Audi's local A3 range now includes 1.4 TFSI and 1.9 TDI variants aimed at cash-strapped consumers wanting "more affordable" models.
Furthermore, the S3 range is bolstered by the introduction of the S3 Sportback using the same 2.0 TFSI as its three-door sibling. Its turbocharged engine produces 188 kW and a maximum torque figure of 330 Nm available from 2 400 to 5 200 r/min. The engine is mated with a six-speed manual transmission and comes standard with quattro.
The Sportback sprints from standstill to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds and its electronic limiter steps in at 250 km/h. According to Audi, this hot number consumes 9.1 l/100 km.
The S3s appear sharper, too, and can be recognised by their chrome-plated radiator grilles with double vertical bars, the front spoiler, oval exhaust pipes and beefy sports seats for the driver and front passenger.
In addition, the A3 and the A3 Sportbacks have also been tweaked and two new engines added to the line-up.
7 speed S tronic, new engines
Big news is that the dual clutch S tronic transmission is available in its new seven-speed iteration for certain variants.
The new four-cylinder 1.4 TFSI produces 200 Nm off a displacement of 1 390 cm3 from 1 500 to 4 000 r/min. Audi says that 80% of this torque is available from 1 250 r/min.
With this, the three-door 1.4 TFSI manual sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.4 seconds, continuing to a top speed of 203 km/h. Average fuel consumption is quoted as 5.9 l/100 km and CO2 emissions as 140 g/km.
The 1.9 TDI also makes its first appearance on the A3 line-up. It develops 77kW and 250 Nm of torque at 1 900 r/min. The three-door A3 and the A3 Sportback 1.9 TDI consume just 4.7 litres of diesel per 100 km, corresponding to a CO2 output of 124 g/km and a range of over 1 150 km with one tank of fuel, Audi claims.
Unchanged engines include the 118-kW 1.8 TFSI, the 147-kW 2.0 TFSI and the 103-kW 2.0 TDI.
The lightweight (135kg) 1.8 TFSI has a maximum torque figure of 250 Nm from 1 500 to 4 200 r/min. When coupled to the S tronic transmission, performance is 0 – 100 km/h in 7.5 seconds with a top speed of 220 km/h, while performance with the manual is 0 – 100 km/h in 7.6 seconds with a top speed of 222 km/h.
Fuel consumption is 6.6 l/100 km and 6.7 l/100 km on the manual and S tronic versions respectively.
The wildly popular 147 kW/280 Nm 2.0 TFSI engine remains unchanged, too. It accelerates the three-door to 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds, reaching a top speed of 238 km/h. An average of 7.2 l/100 km suffices.
The 2.0 TDI engine, generates 103 kW and torque of 320 Nm, which is available from 1 750 to 2 500 r/min.
With 8.9 seconds for the standard sprint and a top speed of 207 km/h (three-door version with front-wheel drive and S tronic), it consumes an average of 5.1 l/100 km Audi's six-speed manual transmission is fitted as standard with all engines except the 1.9 TDI engine.
The six-speed dual-clutch transmission S tronic is used in the engines with high torque loads (2.0 TFSI and 2.0 TDI) and allows the driver to control shifts manually via a one-touch lever or with paddles on the steering wheel.
Two fully automatic operating modes are additionally available – D for Drive and S for Sport. In N mode, the transmission management system ensures that the engine runs at low speed whenever possible, in order to save fuel.
For the 1.4 TFSI and the 1.8 TFSI engines, the new seven-speed S tronic with twin dry clutches, is offered.
Concerning the exterior appearance, A3 and A3 Sportback's appearance has been tweaked to reflect that of the recently-launched A3 Cabriolet. The shield-like grille has a new chrome frame and the bumper (with integrated fog lamps in the Ambition models) and the air intakes have been redesigned, too.
In line with most models in the Audi range, the facelift includes new headlamps with integrated daytime running lights.
Side mirrors have integrated turn signal indicators and the door handles have also been redesigned.
At the rear, lamps are wider while LEDs have been incorporated into the cluster.
Design changes have necessitated a bigger body and the lengths of both A3 variants have increased. The three-door, at 4.24 m, is longer by 25 mm, while six millimeters have been added to the Sportback.
Four new colours – the pealescent Aruba Blue, Glass Blue and Meteor Grey, and the metallic Condor Grey - are offered. Audi's familiar S-Line exterior sports package is offered too.
New on A3, too, is the Park Assist system that allows the car to parallel park itself into parking spaces using ultrasonic sensors. It is identical to the system seen on VW cousin Tiguan. A raft of optional features include a storage package, sunroofs, roof rails for Sportback models and a navigation system.
The facelifted A3 will be shown at the Johannesburg International Motor Show which opens to the public on Saturday, November 1.
A3 3 door:
1.4 TFSI Attraction manual - R 232 000 Jan 09
1.9 TDI Attraction manual - R 232 000 Oct 08
1.8 TFSI Ambition manual - R 251 000 Oct 08
1.8 TFSI Ambition S tronic - R 267 000 Oct 08
2.0 TDI Ambition manual - R 270 000 Oct 08
2.0 TDI Ambition S tronic - R 286 000 Oct 08
2.0 TFSI Ambition manual - R 291 000 Oct 08
2.0 TFSI Ambition S tronic - R 307 000 Oct 08
1.4 TFSI Attraction manual - R 239 500 Jan 09
1.9 TDI Attraction manual - R 239 500 Oct 08
1.8 TFSI Ambition manual - R 258 500 Oct 08
1.8 TFSI Ambition S tronic - R 274 500 Oct 08
2.0 TDI Ambition manual - R 277 500 Oct 08
2.0 TDI Ambition S tronic - R 293 500 Oct 08
2.0 TFSI Ambition manual - R 298 500 Oct 08
2.0 TFSI Ambition S tronic - R 314 500 Oct 08
S3 3 door:
manual - R 365 500 Oct 08
S tronic - R 381 500 April 09
manual - R 373 000 Oct 08
S tronic - R 389 000 April 09