[Photos: aryatara.info / Text: Audi USA]
- A3 Sedan brings new level of craftsmanship and attention to detail to the fast growing A segment
- Available with a number of powertrain options and advanced technology features
- A3 Sportback will return with A3 Sportback e-tron® Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) confirmed for the U.S. market
“The Audi A3 will set the new benchmark among entry-level luxury sedans,” said Scott Keogh, President, Audi of America. “This A3 line-up redefines the standards of its class in dynamics, efficiency, technology, craftsmanship and performance.”
With the first generation A3, Audi established a whole new market segment – the premium Sportback compact class vehicle. Its quality, equipment, dynamic capabilities and value were adopted from larger Audi vehicles with an extra measure of sportiness and utility inherent in the 5 door Sportback bodystyle. The third generation Audi A3 continues this tradition combined with the first production Audi e-tron vehicle.
The Audi A3 sedan breaks the boundaries and raises the bar as to what is expected out of entry-level luxury sedans. The A3 marks the first time that an A-segment vehicle will offer MMI® technology, Audi drive select, 4G LTE connectivity and Bang & Olufsen® audio.
Even the base model of the all-new premium Audi A3 comes equipped with standard features that include leather upholstery, Bluetooth® technology, rain sensing wipers, Audi pre sense basic and a panoramic glass sunroof.
In addition to the standard technologies, the Audi A3 sedan will feature new, segment first technologies. One key example is the implementation of the new NVIDIA graphics processing unit (GPU). The NVIDIA GPU generates complex three-dimensional images used in all online, voice control, media navigation and telephone functions. Fundamentally, the Tegra® graphics processor powers tablets and other mobile devices and is also used in 3D gaming and various medical applications. Another industry first includes the Audi phone box. The Audi phone box is a compartment located under the center armrest that boosts a mobile phone’s cellular coverage by wirelessly coupling to a specialized antenna in the rear windshield.
The A3 sedan has been further enhanced thanks to numerous engineering improvements under the hood. The A3 model line offers four different engine variants including the 170 horsepower 1.8 TFSI, and 150 horsepower 2.0 TDI clean diesel, and a low and high-output 2.0 TFSI used in the A3 quattro and S3 quattro respectively. Horsepower figures for the 2.0 TFSI engines will be available closer to launch. All engines are mated to the standard 6-speed S tronic® transmission which provides the driver immense shifting flexibility and driving pleasure with smooth, dynamic acceleration and virtually no interruption to the power flow.
New to the A3, the Audi drive select allows the driver to adjust throttle response, shift points, and the electromechanical steering effort. Similar to other Audi models, Audi drive select has four settings that include Auto, Dynamic, Comfort and Individual.
The new platform allows the front wheels to move forward by roughly 1.5 inches (compared to the previous generation A3) to provide well-balanced proportions, supplemented by optimized interior space utilization, and an improved crash structure.
The front suspension is a MacPherson design with A-arms and aluminum pivot bearings. It is joined to an aluminum subframe. The electromechanically assisted steering system operates sensitively and efficiently together with various assistance systems, while reducing mechanical drag for greater efficiency. In the four-link rear suspension for the gasoline models, which utilizes a steel crossmember, the springs and shock absorbers are mounted separately.
The electronic stabilization control (ESC) also includes an electronic differential lock. When driving through curves, it can brake the inside front wheel very slightly to help minimize understeer and improve traction.
The exterior has been completely redesigned and specifically tailored to meet the sedan preferences of the American market. The Audi A3 stretches 175.5 inches in length and has a 103.4 inch wheelbase. Combined with its 70 inch width and 55.7 inch height, its proportions are compact but very sporty and nearly resemble the original Audi A4 from 1994.
The signature Singleframe® grille and available full-LED headlights, another first for the A-segment, are some of the notable design changes included in the all-new Audi A3 sedan.
The athletic exterior of the A3 extends inside, where Audi maintains its leading role in automotive interior design and craftsmanship. The defining element is the “wraparound” dash design, which incorporates an innovative three-dimensional inlay concept surrounding the driver and front passenger. The available LED interior lighting package highlights the immense craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into every Audi A3 interior. This is accomplished by bathing the interior in a cool white LED light surrounding the center console, door panels, cupholders, and even the Bang & Olufsen Sound System when so equipped.
The A3 delivers the same prestige and high-quality materials found in Audi’s flagship sedan, the A8 with standard leather seating surfaces and exceptional ergonomics. The MMI operating system has an electronically extending screen, its terminal housed in the console of the center dashboard. It features a 7-inch high resolution display screen with magnesium backing that is less than ½ inch thick. To further enhance the driving experience, the new MMI controls are conveniently positioned behind the gear shift. They now offer the first touch pad incorporated into the rotary MMI control wheel, which offers an intuitively and simple operation typical of the brand with the four rings. Now with the optional 705 watt 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen Sound System, all occupants in the A3 can enjoy the best in acoustics.
The Audi A3 now offers several advanced technology features which are new to the entry luxury segment, including the standard Audi pre sense basic system which helps detect when an emergency maneuver is being made and prepares the vehicle and its occupant restraint systems in advance of a possible collision. The Audi A3 also offers an optional driver assistance package, which includes Audi side assist, and adaptive cruise control with stop and go.
The modular infotainment platform in the Audi A3 also brings several upgrades to the industry leading Audi connect® service. Audi’s connected vehicle strategy targets features and services that enhance the driving experience for Audi drivers and their passengers by providing the benefits of access to information and content, when needed, through interfaces designed for the in-vehicle environment. Already, Audi is a leader with integrated high-speed mobile broadband in the vehicle. Now with 4G/LTE technology in the Audi A3, customers will be able to connect with a network capable of supporting data rates of up to 150 Mbit/s downstream and considerably faster response times. Using the existing Wi-Fi connectivity for up to 8 devices, passengers can now view high-definition videos and make video conference calls from the vehicle. Adding to the existing Google Earth™ 3D satellite imagery and intelligent POI search with Google Voice™ Local Search, the Audi A3 introduces a new Picture Navigation service. Here the driver can save photos of destinations, which are linked to geo-navigation data (GPS), in the “photo box” of MMI Navigation . These may be the driver’s own photos or scenes from Google Maps Street View. Photos can be imported via an SD card or a myAudi account. A new app integration interface over Wi-Fi for music streaming and other connected device apps, voice-controlled social media features, and a completely redesigned user MMI interface allows drivers and passengers to continue to enjoy a connected lifestyle while in the vehicle without handling devices.