- Change for 2017 across Audi A3 range
- Small, but high-performance, engines
- Hue range of prices, low fuel-consumptions
Audi’s A3 range has just been relaunched in South Africa with new technology, new engines, styling amendments and a new operating and display concept within a virtual cockpit and in four body styles – two-door hatch, four-door hatched Sportback, sedan and cabriolet.
For 20 years, Audi says, the A3 (which followed the A4, A5 and A6) has played a significant role in Audi’s overall sales. When it was launched in 1996 it not only created a model but also a global leader on the A-segment sales chart, becoming an important high-volume model among a diverse target group.
More than a million have been delivered globally – among that number 51 400 to South Africa from 1998-2016. Now, Audi says, starts “a new and exciting era for Audi in the premium A-segment”. So, let Carman’s Corner tell you all about it…
WHEELS AND TYRES
Changes to the exterior – essentially of the same dimensions – include changes to front and rear light clusters, a “more emphasised” bonnet and an amended grille though an S-line body package will add a revised front bumper and rear diffuser. 16′” wheel rims are standard across the 1.0, 1.4 and 2.0 turbopetrol units and the two-litre TDI, options being 17 or 18″.
The Audi S3 rides only on an 18″ rim/tyre combination.
Bi-xenon lights are standard, diode combinations optional, and, Audi says, for the first time among premium compact cars. Each headlight has 15 diode ‘bulbs’ controlled by a front camera and able to self-adjust.
Engine choices range through three petrol and one diesel capable variously of 85 to a monstrous, for a car of this size, 228kW n the Audi S3. The smallest is a one-litre, three-cylinder unit – the first in an A3 – which starts the bidding at the aforementioned 85kW… commendable whack for such a small-block engine with a claimed fuel-consumption of 4.5 litres/100km and emissions so low as to avoid South African CO2 taxation.
The A3 1.4 TFSI, capable of 110kW (more than a 1970’s Ford V6) can disable two of its four cylinders when so much grunt is not required. It’s also rated at 4.5/100 and emissions tax-exempt.
The 2.0 TFSI weighs-in with 140kW / 320Nm, reaches 100km/h in 6.7sec and 244km/h should you be stupid enough to want to in South Africa, all handled by a new seven-speed transmission.
The one turbodiesel, a four-cylinder, two-litre, making 105kW and 340Nm from 1750-3000rpm will be landed only with an S Tronic transmission and is another unit capable of 45 litres/100km.
All pale before the mighty S3 2.0 TFSi and its 228kW – 18 more than it predecessor – and 400Nm from 2000-5400rpm tempered by a claimed 6.4 litres/100km fuel burn through its seven-speed transmission and 100km/h in 4.5sec. The S3 Sportback and S3 sedan take a tenth longer, the Cabriolet needs 5.1 sec.
All use front-wheel drive, a 15mm lower suspension can be specified for extra bucks; a 25mm drop is standard on the S Line.
The new Audi A3 distributes the engine power to the front wheels as standard. The suspension of the new Audi A3 is tuned for impressively balanced sportiness. In the case of the optional sport suspension, the body lies 15 millimetres lower, and 25 millimetres lower with the S line sport suspension.
Luggage capacity ranges through 365 litres in the Hatchback, 380 in the Sportback, with 425 in the Sedan and 320 in the Cabriolet.
A highlight of the Audi A3 cabin is the new ‘virtual cockpit’; Audi is claiming another ‘first’ among compacts. All the important driving data is displayed on a 30cm TFT screen with a choice of two views: Classic shows the instruments as analogue displays, Infotainment mode adds a central window with space for a satnav map and phone, radio and audio sectors.
Talking of which, Audi says the new A3 “again sets new standards” with the multimedia tuner’s info shown on a power-extending 19cm iPad-style monitor. Satnav options are basic or advanced though both hands Bluetooth telephony with the capability to play hot-spot to as many as eight devices.
Later in 2017 will come two Audi Sport A3 units – RS3 sedan and RS3 Sportback.
For more information about model specifications and ;rices, flip to the Audi SA website.
The cars will be sold with a standard five-year/100 000km Audi Freeway Plan
AUDI A3 PRICES
Prices include all taxes and the standard five-year or 100 000km (whichever comes first) Audi Freeway Plan.
Audi A3 Hatch
A3 1.0T FSI – R391 000
A3 1.0T FSI S tronic – R409 500
A3 1.4T FSI – R412 000
A3 1.4T FSI S tronic – R430 500
A3 2.0 TDI S tronic – R481 500
A3 2.0T FSI – R429 500
A3 2.0T FSI S tronic – R448 000
S3 quattro S tronic – R638 500
Audi A3 Sportback
A3 Sportback 1.0T FSI – R398 500
A3 Sportback 1.0T FSI S tronic – R417 000
A3 Sportback 1.4T FSI – R419 500
A3 Sportback 1.4T FSI S tronic – R438 000
A3 Sportback 2.0 TDI S tronic – R489 000
A3 Sportback 2.0T FSI – R437 000
A3 Sportback 2.0T FSI S tronic – R455 500
S3 Sportback quattro S tronic – R646 000
Audi A3 Sedan
A3 Sedan 1.0T FSI – R408 500
A3 Sedan 1.0T FSI S tronic – R427 000
A3 Sedan 1.4T FSI – R429 500
A3 Sedan 1.4T FSI S tronic – R448 000
A3 Sedan 2.0 TDI S tronic – R499 000
A3 Sedan 2.0T FSI – R447 000
A3 Sedan 2.0T FSI S tronic – R465 500
S3 Sedan quattro S tronic – R656 000
Audi A3 Cabriolet
A3 Cabriolet 2.0T FSI S tronic – R566 500
S3 Cabriolet quattro S tronic R- 758 000