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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 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 TT 2.0 TDI Ultra

2015 Audi TT 2.0 TDI Ultra

What happens when you combine rally heritage, diesel racing technology and a small sports car? If you ask Audi, it will tell you that sounds the perfect recipe for the new 2015 Audi TT 2.0 TDI Ultra.

Yes, I know it’s an obnoxiously long name, but there is a lot of important information in there. First off, the 2015 Audi TT portion lets us know that this is based on the latest and greatest version of Audi’s venerable coupe, the TT. The 2.0 TDI tells us it uses the latest Volkswagen family, common-rail, turbo-diesel engine. The Ultra is the most important part though. Audi has reserved that term for new versions of its cars that are ultra-efficient while still retaining the fun and excitement that the brand is known for.

Considering this little rocket will hit 60 mph in less than seven seconds, reach a top speed of 150 mph and still manage more than 50 mpg, I think Audi has succeeded in its mission. Is this new TT the Ultra choice for frugal fun? Read on to find out more and decide for yourself.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Audi TT 2.0 TDI Ultra

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International Engine of the Year Awards are in and BMW Cleaned House

International Engine of the Year Awards are in and BMW Cleaned House

TV buffs get the Emmys, movie buffs get the Oscars, and music lovers get the Grammys; so, where does that leave us gearheads? Well, the International Engine of the Year Awards, of course, and the 2012 results are hot off the press!

Ford took home the top prize of International Engine of the Year, with its 999 cc engine found in the European Focus. This engine, despite its petite size, cranks out 125 PS (123 horsepower) and manages to squeeze out 56.5 mpg. The 1.0-liter engine didn’t win a close battle either, it took home top honors by a full 113 points. Points are accumulated based on fuel economy, smoothness, performance, noise and drivability and each engine can only receive 15 of each voter’s total 25 points to give. Needless to say, that was quite a landslide victory.

That’s not the biggest news though, as BMW brought home top honors in four different categories. Bimmer took home the 1.4- to 1.8-liter prize with its 181-horsepower, 1.6-liter engine found in the MINI Cooper S. In the 1.8- to 2.0-liter class, BMW took first prize with its 241-horsepower, 2.0-liter twin-turbocharged four-pot. In the 2.5-liter to 3.0-liter class, BMW wrapped up top honors with its bi-turbo 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine and its 335 horsepower. Last, but certainly not least, BMW took home 1st place in the 3.0- to 4.0-liter class with its 414-horsepower, 4.0-liter V-8 engine.

Despite all of the accolades, the highest mark that BMW achieved in the Engine of the Year award was 5th place, with its 2.0-liter twin-turbo four-banger.

Click past the jump to see all of the results of each class.

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Report: Audi Cans Electric A2 and A1 e-tron

Report: Audi Cans Electric A2 and A1 e-tron

Audi has been experimenting with the electric-car market for a few years and officially unveiled plans for the A1 e-tron and an electric-powered A2 recently. It does not look like either one is going to happen any time soon, according to a report from Car.

The A2 electric was slated to be released in Europe, where high-efficiency diesel and gasoline engines that get upwards of 60 mpg reign supreme. These markets are tough enough to crowbar in an electric model, but add in the fact that the A2 was expected to carry a €40,000 ($50,000) price tag, and you get a model that was bound to fail in the European marketplace. Combine that price point with the fact that the Nissan Leaf, with its far lower €25,990 ($32,500) price tag, only saw 3,000 units leave showroom floors in 2011, and Audi wisely saw this as a fruitless journey.

The entire A2 line will likely continue as expected, sans the electric model. This leaves a gasoline and diesel model as the only drivetrain options.

The A1 e-tron reportedly is meeting a similar fate, but for different reasons. The A1 e-tron is being axed due to extravagantly high production costs. This car was planned to be similar to the Chevy Volt, as it was going to have a gasoline engine to extend the range of its electric motor by charging the batteries via a Wankel (rotary) engine.

Though this is a tragic way to abruptly cease the development phase for an electric lineup, we cannot blame Audi for its choice. Electric cars just are not selling well in the European markets and having one priced nearly double its closest competitor and another one with climbing production costs just isn’t smart business.

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