Over the past 20 years, the Audi A3 has played a significant part in the Audi brand success story. Launched internationally in 1996, the first generation not only created its own segment, but became the global market and segment leader in the premium A-segment.
As one of the model lines with the highest conquest rate in the Audi range, the Audi A3 continues to make a major contribution to the brand’s rejuvenation by acquiring important first-time customers and range-climbers for the brand. All of this underlines the Audi A3’s status as an important high-volume model, with a diverse target group that still holds great potential.
The introduction of the latest generation in 2012 marked the start of a new and exciting era for Audi in thepremium A-segment. Now, the introduction of the refreshed product range is perfectly poised to continue the heritage of the A3 brand in South Africa.
The dimensions of the new Audi A3 models have remained virtually unchanged; however the styling has been updated to reflect headlight and taillight design changes, a further emphasized bonnet, integrated front bumper, a redesigned Singleframe grille and a newly contoured rear diffuser. For a sportier look, the S line exterior package can also be ordered providing the vehicle with a different front bumper and rear diffuser.
The headlights of the Audi A3 form striking new lighting graphics with their jagged bottom edges. Bi-xenon units are standard, while LED headlights as well as Matrix LED headlights are also optionally available for the first time in the premium compact class. Both LED and Matrix LED headlights offer dynamic turn signals. Fifteen LEDs each produce the high beam of the Matrix LED headlights, which radiate from three reflectors. Supplied with information by the camera at the interior mirror, their control module turns them individually on and off as required; or additionally dims them in 64 stages each.
The engine line up for the Audi A3 comprises five engines made up of three petrol and one diesel. Their power output ranges from 85 kW to 228 kW in the top model, the Audi S3.
With the 1.0 TFSI, Audi for the first time offers a three-cylinder engine in the Audi A3 range. This compact engine provides 85 kW and delivers 200 Nm of torque from 2,000 to 3,500 rpm. Its consumption rate is limited to 4.5 litres per 100 kilometres – a CO₂ emission level of 104 grams per kilometre, making it exempt from CO₂ tax in South Africa. The new entry-level petrol engine is efficient at no cost to driving pleasure. It accelerates the A3 from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.7 seconds up to a top speed of 206 km/h.
Another first for the A3 is the 1.4 TFSI with cylinder-on-demand (COD) efficiency technology, switching off two cylinders when that power is not required. The engine with 1,395 cm³ displacement affords 110 kW of power and develops 250 Nm of torque. The average fuel consumption in combination with the manual transmission is just 4.5 litres per 100 kilometres – corresponding to 105 grams of CO₂ emitted per kilometre, thereby also making it exempt from emissions taxation.
A technical highlight is the completely newly developed 2.0 TFSI with its innovative combustion method. From a displacement of 1,984 cm³ it generates 140 kW and provides 320 Nm of torque. It takes 6.7 seconds for the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h and reaches a top speed of 244 km/h. The consumption is 5.5 litres per 100 kilometres, with a CO₂ emission level of 126 grams per kilometre. The 2.0 TFSI engine is accompanied by a totally new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission with wet clutch which supersedes the previous six-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Audi South Africa will offer one four-cylinder TDI engine with 1,968 cm³ displacement in the new A3. The 2.0 TDI comes with 105 kW and 340 Nm from 1,750 to 3,000 rpm. Only available in S tronic transmission, the 105 kW engine consumes 4.5 litres of fuel per kilometre on average, corresponding to 117 grams CO₂ per kilometre.
In the S3, Audi has raised the bar once more in terms of power. 18 kW more power and torque increased by 20 Nm. The 2.0 TFSI now generates 228 kW and delivers 400 Nm in the wide range of 2,000 to 5,400 rpm. Its consumption has improved in conjunction with the new seven-speed S tronic by around eight percent to 6.4 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres. The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h takes just 4.5 seconds in the Audi S3. The figure is 4.6 seconds for both the S3 Sportback and the S3 Sedan, while the Cabriolet takes 5.1 seconds.
The A3 Hatchback, Sportback and Sedan will all offer the 1.0T FSI, 1.4T FSI, 2.0 TFSI, 2.0TDI and S3 versions, whereas the Cabriolet engine range is limited to only the 2.0T FSI and S3 Cabriolet.
The sporty and clear body lines of the exterior can also be found in the interior of the new A3. The interior impresses with the top-quality materials and workmanship customary at Audi, as well as exemplary ergonomics.
The highlight in the interior of the new Audi A3 is the Audi Virtual Cockpit. The innovative operating concept is available for the first time in the compact class. The Audi Virtual Cockpit depicts the most important driving-relevant information in high resolution on a 12.3-inch TFT screen. The driver can switch between two views by pressing the “View” button on the multifunction steering wheel. In classic mode, the instruments appear as large as the usual analogue displays. In infotainment mode, a central window predominates that provides more space for the navigation map or shows clearly arranged lists for the phone, radio and audio sectors.
In infotainment, the new Audi A3 again sets new standards. The MMI radio plus with the electrically extending seven-inch monitor is standard equipment. For the first time, there is a choice of two different MMI Navigation systems to choose from, a basic version or an advanced version. Both versions include Audi connect and Bluetooth streaming, the only difference being the MMI touch pad and the level of radio system. With Audi connect, many online functions are brought into the car such as Google Earth and Google Street View, point of interest search and the ability to turn the car into a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to 8 devices. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto round off the infotainment offering by seamlessly integrating into the car via the Audi smartphone interface system.
The Audi A3 range will be bolstered in 2017 with the launch of two Audi Sport models in the form of the RS3 Sedan and the RS3 Sportback.