Audi has officially lifted the covers off of an attractive technological concept car based on the coming generation of the Audi A3 at the 81st International Geneva Motor Show. The four-seater notchback sedan offers a glimpse of the future expansion of the A3 family.
Given that the company is undergoing a design upheaval with some of their newer models, the Audi A3 Concept is the latest example of what a sporty and elegant design will look like when you combine it with the brand’s state-of-the-art technological capabilities.
The A3 Concept’s design is every bit as good as advertised, thanks to a design that emphasizes an aggressive front fascia with the brand’s iconic grille. The company’s latest LED technology, gives off a look that’s both sporty and elegant at the same time - qualities that have been a hallmark for Audi and it’s A3 line of vehicles.
Details on the Audi A3 Concept after the jump.
Measuring 4.44 meters long, 1.84 meters wide, and 1.39 meters high, the Audi A3 Concept is a sleek and dynamic embodiment of what the future holds for the German automaker. Sporty yet elegant at the same time, the A3 features plenty of eye-catching digs that underscores the whole marvelous aesthetic look. The car’s single-frame grille is made of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic with transversely mounted, three-dimensional aluminum louvres, giving the concept a lot more width and substance. The A3’s LED headlights come with beveled upper corners and are now broader with a line underneath giving off the look that they are suspended on air. The concept’s front spoiler, which has its own splitter, also gets a full-length CFRP air intake just above it and framed by a metal clasp.
The A3 also has flared fenders with two prominently elaborated lines that accentuate the line just under the window edge and the line above the sills, giving off a powerful and harmonious look that signifies that unmistakable Audi aura. Other items, including the side mirrors, are made of aluminum and the same CFRP product that is found all over the car. The door handles come with brushed-aluminum clasps that power-extend when the driver touches them.
The A3’s interior is spacious enough to give the driver and passengers enough room for maneuverability, thanks to a wheelbase that measures 2.63 meters, which is right up on top in the premium compact segment.
The vehicle’s center console has four round air vents that can be adjusted by simply pulling and pushing on the center axis. On the center console, you’ll also find the A/C system and the control panel for the car’s MMI multimedia system. Among the items you can find here include the MMI touch pad, which makes an already quick operation even more intuitive. This particular technology will eventually end up as part of the brand’s future production models.
The three-spoke steering wheel also performs a variety of functions while the items displayed behind it include two analog dial instruments with black dials and red needles that are accentuated by kidney-shaped displays. Between the two large round dials is an eight-inch display that features a driver information system, which is user-programmable depending on the whims of the driver.
Another important feature of the A3 Concept is a UMTS model that provides full access to the Internet. With this WLAN hotspot, passengers can make good use of the travel time by going online through whatever devices they may have, including iPads, which incidentally have holders on the back of the car’s front seat backrests.
The four-seater notchback A3 Concept is powered by a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that combines both FSI gasoline direction injection with new turbocharging technology to produce 408 horsepower and 369 lb/ft of torque mated to a seven-speed S tronic transmission. These numbers translate to a 0-62 mph time of just four seconds with an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph.
Concepts don’t come with price tags so it wasn’t surprising to find out that the A3 Concept didn’t have one. On that note, the current generation A3 sells for somewhere around $30,000. However, those versions don’t have an engine that delivers over 400 horsepower so the price for this car, or at least the production version of it, could end up being somewhere well north of $30 grand.
While full specs on the next-generation 3-Series are still in the dark, the current generation 3-Series does offer a plethora of powertrains, one of which - the 4.0-liter V8 variant that produces 414 horsepower and 295 lb/ft of torque - can offer the new A3 a serious run for its money.
Meanwhile, the Mercedes C-Class is no lightweight either. Already regarded as the most ’luxurious’ of the three brands thanks to a plethora of new technological goodies, the 2012 C-Class does fall short in one important element compared to this maverick new red concept from Ingolstadt: the engine.
To be fair to the C350’s 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 302 horsepower and 273 lbs/ft of torque, the A3 and its 400-horsepower engine is still in its concept form and as such, there’s no telling how much pony power the production version will have under its hood.
- Fresh and aggressive exterior
- Powerful engine
- Dressed-up interior
- Still a concept
- Rendering actually looks better than the real car
- Pricing is TBD