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Audi A3 gets new face, hot turbo

2005-08-12 10:35

Visually, the latest A3 is identifiable by its new single-frame grille. Inside the A3 features Audi?s new generation of steering wheels with the trapezoidal grille element on the steering wheel boss.

Other improvements have also been made to the car?s technology, comfort and convenience.

Versions include four and six-cylinder engines developing up to 184 kW, front-wheel or quattro permanent four-wheel drive and, as an option, the Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) transmission.

And, for the first time, Audi SA will be offering the S line exterior package -available from quattro GmbH - for the A3 3-door. This will appeal in particularly to sports-minded drivers. A new selection of 17 and 18-inch wheels are also available to order.

Hot turbo power

The 2.0T FSI engine now available in the A3 offers 147 kW between 5 100 r/min and 6 000 r/min as well as 280 Nm of torque from only 1 800 r/min to 5 000 r/min. This model is available with either a six-speed manual gearbox or the DSG system.

This allows the 2.0T FSI manual to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 7 seconds at sea level and go on to a top speed of 234 km/h. The DSG version can do the same sprint in 6.9 seconds at sea level and also has a slightly higher top speed of 236 km/h.

In addition to the high standard specification on A3 models, the 2.0T FSI has sports suspension, inch wheels and aluminium trim for the interior.

As well as numerous visual changes, there have also been considerable technical modifications, while the A3?s safety equipment has been supplemented by a new function in the improved ESP (standard on the 2.0T FSI and 3.2 V6 quattro).

This comes to the driver?s aid in critical situations by providing steering assistance.

If the car threatens to swerve and the driver decides to steer to stabilise it, steering resistance is reduced. If the critical situation is exacerbated by an incorrect steering manoeuvre, steering resistance is increased.

Hill hold

Audi hill hold assist (in conjunction with ESP) prevents the car from rolling back when performing a hill start. This feature will also be available on Sportback models fitted with ESP.

Other new options include Navigation Plus with DVD operating system and full colour LCD screen. This option can now also be ordered on Sportback models.

In addition, when fitted with sports suspension (standard on the 2.0T FSI and 3.2 V6 quattro), the A3 benefits from more effective damping and moderate tuning of the anti-roll bars.

Despite the additional enhancements, the A3 range model range remains as before and pricing, we are happy to say, is unchanged. The new 2.0T FSI manual model retails for R247 500 and the six-speed DSG R263 500.

For customers of current A3 models, Audi dealers will be offering a conversion kit to change the nose of their A3?s to the full frame grille. Customers should contact their respective Audi dealer for more information.

Range prices

A3 2.0 FSI attraction Man

R 202 000

A3 2.0 FSI attraction tiptronic

R 215 000

A3 2.0 FSI ambition Man

R 212 000

A3 2.0 FSI ambition tiptronic

R 225 000

A3 2.0T FSI ambition Man

R 247 500

A3 2.0T FSI ambition DSG

R 263 500

A3 2.0 TDI ambition Man

R 234 500

A3 2.0 TDI ambition DSG

R 250 500

A3 3.2 V6 quattro Man

R 313 500

A3 3.2 V6 quattro DSG

R 329 500


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