hp to the five-cylinder D5 and T5 turbo engines, providing 180 and 220 hp respectively.At 425 centimetres (167 inches), the C30 is the smallest member of Volvo’s model range - 22 centimetres (8,5 inches) shorter than the Volvo S40.
A Sports Coupe version for the C-Class was first unveiled in 2001 at Los Angeles Auto Show. The car was smaller than the C-Class sedan and it was powered by 2.3-litre engine four-cylinder engine delivering 197 hp. In 2005 the C-Class was droped from the USA line-up and there were rumors that Merceds will discontinue the C-Class sport coupe after just one generation.
But last year Mercedes has announced that the second generation C-Class Sports Coupe is going to be produced. Comparing to the sedan version it will be a few inches shorter and lower.
The second-generation C-Class sports coupe will receive a new steel body shell and a heavily reworked interior, both sharing styling cues with next-year’s C-Class sedan and wagon.
The next generation Sports Coupe will be powered by a range of engines starting from a base turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder gas engine to a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 common-rail diesel. The 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine will deliver from 136 to 170 hp and the V6 engine will deliver from 200 to 270 hp. Comparing to the first generation model the new one will be sold exclusively with rear-wheel drive in a bid to streamline operations. All models in the new C-Class Sport Coupe will come equipped with a six-speed transmission.