The new 2013 Audi A3 gets makes its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show.
Audi’s premium hatchback is going to have a tough time competing with Mercedes’ new hatchback. But it’s well prepared for the battle.
Audi admits the looks are evolutionary. It’s the other way of saying there’s nothing completley new and exciting to look at. But they do boast the big leap forward in terms of quality technological sophistication and driver appeal.
The new three-door sporty hatch is pretty much the same size as its predecessor, but it’s much cleverer. The aluminium front wings and bonnet help in this regard, and contribute to a class-beating kerb weight of just 1,175kg for the 1.4 TFSI model. The interior design is another sign of this car’s sophistication.
It has simple yet elegant design inside the cabin, complemented with very complex and up to the minute technology features. Some of the notable features include the optional 3D colour display for the Driver’s Information System, the ultra-thin electrically retractable MMI monitor and the new electromechanical parking brake.
The fully loaded models get MMI navigation plus with MMI touch – the upper side of the rotary pushbutton in the terminal is designed as a touchpad.
Although it’s a rather small hatchback, the new A3 can be specified with high-end features usually seen in cars twice the size of it. One of the features include A3-specific Bang & Olufsen audio system, MMI navigation plus and mobile phone preparation with online services, which brings new ‘real time’ online traffic information and, through a WLAN hotspot, gives passengers access to the Internet while travelling.
As for the engines, the car launches (from September) with three four-bangers, including 1.4-litre and 1.8-litre TFSI engines and the 2.0-litre TDI have outputs of 122PS, 180PS and 143PS respectively.
The 1.8-litre TFSI is linked as standard to a seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission; the 1.4-litre TFSI and 2.0-litre TDI are paired with a six-speed manual gearbox. All engines in this first phase drive the front wheels; quattro permanent all-wheel drive – and further engines, including a 1.4-litre TFSI with innovative cylinder on demand technology – will follow later in 2012.
The A3 also excels in terms of driving and handling, or so at least suggests the great array of onboard systems. It gets Electronic Stability Program integrating an electronic limited slip differential, or the optional Audi drive select system that lets the driver vary the operating characteristics of key components.
At a glance
The new Audi A3
Design and body
– Sporty-progressive styling with coupe-like lines and long wheelbase,
length 4.24 metres
– Intelligent mixed multi-material construction utilising steel and aluminum
– Weight reduced by 80 kg, kerb weight of Audi A3 1.4 TFSI is just
1,175 kg (2,590.43 lb)
– Optional xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights and LED tail lights
– Spacious interior, load capacity of 365 litres
– Elegant design and exemplary ergonomics, standard and optional graphics in
the DIS display and decorative inlays with various materials
– At launch, one TDI and two TFSI engines with 122PS to 180PS, all engines have state-of-the-art efficiency technologies
– Power transmission by manual gearbox or S tronic, front-wheel drive at launch,
quattro permanent all-wheel drive later for more powerful engines
– 1.6 TDI delivers 74.3mpg, equivalent to 99 g CO2/km
– Versions with alternative drive systems such as hybrid, natural gas and
Audi e-gas are currently in development
– Alloy wheels, up to 18 inches in size
– Electronic Stability Program with electronic limited slip differential is standard
– Audi drive select vehicle dynamics system and adaptive shock absorbers are
– Extensive standard features as well as numerous optional enhancements
– Advanced MMI system with MMI touch, ultra-slim, electrically retractable
– Optional highly advanced driver assistance systems, including Audi adaptive cruise control, further developed park assist and Audi pre sense basic
– Wide range of infotainment components, sound system from Bang & Olufsen, Mobile phone preparation High with Audi connect online services