All-new Audi A3 breaks cover
With a bolder design and more digitisation, the premium compact car heads for SA in Sportback and sedan guises
Following the international launch of the fourth-generation Audi A3 Sportback last month, Audi this week took the virtual wraps off the four-door sedan version.
Both A3 derivatives are planned for local introduction in the second quarter of next year. Petrol and diesel engines are available, with both six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch transmissions.
The all-new A3 Sportback five-door, which shares the MQB platform with the new eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf, was due to be revealed at last month’s Geneva motor show, but the event was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the presentation took place online. The new four-door version followed suit this week.
The latest A3 is styled with a bolder, more geometric new design with a bigger singleframe grille and a more pronounced teardrop element in the LED headlights. It offers the option of "smart" Matrix LED headlights that provide maximum road illumination without blinding other road users. Both the four- and five-door versions of the new A3 are slightly longer and wider than the outgoing models, though the wheelbase is unchanged.
Interior space has grown a little but boot space is unchanged, with the Sportback offering 380l and the sedan 425l.
From its cockpit to its light signature and infotainment, Audi’s premium compact car has become more digitalised. The sporty and sophisticated interior has a new shifter, aluminium or carbon inlays, striking door openers and an instrument panel with a black-panel look. Seat upholstery made of recycled plastic bottles and adorned with stylish contrasting stitching are used for the first time.
The driver-focused cockpit uses familiar elements from Audi’s larger models and comes standard with a 25.6cm touch display which provides acoustic feedback and can be voice-controlled using natural language. The Audi Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster, which the driver operates via the multifunction steering wheel, is also digital as a standard feature. An optional head-up display projects information onto the windshield in colour.
The initial engine line up includes a 1.5l petrol turbo with outputs of 110kW/250Nm and a 2.0l turbo diesel with 110kW/360Nm, in both cases powering the front wheels. The range will later be expanded with quattro drive versions and other engines, including sporty S3 and RS3 models — the latter rumoured to wield a mighty 245kW.
The suspension is optionally available with adaptive damper control which also lowers the ride height by 10mm.
Electronic driver-assist features include collision warning, a surround-view camera, and adaptive cruise control with lane guidance.
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