Cars Audi Audi A3

2013 Audi A3

2013 Audi A3 High Resolution Exterior
- image 441078
  • Audi A3
  • Year:
    2013
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    180
  • Torque @ RPM:
    184
  • Displacement:
    1.8 L
  • 0-60 time:
    7.2 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    144 mph
  • body style:

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!

84 photos / 2 videos

Latest Audi A3 news and reviews:

TopSpeed's Top 5 Convertibles That Won't Break The Bank

TopSpeed’s Top 5 Convertibles That Won’t Break The Bank

Enjoying unlimited headroom with limited outlay

Well, it’s officially summertime, and that means it’s the right season to get out and enjoy the warm weather. And, if you have the means, that should also include breaking free from the confines of a fixed hardtop roof and enjoying unlimited blue-sky headroom. Unfortunately, getting behind the wheel of a convertible isn’t always the cheapest proposition around, but fear not, because we’ve assembled five of our top picks for going topless without breaking the bank.

Of course, there are plenty of other options out there at this price range, but we decided to cut out the flab and only keep those droptops that you’ll actually want to drive. That means each offers something interesting under the hood, all while maintaining that fun in the sun factor. Of course, no roof means you’ll get a little extra slop in the corners, given the lack of chassis rigidity, but that’s okay – you’ll be enjoying your time in the elements all the same. Let us know which you’d have in the comments!

Continue reading to learn more about TopSpeed’s Top 5 Convertibles That Won’t Break The Bank.

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2018 Audi RS3 Sedan

2018 Audi RS3 Sedan

400 horsepower in a cool compact

The Audi A3 Sedan was launched in 2013, just one year after the German brand introduced the third-generation A3. Offered for the first time alongside the hatchback and convertible models, the four-door shares almost everything with its siblings. It is identical styling-wise except for the deck lid, while the interior is basically the same save for a few changes in the rear compartment. Built on the same MQB platform shared with the Volkswagen Golf, the A3 Sedan also borrows its engine lineup form the A3 Sportback, including the 1.2- to 2.0-liter gasoline units and both the 1.6- and 2.0-liter diesels. Much like any other Audi model, the A3 also spawned S- and RS-badged performance models.

In 2017, the A3 family grew to include yet another member, its most powerful compact sedan yet, the RS3. Caught testing under heavy camouflage as well as on the Nurburgring track since 2015, the beefed-up compact four-door made its global debut at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. As expected, the RS3 is a more menacing version of the S3, sharing styling cues with the larger RS4 and drawing juice from the award-winning, 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine from the RS versions of the Audi Q3 and TT.

The sedan crossed the pond to the U.S. in August 2017 for the 2018 model year as a competitor for the Mercedes-AMG CLA45.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Audi RS3 Sedan.

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2016 - 2017 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

2016 - 2017 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

The e-tron gets a few new standard features for 2017

Audi had been touting the electrification of its models for quite a while, but it was all talk until January of 2016 when the brand released the 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron. In typical Audi fashion, the A3 e-tron was nearly identical to its gasoline and diesel drinking brethren. Well, aside from a hidden charging port and a fancy little badge to demonstrate the cars electrified presence on the road, that is. Available with just one engine, a 1.4-liter four-cylinder, and an electric motor, the e-tron delivers just over 200 horsepower and can hit the 60-mph sprint in less than eight seconds. It’s not wildly impressive, but the car does offer around 31 miles of all-electric driving for those of you with a really short daily commute.

Another cool feature about the e-tron is Audi’s collaboration with SunPower. Through SunPower, Audi is able to offer charging via solar panels at your home. Of course, this probably won’t be cheap, but if don’t mind paying for the technology, it could save you a little money in the long run. Plus, you know, it’s good for the environment too.

For 2017, the A3 e-tron carries over unchanged for the most part. It does take on a couple of small updates, and there are some new options available that really add to the overall luxuriousness of the car. Pricing for the 2017 model year has also changed a bit, but nothing too drastic. With that said, let’s take a look at the 2016 – 2017 Audi A3 e-tron and talk about the minor changes that come with the 2017 model year.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 – 2017 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron.

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2017 - 2018 Audi A3 Sedan

2017 - 2018 Audi A3 Sedan

Audi’s mid-cycle update of the A3 brings new technology and a revised engine lineup

The Audi A3 came to life in 1996, and was originally offered as a three-door hatchback. It was built on Volkswagen’s Group A platform, which means its underpinnings were shared with cars like the Audi TT, Volkswagen Golf, Seat Toledo, and even the Skoda Octavia. As time went on, a five-door hatchback was added to the lineup, as well as a cabriolet.

The A3 went through a third-generation overhaul for the 2012 model year, and in 2013, we were introduced to the A3 sedan at the 2013 New York Auto Show. The sedan went on sale in Germany and the U.K. later that year, and now after just a couple short years, it looks like the A3 Sedan is up for a facelift.

We saw the most recent spy shots of the new Audi A3 doing some cold weather testing back in December, and now, Audi has finally unveiled the new A3 and lots of juicy details about it. The update to the A3 comes complete with new driver assistance systems, a new range of engines, and some redesigned features outside. On top of all that, Audi has finally integrated the Audi virtual cockpit into the A3. The new A3 is available in Sportback, three-door, and Cabriolet forms, as well as the popular sedan form that we’re about to talk about going forward. So with that said, let’s take a walk around the new A3 and see just what we can get excited about.

Update 08/12/2016: Audi has announced pricing for the facelifted A3 Sedan. Check out the prices section below for details.

Continue reading to learn more about the Audi A3 Sedan.

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2017 - 2018 Audi A3 Convertible

2017 - 2018 Audi A3 Convertible

Audi’s most affordable cabriolet gets a significant facelift

Launched in 2003, the Audi A3 brought new standards to the premium compact market. A step ahead of the competition thanks to its well-equipped interior, state-of-the-art technology, and advanced driving assistance features, the A3 became a popular choice in both Europe and the U.S. Also, the fact that Ingolstadt offered no fewer than four body styles and performance-oriented S models for each of them made the A3 the most complete nameplate in the segment. Almost four years have passed since the third-gen compact went in production and Audi unveiled the facelifted versions of each and every variant of the A3, including the Convertible.

Much like all new vehicles the four-ringed automaker has introduced in 2015, the A3 Convertible received sharper and sportier styling features. Inspired by the design language seen on the new A4, the new A3 Convertible is by far the most aggressive looking compact drop-top Audi has released to date, especially when equipped with the S Line package. But, while the exterior gained updates worthy of a redesign, the interior remained pretty much unchanged, with all the noticeable upgrades operated in the technology department.

More changes occurred under the hood, with two brand-new engines and a dual-clutch transmission on offer. Among them, there’s a 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine, available for the first time on the compact. Audi also developed a more powerful and fuel-efficient 2.0-liter four-banger, which unlike the three-pot, will cross the pond to the U.S. to replace the previous range-topping unit. It won’t get here until 2017, but that gives us enough time to have a in-depth look at Audi’s most affordable cabriolet.

Updated 08/11/2016: Audi announced U.S. prices for the 2017 A3 Convertible which will be put on sale later this year in three trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige. Details on the "Prices" section below.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Audi A3 Convertible.

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Own Or Lease A Cheating VW Diesel? This Is How To Get Paid

Own Or Lease A Cheating VW Diesel? This Is How To Get Paid

Volkswagen got caught, now the customers get the money

Last week, it was announced Volkswagen must pony up a whopping $14.7 billion to settle claims stemming from last year’s Dieselgate scandal. The settlement applies to nearly a half million U.S. passenger vehicles equipped with “defeat devices” that enable “cheating” in emissions tests (for an overview of Dieselgate, click here). Included in the settlement are options for vehicle buybacks, lease termination, and equipment modification, plus hefty cash restitution (between $5,100 and $10,000). We’ve put together a comprehensive synopsis of the settlement proposal, including how to get paid if you own or lease an affected car.

The settlement covers 2009 to 2015 model year Volkswagen and Audi vehicles, including: 2013 – 2015 VW Beetle, 2010 – 2015 VW Golf, 2009 – 2015 VW Jetta, 2012 – 2015 VW Passat, 2010 – 2013 Audi A3, and 2015 Audi A3. It’s the largest auto-related class-action settlement in history, affecting roughly 15 percent of all new VW and Audi models sold in the U.S. during the relevant six-year timespan (475,000 of 3,099,678 total units sold, source: Wikipedia).

To make matters worse for VW, the settlement only applies to models equipped with a 2.0-liter diesel engine. The 80,000 or so vehicles equipped with a cheating 3.0-liter engine will be settled separately.

At the moment, the settlement proposal is still pending, with a preliminary approval court hearing scheduled for July 26. However, it looks more than likely the plan will go through, in which case notices will be mailed to inform owners and lessees of the settlement terms.

Read on for a breakdown of who is entitled to compensation, the options on the table, how much money you might get, and how to get it.

Continue reading to learn more about the massive VW settlement.

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Latest Driven:

2016 Audi A3 – Driven

2016 Audi A3 – Driven

The other German entry-level sports sedan

The Audi A3 has only been around in its current form since 2015, having been refreshed after its third-generation introduction in 2012. Next year, for the 2017 model year, the A3 will receive a sharpened look inside and out, along with Audi’s new Virtual Cockpit gauge cluster. Nestled between the commotion is this 2016 model year A3 – fitted with the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and quattro AWD. We decided to check out the A3 sedan before the winds of change swept its way.

The A3 rides on Volkswagen’s MQB platform, shared with the VW Golf and A3 Sportback. It holds its four-cylinder powerplant transversely between its front fenders, yet somehow offers impressive neutrality when driving through the corners. Its interior is clean and modern, having been mildly refreshed for 2015. And despite the new exterior look looming on the horizon, the A3 remains a fresh and stylish.

My tester came loaded with the Prestige package, an $8,850 option that brings a slew of features that range from larger wheels and LED headlights to heated front seats, navigation, and several active safety features like adaptive cruise control an active lane assist. Optional atop of that are the 18-inch “five-arm wing” wheels and summer tires, and the Sport package, which adds front sport seats, Audi drive mode select, the three-spoke steering wheel, and sport suspension.

Needless to say, my tester came packed to the gills. It’s price was inflated as well, cresting the $45,000 mark after the destination charge was added. Nevertheless, let’s check out the 2016 Audi A3.

Continue reading for the full review

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2016 Audi A3 e-tron – Driven

2016 Audi A3 e-tron – Driven

Audi’s plug-in hybrid offers efficency and interior space

The Audi A3 has been around since 1996, but 2016 marks the first time a plug-in hybrid powertrain can be had with the hatchback. In fact, the A3 Sportback e-tron is Audi’s first plug-in hybrid. The A3 e-tron’s technology is shared, however, with the A3’s corporate cousin, the VW Golf GTE. Nevertheless, the A3 e-tron is blazing a hybrid trail into the premium hatchack segment.

The 2016 model year is also an interesting time for Audi to debut the e-tron powertrain in the A3. For 2017, the A3 is undergoing a thorough refresh that includes new exterior appointments, an undated interior with Audi’s virtual cockpit, and a host of new driver assistance features.

Regardless of model years and its looks, the A3 e-tron has all the right equipment for efficient driving. Its main power comes from a turbocharged, 1.4-liter four-cylinder mated to a six-speed dual clutch that sends power to the front wheels. Sorry, no quattro option here. It’s 8.8-kWh battery pack gives it enough juice to drive roughly 16 miles on electricity alone, after which the gasoline engine propels the car and recharges the battery.

To find out how the A3 e-tron performs in real life, we spent a week with one. Our Misano Red pearl tester was missing its charging cable, but we were still able to get a true sense of how the A3 e-tron works and what type of commute it works best for.

Continue reading for the full driving review

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2017 Audi A3 Hatchback

2017 Audi A3 Hatchback

Tech and safety features headline Audi’s mid-cycle refresh for the A3 Sportback

Audi has released the updated 2017 A3 and all its derivatives, including the sedan, cabriolet, three-door, and Sportback. This mid-cycle refresh concentrates on new driver assistance systems, Audi’s virtual cockpit, new powertrain options, and a new exterior look.

The A3 dates back to 1996 when it debuted as a three-door hatchback. It was built on Volkswagen’s A platform, meaning its shared plenty of parts with the VW Golf. The same can be said today, as the A3 shared much of its platform with the current Golf, itself getting a refresh for 2017.

We’ve been following the development of the 2017 Audi A3 for some time now, and have plenty of spy shots to show for it. It was back in January 2016 when we last saw the A3 in development, trudging over show-covered roads in Europe. The fleet of A3 test cars included the sedan, convertible, and Sportback versions. Now with its face clearly visible and all the details made public, we can take a close look at what Audi has changed.

Updated 04/06/2016: Audi has released details and photos of the 2017 A3, including the Sportback and hatchback versions.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Audi A3 Hatchback.

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2015 Audi A3 TDI - Driven

2015 Audi A3 TDI - Driven

Have you ever met a kid who was the very definition of an “old soul?” One of those kids who voluntarily wore a three-piece suit to school in the seventh grade, and learned how to manage a stock portfolio in his spare time instead of playing video games and eating dirt like the rest of the kids? The Audi A3 is that kid. The premium-compact class is full of cars that let staid marques like Mercedes and Lexus embrace the inner child a little bit. It’s Mini’s fault; the happy-go-lucky Brit all but started this market segment, and most of the premium compacts have followed its example by being a cut above, but not afraid to be a little silly.

Not so, the A3 sedan. Oh, sure, the hatchback that entered its second generation in 2012 is a fun little piece, but the sedan, just arrived this year, is a very sober and serious matter indeed. It’s not that this car doesn’t have a sense of humor—it’s that it doesn’t see the point in having one. I spent a week driving the Audi A3 TDI, and learned how a responsible premium compact sees the world.

Continue reading to learn more about the Audi A3 TDI.

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Audi A3 And Volkswagen Golf Recalled For Fuel Pumps

Audi A3 And Volkswagen Golf Recalled For Fuel Pumps

Volkswagen Group of America has issued a recall for the 2015 model year VW Golf, VW GTI, and Audi A3 vehicles. According to a press release, improper nickel plating used for components in the fuel pump may cause the pump to fail, resulting in an inability to start the car, or if the engine is running, causing a stall, increasing the risk of a crash. A total of 6,204 units are potentially affected. So far, there are no reported injuries or accidents as a result of pump failure.

Nissan and BMW issued simultaneous recalls earlier last month citing an identical issue, with some 100,000 vehicles potentially affected. The 2014 Ford Escape and 2015 Lincoln MKC also saw recalls late last year, with 12,205 units potentially affected. In all cases, the problem lay with contaminated nickel plating and debris found in the fuel pump, which causes excessive friction resulting in possible pump failure. 

German-based engineering and electronics company Bosch supplied the pumps to all three manufacturers. Bosch spokeswoman Linda Beckmeyer told Autoblog that while all of the listed vehicles don’t necessarily share the same fuel pump, the parts used do go through the same nickel-plating process. There are currently not enough pumps to fix all the vehicles potentially affected, but Beckmeyer says “Bosch is working closely with automakers regarding replacement parts.”

VW says it will notify owners and dealers will inspect and replace the affected fuel pumps free of charge. VW has yet to provide a notification schedule. For more information, owners can call VW at 1-800-893-5298 or Audi at 1-800-253-2834. Owners can also call the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (ask about safety campaign number 15V229000), or visit www.safercar.gov.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Audi Brings New Genuine Accessories To Worthersee

Audi Brings New Genuine Accessories To Worthersee

It’s the little-known goal of all corporations big enough to pursue it — put competitors out of business as often as possible. It’s not intentional, it’s just a natural outgrowth of expanding into occupied markets. Right now, from Audi’s perspective at least, the biggest problem with aftermarket accessories is that they’re just that: after. After you leave Audi and wind up at Pep Boys, or your local speed shop, or an online marketplace.

Okay, maybe it’s not quite as cynical as that. Audi is a good brand, and its customers are some of the most loyal on Earth. Stands to reason that the average Audi customer would be happy to find the four rings on every gadget and doodad the well-equipped motorist might need or want. Get ready to lose your market share, Pep Boys — the Germans have landed.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Latest Videos:

Three Audi Models Will Be Featured In The Avengers Striking: Video

Three Audi Models Will Be Featured In The Avengers Striking: Video

The new Avengers movie (Age of Ultron) was released last week featuring a swarm of Marvel superheroes battling to save the planet. Audi was able to get in on the action by providing three of its latest models for cameo spotlights, with the TTS, A3 Cabriolet, and next-generation R8 all getting a bit of screen time alongside the formidable do-gooders. To help promote the film and its vehicles, the four-ring brand has released this short video, which shows its quickly moving two-door TTS, draped red, as well as additional shots from the movie.

Audi has enjoyed close ties with Marvel for quite some time now, with the R8 making its initial debut in the first Iron Man. Now, the second gen will complement Robert Downey Jr.’s character with its revamped V-10 engine and tweaked exterior styling.

“The character Tony Stark continues to evolve and represents a truly modern renaissance man – an industrialist, engineer and leader in his new world,” said Giovanni Perosino, Head of Marketing Communication at AUDI AG, in a press release. “It’s this type of innovator that carefully selects their cars and is exactly who would be driving the next generation Audi R8.”

In addition to the “Striking” video, Audi has released extra Avengers content at its website, which can be found at www.audi.com/MarvelsAvengers. There’s also a hilarious short with Marvel legend Stan Lee on Audi’s YouTube channel featuring Kevin Smith, Tara Reid, Michael Rooker, Jason Mewes, Lou Ferrigno, and an S8 sedan. Check it out here.

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Audi Confirms: RS3 And Q8 Will Be Offered In The U.S.

Audi Confirms: RS3 And Q8 Will Be Offered In The U.S.

Audi offers plenty of cool and exciting vehicles in Europe that never make their way to the U.S., but that isn’t going to be the case with the performance-driven Audi RS 3 sedan and the style-minded Audi Q8 SUV. In an interview with Automotive News, Audi of America CEO Scott Keogh seems confident that both of these niche models will eventually go on sale in North America.

The first model to arrive on our shores will be the sedan version of the Audi RS 3 that was introduced late last year. In Europe, this 367-horsepower model is only available as the RS 3 Sportback hatchback, but looking to appeal to the sedan-loving U.S. buyers, we will be getting a traditional four-door offering. Keogh said that he is “very confident” that the RS 3 Sedan will be sold here where it will go up against performance cars like the BMW M3 and Cadillac ATS-V. The RS 3 Sedan will join the existing A3 stable that includes the A3 Sedan, A3 Cabriolet, the 292-horsepower S3 Sedan and the sole hatchback of the bunch, the A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrid.

As much as the RS 3 will be an exciting new small car, Audi’s growing model lineup will be bookended by the all-new 2018 Audi Q8 SUV. Derived from the next-gen Q7, the Q8 is expected to have more of a coupe-like profile similar to the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe. Keogh seemed a little more optimistic about the Q8’s chances here as he said this model will “absolutely” make it to the U.S.

Continue reading to learn more about Audi’s plans to bring the RS3 and the Q8 to the U.S.

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Audi RS3 Sedan Rumored To Get U.S. Approval

Audi RS3 Sedan Rumored To Get U.S. Approval

Launched in 2011 as a beefed-up version of the five-door A3 Sportback, the RS3 has been forbidden fruit for performance enthusiasts in the U.S. That’s because Audi thought it made no sense to bring it to North America, where sedans simply sell better. And while the A3 and S3 received sedan versions specifically designed for the U.S., the RS3 has yet to go that route. That may soon change, according to Fourtitude, which claims the RS3 Sedan may have been approved at the Audi of America all-employee meeting in Maryland earlier this week.

The publication goes on to add that "a contact who was at the presentation" confirmed the RS3 that’s headed to the U.S. is a sedan and that Audi was still pondering whether to make it available with a manual transmission on top of the S tronic DSG. No other details are provided, but it’s expected that the RS3 Sedan will share the same 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine with the Euro-only Sportback model. The turbocharged powerplant cranks out 367 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque and pushes the five-door hatch from 0 to 62 mph in only 4.3 seconds. The engine mates to revised a seven-speed S tronic transmission that shifts faster than its predecessor, and Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system.

If the RS3 Sedan does happen, likely sometime in 2016, expect it to cost in excess of $55,000 on these shores.

Continue reading to learn more about the future Audi RS3 sedan.

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Audi S3 Could Get Manual Transmission in the U.S.

Audi S3 Could Get Manual Transmission in the U.S.

There appears to be hope that Audi is strongly considering a manual transmission option for an upcoming S3. The news comes by way of Fouritude, an Audi-enthusiast website, that attended a celebratory dinner held in honor the Audi Club of North America’s recent 30th anniversary. Speaking at the event were several personalities that included Allan McNish, John Hindhaugh, and Audi of America President Scott Keogh.

During the event, Hindhaugh, the famous Le Mans radio announcer, interviewed Keogh on stage. Hindhaugh asked specifically about manual transmissions in Audi’s future. Keogh began by laying out the costs associated with adding model complexity and how that affects vehicle cost and dealership availability. Nevertheless, Keogh says Audi is looking very closely at adding a manual transmission to the S3.

At this point, it’s not set in stone, but the possibility is still present.

Adding more to the mix of possibilities is the RS3 sedan. Keogh continued the same speak about Audi North America looking strongly at it. However, this isn’t the first time Keogh has mentioned the RS3 sedan. He said similar words back at the 2014 New York Auto Show, leading us to believe the RS3 might already be in development. Perhaps it will come with a manual transmission.

While both of these scenarios are still just rumors, the fact the president of Audi North America is talking about the subject with more than some “we don’t talk about future products” garble is promising.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi S3.

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TopSpeed Podcast Episode 030 LIVE

TopSpeed Podcast Episode 030 LIVE

Hopefully everyone enjoyed the show. We had a great time putting it on, and maybe it will brighten up your day when you hear it. As always, we appreciate anyone and everyone who listens and watches. Don’t forget to leave us your questions and Own, Drive, Burn suggestions below in the comments.

This week we have Justin back, and he has a new car for Weekly Wheels, so we let him start things off with a look at the Acura ILX. After that I get to talk about how the new 2015 Subaru Outback is a great SUV, but a terrible Subaru. Mark finishes us off with a look at the new Audi A3. Small spoiler, I like it more than he does, even if it is missing a door.

For the news segment of the show I spend some time talking about my new review for Forza Horizon 2. I think that is the only important part of our whole show really, but the other two figured that we should cover other news as well. In the end we talked about the Lamborghini Asterion, the death of the Lotus Evora, and Infiniti’s desire to build a car that it kind of already makes. We also have some truck talk with Mark as we discuss the fuel economy ratings of the new Canyon and Colorado trucks before we all get angry at GM’s latest “sport truck.”

We didn’t have any questions from last week’s show to answer, so we skipped the Question and Answer section to head straight to Own, Drive, Burn. Our own Ciprian provided us with a trio of the worst cars Ferrari ever made to choose from. I’ll be honest; it wasn’t a super great or entertaining ODB. Sorry about that.

As always, we all hope that everyone has a super great Friday and a wonderful weekend. We will be back next Thursday with another awesome episode. See you guys then.

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2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro - Driven

2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro - Driven

The Audi A3 has been around since 1996, making a name for itself as a compact luxury sedan and hatchback. While the A3 proved to be popular, it would be a decade before the U.S. market got its first example. The 2006 A3 was a part of the vehicle’s second generation, and came powered by the 2.0-liter, TFSI four-cylinder and the 3.2-liter, VR6 quattro. The A3 soldiered on until 2013 when the third generation was introduced. Now in its third year of the third generation, the 2014 A3 still holds true to its original intent of compact luxury. I recently spent a week behind the wheel of the A3 2.0T quattro S tronic, evaluating it livability, luxury, and performance.

My tester cam equipped with several option packages, including the Audi MMI Navigation Plus package, the Cold Weather package, and Aluminum Style package. However, even with a built-in infotainment screen, my A3 was missing a backup camera. Also noticeably absent was blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, and other now-normal safety features.

While those absences didn’t detract from the A3’s performance and impressive looks, the car did feel oddly lacking, especially considering its $37,195 price tag. The A3 had plenty of redeeming qualities about it, so click on down to continue reading.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Audi A3

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Latest Wallpapers:

Video: 2015 Audi RS3 Sportback Laps Nurburgring

Video: 2015 Audi RS3 Sportback Laps Nurburgring

Audi looks to be putting the finishing touches on is upcoming 2015 RS 3 Sportback as this test mule runs ‘round the Ring. Spotted thanks to its larger, more aggressive front lower fascia, lowered suspension, and the aggressive note spewing from the four oval exhaust tips, this Audi means business.

Under the hood, we expect the Audi to have a turbocharged, 2.5-liter, inline five-cylinder engine and Quattro all-wheel drive. This updated version of the same I-5 mill found in the previous RS 3 will likely find a home in the new TT RS as well. Rumors suggest the engine could produce more than 360 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque. Backing the five-banger would likely be the seven-speed, S-tronic dual-clutch found elsewhere in the Audi lineup.

What’s more important is the U.S. has an actual shot at getting the RS 3 Sportback on its shores. If you’ll recall, Audi set a goal back in 2011 of doubling sales of its sporty RS-branded cars in the United States by 2015. Well, the time has come, and the RS 3 Sportback is a likely candidate. The likelihood increases further considering Audi needs a competitor to the Mercedes CLA45 AMG and BMW M2.

We expect to see the 2015 Audi RS 3 Sportback officially unveiled at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. If not, expect it at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. Until then, enjoy this spy video of Audi’s meanest hot hatch tearing up the Nürburgring.

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Video: Audi S3 Plus Caught Testing at Nurburgring

Video: Audi S3 Plus Caught Testing at Nurburgring

A mysterious Audi S3 was recently spotted doing some test runs at the Nurburgring and from the looks of things, it just might be the rumored Audi S3 Plus. Why do I have this hypothesis? For one, the new Audi S3 is already out on the market and it seems unlikely that Audi’s already developing a new one. It’s also not likely to be the Audi RS3 because the body doesn’t veer too far from, if at all, the look of the new S3.

So with those two cars out of the way, that leaves us with the possibility of a diesel-powered S3, but the sound of that engine isn’t very diesel-like. As an educated guess, I would say this is the S3 Plus, a car that’s been rumored to be in the works for quite some time now.

The S3 Plus has been touted as Audi’s response to the emergence of the Mercedes CLA45 AMG. Word has it that Audi is planning to use a modified version of its 2.0-liter, TFSI engine in the S3 Plus with an output of 375 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque.

That should make it easy for Audi to package it between the new S3 and the upcoming RS3, giving customers an option to choose from in the event they want a performance version of the S3 without the cost that comes with paying for an RS3.

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Video: Audi RS3 Testing At Nurburgring

Video: Audi RS3 Testing At Nurburgring

The fact that the upcoming Audi RS3, due in 2015, is getting in shape at the Nurburgring track is not surprising. However, the video you’re about to watch suggests Audi isn’t ready to give up on its 2.5-liter TFSI engine just yet.

You see, last time the RS3 Sportback was caught stretching its legs in Germany our spy photographers noted the car no longer sounded like one that’s powered by a five-cylinder mill. The scoop only added to the many rumors claiming Audi is downsizing to a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-banger, but this new video suggests otherwise.

Judging by the notes coming out of that dual-exhaust system, the fact that this mule carries a five-cylinder engine under the hood is undeniable, but what are we up against here? Is this mule using an older powertrain to run some chassis and suspension tests or is the new RS3 coming with an updated 2.5-liter TFSI?

Well, there are a few scenarios that make sense for the five-pot to remain on offer. Maybe the Germans managed to squeeze a bit more power out of it while making it more fuel efficient, or we could be looking at less horsepower aided by a lighter RS3. Either way, with the mill bundled with a six-speed S Tronic gearbox and Audi’s brilliant quattro all-wheel drive, the RS3 is bound to make an impression no matter how many cylinders pump under the hood.

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2014 Audi A3 1.4 TFSI Cabriolet Ultra

2014 Audi A3 1.4 TFSI Cabriolet Ultra

Audi is adding to the number of A3 models that are available with the very efficient 1.4-liter, I-4, TFSI engine currently sipping gasoline in Europe. The impressive powertrain is now available in the four-door sedan, three-door hatch, five-door Sportback, and of course, the Cabriolet pictured above.

Audi is offering the engine with a choice of transmissions: standard six-speed manual or seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch. The highly engineered mechanics inside the engine allow for outstanding fuel efficiency to the tune of nearly 50 mpg on the European combined cycle. The engine’s carbon footprint is equally impressive, emitting only 175.4 grams of C02 per mile.

Though the engine does well at sipping fuel, it lacks somewhat on power. Its horsepower rating is listed at 150 and it propels the car to 62 mph in an underwhelming 8.1 seconds. Then again, 50 mpg is a pretty solid trade off for losing nearly every light-to-light drag race.

If torque is what’s needed, Audi also offers the 1.6-liter, TDI engine in the A3 Ultra. Making 110 horsepower, the turbo diesel consumes fuel at the sparse rate of 71.3 mpg. Its clean-diesel technology also keeps it from cutting holes in the atmosphere, emitting only 141.6 grams per mile. The TDI is available in both the four-door sedan and three-door hatchback versions.

Sadly, it seems Audi will be keeping these fuel-efficient models away from these United States, likely due to regulations and red tape.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi A3 1.4 TFSI Cabriolet Ultra.

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2014 Audi A3 Clubsport Quattro Concept

2014 Audi A3 Clubsport Quattro Concept

The Worthersee event is just around the corner and as early as now, we’re seeing some of the Volkswagen Group’s newest toys. One of them, coming courtesy of Audi, is the A3 clubsport quattro concept, a prototype version of what could end up being the future RS3 model.

It’s no surprise that Audi opted to use Wörthersee to showcase its latest concept car. After all, the German brand used the same event a few years ago to debut the A1 Clubsport Quattro. This year, Audi really isn’t pulling any punches, debuting a sports car that serves as a pretty clear indication of the company’s intentions to bring the pain on rival models.

Audi accomplished that by introducing a model that showcasing a car it says has pushed the limits of power, dynamics, and design, things that you can only do by debuting a concept that people like us will most likely to salivate to see hit the road soon.

Yes, that now includes the Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept.

Updated 05/28/2014: Audi released two video showing the new A3 Clubsport Quattro Concept in action. Found the new video in the "Videos" tab. Enjoy!

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept

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Spy Shots: Production Version of the 2015 Audi RS3 Caught Testing

Spy Shots: Production Version of the 2015 Audi RS3 Caught Testing

The fact that Audi is working on a brand-new RS3 model ever since the third-generation A3 was unveiled in 2012 is no longer a secret, but the details around the high-performance compact are still under wraps. And the same goes for the production version that was spotted testing recently.

The vehicle in question is a Sportback version of the RS3 and, judging by the photos we’ve just received, the five-door has received a more aggressive front bumper with large air intakes and the company’s fresh headlamps and taillights.

Also notable when compared to the previous model are the wider fenders and a dual-exhaust configuration instead of the familiar twin setup. What’s more, the exhaust tips appear to have been embedded in the rear bumper, whereas the preceding RS3 Sportback had them mounted below the piece, in the diffuser-like skirt.

While these exterior tweaks are in line with the updates added to the new A3 and pretty much expected, the RS3 might hide something completely different under the hood.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi RS3.

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Latest spy shots:

World Car of the Year Candidates Officially Announced

Every year, hundreds of motoring journalists from all over the world descend upon New York City for the New York International Auto Show. Among the new car reveals, fancy parties and exciting concepts, the New York Auto Show also plays host to the World Car of the Year Awards.

This prestigious award is handed out by a collection of experienced automotive journalists from around the world. Some of this year’s jurors include writers from countries like Japan, Russia, South Africa, China, Australia and more. Overall there are nearly 70 jurors in total.

Some of the previous year’s winners include the Mk VII Volkswagen Golf and the Nissan Leaf.

Of all the cars that were eligible for this year’s award, twelve have been selected as finalists. We have brought together all twelve of the final candidates for you here, and we also included a little bit information about each one.
Which one do you think deserves to win and why? Sound off in the comments below.

Click past the jump to read about the World Car of the Year candidates

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Super Bowl XLVIII Ad: Audi 2014 Big Game Commercial - Doberhuahua

Super Bowl XLVIII Ad: Audi 2014 Big Game Commercial - Doberhuahua

Remember the Doberhuahua teaser video that Audi released a few days ago? Well, after just three days, Audi decided to release the full commercial and explain what that strange-looking dog — the Doberhuahua — was all about.

Apparently this Doberhuahua is a never-before-seen creature that reveals the frightening consequences of bringing compromise and try to mix two dogs: a doberman and a chihuahua.

Of course, the reasoning behind showing us this was that Audi wanted to highlight its new A3 Sedan and celebrate the uncompromised spirit that led to the A3’s unrivaled technology and performance.

Watch the spot to see why the most exceptionally engineered vehicles never come from compromise and to get another look at that odd-looking Doberhuahua that Audi made up.

Shortly after the Super Bowl, the new A3 sedan will be put on sale at a starting price of $29,900.

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2015 Audi A3 Sedan

2015 Audi A3 Sedan

At the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, Audi unveiled the A3 Concept sedan, but the unveiling of the production version took longer than we expected. After we brought you a series of spy shots of the A3 prototypes, today the new A3 sedan made its world debut at the 2013 New York Auto Show.

The new A3 sedan retains much of the design elements we have seen in the concept version and adds numerous innovative features on the A-segment: signature Singleframe grille and available full-LED headlights.

The new Audi A3 sedan will go on sale on the U.S. market showrooms in the first quarter of 2014. European customers will be able to enjoy it starting this summer. In there the new A3 sedan will start at €25,000 - about $32,000 at the current exchange rates.

Updated 1/16/2014: The A3’s configuration went live today, showing iff all of the goodies that the 2015 A3 has to offer. You can build your own A3 HERE.

Hit the jump to read more about the new Audi A3 Sedan.

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Video: Audi Seems Ready For the SuperBowl

Video: Audi Seems Ready For the SuperBowl

We know that the new A3 sedan will be Audi’s star for the 2014 Super Bowl ads and while we can tell for sure that these are indeed the commercial the company prepared for this year, they surely look cool.

The idea behind these four new commercials is choosing the right luxury car and of course that Audi makes fun of its rivals coming from BMW, Lexus or Mercedes-Benz. As no surprise, Audi says that its new A3 sedan is the perfect luxury sedan for both companies, but also as an every day drive.

Audi advices its clients to "start off the new year uncompromised by holding out for the right luxury car — a car that’s special." And of course that the car it is talking about is the new A3 sedan. Audi is a little "mean" in these new commercial as it says in one of them: "Don’t give in to the temptations to settle for the wrong luxury car."

We guess that only time will tell if the A3 sedan is really the car Audi is bragging about as it will go on sale in early 2014.

Three more commercials after the jump.

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2013 Audi AS3 by ABT Sportsline

2013 Audi AS3 by ABT Sportsline

You would think that the Audi S3, the company’s performance-oriented version of the A3, already has enough power under its hood to satisfy some customers.

While that may be true for some, others would want some extra juice, or in this case 70 horsepower’s worth.

That’s where ABT Sportsline comes into the picture. The German tuning firm has become one of the foremost Audi tuners in the world, and its latest take on the S3 just goes to show that the possibilities are endless if you know what you’re doing.

There aren’t a lot of aerodynamic changes done to the S3, as far as this program is concerned, but there’s always room for improvement on the performance front. ABT did so by installing its own ECU unit, jumping the power of the S3 Coupe to an impressive 370 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque. That’s a serious improvement from the standard 300-horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque output of the standard S3 Coupe.

With this, ABT slashed five-tenths of a second off of the S3’s 0-to-60 mph time, now hitting it at 4.6 seconds to go with a top speed of 165 mph.

With all the attention paid on the engine upgrade, it’s important to note that ABT also offering a new set of wheels for the S3 , with sizes ranging from 18 to 20 inches, as well as new fender inserts that ABT says underscores the car’s dynamic character.

With ABT, who are we to disagree.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi S3 Coupe by ABT Sportsline

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Spy Shots: 2014 Audi RS3 Caught Testing Near the Nürburgring

At a first glance, you may think that this is an ordinary Audi S3, but you would be wrong. According to our spy photographers, they initially caught this car testing on the Nurburgring and it didn’t sound at all like an S3, but more like a hot five-cylinder engine.

Also, the second day they spotted the mule again, and this time they noticed the massive brakes and the larger air intakes in the front bumper — these intakes are non-functional on the S3. This made it crystal clear that this is, in fact, the upcoming 2014 Audi RS3.

Under the hood, Audi will place the same turbocharged, 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine found in the TT RS (where it delivers 340 horsepower) and the TT RS Plus (360 horsepower). Taking into consideration that its biggest competitor — the Mercedes A45 AMG — delivers about 360 horsepower, we expect the RS3 to deliver about the same amount.

The Audi RS3 will debut sometime in 2014 in both three- and five-door configurations.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi RS3.

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2015 Audi A3 Cabriolet

2015 Audi A3 Cabriolet

Audi unveiled the new-generation A3 hatchback at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, and shortly after, it started to test the other models in the A3 lineup, including the convertible version.

After being caught testing in many times, the new A3 Cabriolet will make its official debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. To no one’s surprise, the model will carry over many of the components from the hatchback version, with the only exception being, of course, that new cloth top.

The new model grew significantly, as its total length goes from 166.8 inches to 174 inches. Despite this growth, the A3 actually drops 110 pounds over the previous model, thanks to Audi switching over to lightweight materials and the new building technologies.

Updated 09/09/2013: This review has been updated with the official details, images, specs and video.

Updated 06/19/2014: Audi announced prices for the all new A3 Convertible which will be put on sale on the U.S. market as a 2015 model year. Set to go on sale this summer, the A3 Convertible will be priced from $35,600. You will also find a new set of high res images and one new video. Enjoy!

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi A3 Cabriolet.

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2013 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

2013 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

Audi is preparing to make a big step into the electrification of its lineup with the unveiling of its brand-new A3 e-tron. The model was unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show and will be put on sale in early 2014.

In case you have taken a little vacation under a rock for the last few years, Audi has been tossing around the e-tron designation since 2009. At the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show, Audi unveiled the first e-tron concept in the form of the 308-horsepower 2010 R8 e-tron.

Audi again dropped an e-tron concept in 2010 at the Detroit Auto Show with the A4-based concept that was rumored to see life in 2014. In concept guise, this model pumped out 201 horsepower and hit 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. This model, codenamed the 9X1, is supposedly under development and will hit production in 2014.

The e-tron line carried on with the A1 e-tron at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show, which produced 101 horsepower. Then, at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, the 2011 e-tron Spyder stopped the show with its 296-horsepower, 3.0-liter V-6 TDI engine and 86-horsepower electric motors that sprinted the convertible to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds.

At the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, Audi finally unveiled the first production e-tron model, in the form of the 2013 A3 Sportback e-tron.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi A3 e-tron.

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Spy shots: Audi A3 Convertible caught testing

The next-generationAudi A3 Convertible was caught testing for the first time back in January and now we get to see the car in action again. This time, Audi engineers were caught driving it around in Germany.

As these new spy shots reveal, the next A3/S3 Convertible looks like a little brother to the A5 Convertible - a smart decision made by Audi considering the current generation is not the prettiest in its class. The new A3 Convertible will be based on the A3 sedan set to be unveiled in just two days at the 2013 New York Auto Show, minus a pair of doors of course.

Rumors suggest that the future A3 Convertible will be offered with one TDI and two TFSI engines, with power ranging from 122 to 180 horsepower, while the S3 version goes up to 300 horsepower. Up to this point there are no indications on whether Audi will offer a RS3 Convertible or not.

Expect the new Audi A3 Convertible to arrive later in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

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2013 Audi A3 Sportback g-tron

2013 Audi A3 Sportback g-tron

Audi’s fifth world debut for the 2013 Geneva Motor Show is the A3 Sportback g-tron, which is based on the A3 Sportback and powered by CO2-neutral fuel, Audi e-gas. The model will be put on sale towards the end of the year.

The model was previewed by the TCNG e-gas project unveiled back in 2011 and Audi promised a production version will arrive in the upcoming years. The e-gas necessary for the new model will be produced at Audi’s plant in Werlte (Emsland district of Lower Saxony), Germany.

The model is based on the 1.4 TFSI version of the A3 Sportback, but with modifications made to the cylinder head, turbocharging, injection system and the catalytic converter. The two tanks under the luggage compartment floor can each hold seven kg (15.43 pounds) of e-gas and they deliver a range of 248.55 miles, plus an additional 559.23 miles when gasoline is added.

Hit the jump to read more about the Audi A3 Sportback g-tron.

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2013 Audi AS3 Sportback by ABT Sportsline

2013 Audi AS3 Sportback by ABT Sportsline

Just yesterday we learned the official details on the next-generationAudi S3 Sportback and today the German tuner, ABT Sportsline, has unveiled a neat tuning package based on the standard A3 version. The tuner worked on improving the exterior and the interior of the A3 and a series of stout updates under the hood.

The aerodynamic package starts with a large front lip spoiler, a new ABT grille, plus new fender inserts and side skirts. The rear receives a new skirt set and a new spoiler that houses an all-new exhaust system with four tailpipes.

The car sits on a set of light-alloy wheels sized 18 or 19 inches, depending on the customer’s wishes. The tuner also offers new springs lower the car’s ride height by 35 mm (1.37 inches), plus a new brake system with large discs: 345 mm (13.58 inches) in diameter.

Our favorite update, however, is under the hood. Every available A3 engine can be tricked to deliver more power. The 1.4-liter four-cylinder TSFI engine goes from 122 to 160 horsepower and peak torque goes from 147 to 184 pound-feet of torque. The 2.0-liter diesel version goes from 150 to 170 horsepower and peak torque goes from 236 to 265 pound-feet. ABT is also working on the 1.6-liter TDI and the 1.8-liter TSFI, and we will get that information to you as soon as the kits are complete.

Full pricing list will be announced at a later date.

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Spy shots: Audi A3 Sedan Caught Testing in the Cold

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.

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2014 Audi A3 Plug-in Hybrid

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.

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2012 Video: 1,000-Plus Horsepower Audi S3 Terrorizes a Norwegian Track

2012 Video: 1,000-Plus Horsepower Audi S3 Terrorizes a Norwegian Track

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.

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2013 Audi AS3 by ABT Sportsline

2013 Audi AS3 by ABT Sportsline

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.

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2013 Audi A3 Sportback

2013 Audi A3 Sportback

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.

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Christian, Oh, Christian: Did "50 Shades of Grey" drive up Audi's US sales?

Christian, Oh, Christian: Did "50 Shades of Grey" drive up Audi’s US sales?

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.

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Audi Expands RS3 Sportback Production to Satisfy Demand

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.

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2013 Audi A3

2013 Audi A3

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!

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Audi confirms new A3 and R8 e-Tron for 2012

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.

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Spy Shots: Audi breaks in the winter testing grounds with the future 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.

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2012 Audi RS3 Plus

2012 Audi RS3 Plus

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.

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Next generation Audi A3 shows off new design in Argentina

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.

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2011 Audi TCNG e-gas project

2011 Audi TCNG e-gas project

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."

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2011 Audi E-tron A3

2011 Audi E-tron A3

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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Gas prices on the rise; What are our options?

Gas prices on the rise; What are our options?

Throughout the past several weeks the economy of the United States and other large importers of oil have struggled to maintain positive amidst the turmoil in the middle-east. Civil unrest and pressure have led to a decrease in oil production and increase in the price for a single barrel. We have seen prices reach the $100 mark and beyond, and there are no signs of a ceiling.

These two year highs for the price of crude oil have led to OPEC releasing more supplies from our reserves, but it has not quelled the price hike. California is currently suffering from the highest prices nationwide and they have reached within a cent of $4.00 per gallon for regular unleaded. This has put added strain on a struggling economic environment for many people and, if this continues, it will drag our economy further down. With cars like the Toyota Prius and other hybrids hitting the market every week, it is good to see that the manufacturers are realizing that gasoline will not be the answer to our future problems.

The major auto shows and car introductions across the world, including the biggest in the United States, Detroit, are where auto manufacturers try to sell the public hot-air. Most of the amazing and futuristic concept cars are so far on the other side of being a production possibility they might as well be alien. The recent economic climate across the world has shifted the car companies in a new direction and the consumer continues to pull them even further. People are eager for cars that are economical and exciting – most people enjoy driving, just not having to pay $4.00 per gallon to do it.

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2011 Audi A3 Concept

2011 Audi A3 Concept

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.

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Audi A3 TDI travels 1,000 miles using new synthetic diesel fuel

Audi A3 TDI travels 1,000 miles using new synthetic diesel fuel

The journey towards developing alternative fuel sources took another step after two Audi A3s successful traveled 1,000 miles by using a new synthetic diesel fuel. Pretty impressive, if we do say so ourselves.

The two 2011 A3 TDI models were using RenDiesel, a synthetic fuel that’s made from organic compounds and green waste that are most commonly found in landfills. The fuel, which supposedly produces less volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions than regular diesel fuel or ethanol, is being produced by RenTech in Rialto, California. RenTech, together with Audi of America and Green Car Journal, managed to successfully fuel the two A3 TDI models from Eureka, California all the way to San Diego, California – a distance of somewhere around 1,000 miles.

This project not only proved that the new type of synthetic diesel fuel is capable of fueling a car at great distances, but it also was able to boost up the A3 TDI’s mileage rating at 42 miles per gallon – one car was able to average 43 mpg while the other A3 TDI scored 39.7 mpg.

This latest development may not hit home to a lot of people, but the development of a clean-burning synthetic diesel fuel like RenDiesel is one way to make the purchasing of diesel vehicles more worth it. After all, in a world where fuel-efficiency is of paramount importance to a lot of people, the development of a synthetic diesel like RenDiesel could pave the way for more diesel cars to be enjoyed out on the road.

Press Release after the jump.

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Audi To Bring A3 Sedan To U.S

Audi To Bring A3 Sedan To U.S

It’s taken a while for Americans to smarten up, but it seems they are taking to the versatility of the hatchback more and more. The new Ford Fiesta, the Honda Fit, and the Nissan Versa are just a few examples of hot selling hatches in the United States. Yet, even we aren’t sure if the Audi A3 is worth the expense, when you can just get a GTI.

To try and solve this sales issue, Audi might be bringing the A3 sedan to the U.S. That would give the German automaker an entry-level sedan below the A4. We don’t have any details on the A3 sedan yet, but there should be some coming soon.

If these rumors are true, an A3 sedan would compete with the BMW 1-Series and possibly the Mercedes-Benz B-Class. That is, if it comes stateside. We should expect to see the A3 sedan around 2013 if not later.

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2010 Audi A3 TDI

2010 Audi A3 TDI

A few years ago Audi started a big clean diesel push in the United States market when they brought the Q7 TDI over. The Q7 TDI was one of the most fuel efficient seven-seat SUVs on the market, but man was it ugly. Thankfully, the diesel Q7 was just the first step for the German company in its diesel push. Welcome to the Audi A3 Sportback TDI.

The A3 is the entry-level model for Audi here in the U.S. Previous models have been sold with a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder or a 3.2-liter V6 engine that were petrol powered. Now, Audi has added a new motor to the lineup, a diesel motor. We had a chance to take the diesel hatch out on the streets of Wisconsin for a few hours.

The A3 is in the same market as its brother, theVolkswagen Golf and the BMW 1-Series. It comes in front and all-wheel drive modes with a transverse-mounted engine. Unlike our European brethren, we only get the five-door model.

Hit the jump for the rest of the review.

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2008 AUDI A3 8P Facelift by JMS

2008 AUDI A3 8P Facelift by JMS

We are almost concerned that tuning companies have to look to older models to create new tuning packages recently. A few days ago we wrote about the new tuning package for the old 2007 Mercedes E-Class W211 by Prior Design. Today, we bring you a new tuning package for the Audi A3 8P for model years up to 2008 by JMS. Are tuning companies getting bored? The Audi A3 8P debuted in 2003 as a 3-door hatchback and only had to wait about a year for Audi to release it as a 5-door sportback. In 2008, Audi released the A3 8P as a cabriolet. Now, in 2010, JMS has decided to give the Audi A3 8P a little of a facelift with its Racelook aerodynamic package with most accessories fitting all of the models.

The new aerodynamic package consists of a new frontlip, side skirts that make the car look lower, and a Racelook rear apron with an optional aluminum grating in black or silver. Rounding off the package is the much needed stainless steel dual rear muffler with round tips. JMS has also provided a 3 piece look roof spoiler. JMS also recommends a KW v1 coil over kit that lowers the vehicle on both axles by up to 50mm for a better driving experience. The car is finished by exclusive Corniche chrome rims in 8X19 with 225/35-19 tires.

Check out the full story after the jump.

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2012 Audi RS3

2012 Audi RS3

Now that Audi has brought the new A3 on the market, they have moved on to preparing its higher performance RS version. Back in April, a test mule was caught lapping in Nurburgring and we had assumed that it would lead to a Paris Motor Show debut. That proved to be an accurate assumption as Audi will be debuting the RS3 at the end of September at the show.

The Audi RS3 will only be offered in a five-door version with prices anticipated to be between £38,000 -£40,000. Like the Audi TT RS, the Audi RS3 will be powered by a 2.5 liter, 5-cylinder turbocharged engine that is found in the TT-RS, but will adjust it to gain another 10hp, bringing the total horsepower up to 350. The engine will be mated to a new 7-speed S-trinic gearbox (PQ500 unit) as an option (also available on TT RS for ordering now). It is also rumored that the RS3 will get an all-new chassis which wouldn’t be surprising considering they have also gone to some lengths to decrease weight ont he hatchback. Audi has fitted the hatchback with aluminum panels, suspension parts, and special lightweight sport seats to trim the fat.

We have also heard that Audi will only build 2,700 units of the RS3, which is exactly the number of units the BMW 1-Series M Coupe will see. Coincidence? We think not.

There is some bad news to this story though; U.S. Audi fans shouldn’t hold their breath in anticipation for the new RS3. If Audi won’t share the 261 hp S3 with North America, the chances are slim that it will export its halo vehicle.

UPDATE 09/16/2010: This review has been updated with new details on the RS3.

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2011 Audi A3 Sportback

2011 Audi A3 Sportback

After the TT and the Q7, Audi unveiled the 2011 A3 Sportback. Like with the TT, the A3 Sportback gets a few changes on both the exterior and interior. Sales will begin in the early summer.

The exterior changes include: high-gloss black paint on the single-frame grille element and the trims on the B-posts, aerodynamically optimized mirrors, chrome strips in the door handles, and a new diffuser insert with an eye-catching separating edge. On the interior, Audi added dials with a gray background, a flat-bottomed leather sports steering wheel, a new selector lever for the S tronic, black rings on the air vents, and a high-gloss trim for the optional navigation system plus.

The engine line-up includes nine engines: five gasoline and four diesel. Outputs range from 105 HP in the entry level 1.2 TFSI version to 265 HP in the 2.0 TFSI version. All of the engines are mated to a six-speed manual transmission as standard or a dual-clutch transmission with six or seven speeds as an option.

Press release after the jump.

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Video: Audi Green Police Superbowl spot

Hot off winning the Green Car of the Year award, Audi is getting serious about the diesel burning boosted version of the A3 TDI compact hatch with their latest Superbowl commercial. The Green Police are out to crack down on every kind of consumer waste from shoppers using single use plastic bags at the supermarket to police drinking out of Styrofoam cups.

Some might say that the Green Police are going a little too far with their efforts to clean up the environment, however the commercial does make for some very funny situations that will hopefully leave new car shoppers here in the U.S. thinking a little differently about alternative fuels in their premium vehicles. Enjoy!

Press release after the jump.

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Audi A3 TDI - 2010 Green Car of the Year

Audi A3 TDI - 2010 Green Car of the Year

Even if the diesel burning Audi A3 just arrived in U.S. last month, the alternatively fueled hatchback already has a huge following around the world. And it hasn’t taken long for the other A3 to find success being named the 2010 Green Car of the Year by the Green Car Journal and the GreenCar.com website at the 2009 LA Auto Show. The 2.0 Liter TDI four cylinder engine delivers a maximum output of 140 HP and because it is a diesel, significantly more torque, 236 lb-ft to be exact. Yet despite the excessive amount of thrust, the green A3 is able to get an EPA estimated 42 MPG on the highway.

According to the President of Audi of America, Johan de Nysschen, "We consider the Green Car of the Year® title one of the most important industry accolades. It is of paramount importance for us to develop vehicles that achieve the very touchstones this award stands for fuel efficiency and environmental impact. Rather than novelty features, we consider these attributes imperative to the future of automobile design. We are honored with this recognition for the Audi A3 TDI." With a shift towards premium compacts and fuel efficient car shopping, Audi look like they are on the right track towards selling these green A3s like hot cakes.

Press release after the jump.

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