Facing serious competition from all quarters, it looks a lot like a rescaled version of other Audi passenger cars in the extensive lineup.
Audi says the new model is a high-tech car full of innovations in all areas. Versions with hybrid and alternative drive systems such as natural gas and Audi e-gas are currently in development. A version with an efficient 1.6 TDI engine will launch on the market in 2012 which consumes 3.8 litres/100 km.
Audi ultra lightweight technology has helped to trim weight in the body of the car by 80 kg compared to the previous model. The chassis is tuned for a sporty and agile driving style. The engines are powerful yet highly efficient, and the interior offers an ambience of dynamic style. In driver assistance systems and infotainment, the new A3 offers a portfolio of technologies.
Helping to keep weight down to a relatively low 1175kg in the A3 1.4 TFSI are aluminium body panels including the front guards and bonnet while the chassis/body integrates a high share of ultra-high-strength and hot-formed steels. The interior has been completely redesigned while the colour display of the driver information system (standard on the Ambition and Ambiente equipment lines) presents graphics in highly detailed 3D images.
The electrically retractable Multi Media Interface (MMI) monitor with a seven-inch diagonal in the top version is only eleven millimetres thick. The new electromechanical parking brake creates space on the console over the centre tunnel for the terminal of the optional MMI operating system. Audi is offering the Attraction, Ambition and Ambiente equipment lines as selections on the new A3.
The new Audi A3 will launch with three four-cylinder engines, all of which are essentially new developments. The two TFSI engines and the TDI work with 1.4, 1.8 and 2.0 litres of displacement. Their power levels are 90 kW, 132 kW and 110 kW. Compared to the previous model, fuel economy of the new A3 was improved by about 12 per cent on average with some engines the savings are greater.
The new Audi A3 will go on sale in the European spring, and first deliveries to customers will be this summer (Europe). The base price of the A3 with the entry-level engine, which will follow around the end of the year, will be 21,600 euros in Germany. Australian launch date, pricing, and specification is not yet available.
2012 Audi A3 TFSI
Warranty:3 years, roadside assist
Engine: 1.8 litre, 4 cylinder
Transmission: 6 speed,manual, front wheel drive
Thirst: 6.7 / 100Km