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Audi's updated sharper, smarter A3 headed for SA

2016-04-07 14:33

REFRESHED A3 ON ITS WAY: In a bid to keep the A3 relevant in a competitive luxo-hatch segment, Audi has tweaked the A3 with more powerful engines, styling tweaks and technological advancements. Image: Newspress

Cape Town - Audi has upgraded its A3 luxohatch with, what they call, significant benefits to technology, new engines and styling refinement. 

The popular range receives 're-styled' front and rear bumpers. Audi's cool Matrix LED lights are now available, with new rear lights also added.

Due in 2016

The LED units benefit from a camera-based system that detects oncoming traffic when the high-beam is in use and dips and moves the beam accordingly.

Audi South Africa said the new range will be available locally in November this year.

Virtual cockpit

Audi's virtual cockpit can now be specified as an alternative to the standard analogue unit. The display is presented on a high resolution 31cm screen. The virtual cockpit was first seen in the TT, R8 and the new A4.

The driver can switch between two views by pressing the “view” button on the multi-function steering wheel.

Image gallery: Audi A3

The menu structure in the MMI system (now standard) has been tweaked. Operation with its flat hierarchies is based on smartphones. The centerpiece of the MMI terminal is the round rotary/push-button control, whose ring is illuminated in white in the top version.

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Driver assistance

Audi added driver-aids like active lane assist, pre-sense front and pedestrian detection to its refreshed A3.

We all hate traffic jams right? Well, Audi's new traffic jam assist (optional), works in unison with the adaptive cruise control to keep the car at a safe distance from the vehicle in front.

The system can even employ self-steer assist in slow traffic at speeds up to 65km/h, provided conditions are optimal.

Lastly, Audi's emergency assist helps the car come to a safe stop under braking, and new rear cross-traffic assist that warns the driver about cross traffic when reversing out of a parking space.

Pretty neat, if we say so ourselves.

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Engines

On the engine front, Audi offers a six engine line-up in the A3: with power outputs ranging from 81kW to 140kW.

In Europe, the revised A3 features a 1.0-litre TFSI three-cylinder (85kW and 200Nm) model for the first time. A nifty fuel-saving feature on the 1.4 TFSI (110kW/250Nm) is cylinder-on-demand efficiency technology that turns off two of the four cylinders when not required. New to the range is Audi's 2.0-litre TFSI (140kW/320Nm); a hand-me-down from the A4.

The 2.0-litre TFSI engines are joined by a newly developed seven-speed S-tronic with wet clutch, which replaces the previous model's dry-clutch six-speed transmission.

The A3's oil burners compromise the 2.0-litre TDI, available in two output levels: 110kW/340Nm and 135kW/380N.m. The is also a new entry-level 1.6 TDI diesel engine with 81kW, available in either a six-speed manual or S-tronic seven-speed dual clutch transmission.

Finally, the S3 S-tronic, in Europe, benefits from an extra 7kW and 20Nm to its 2.0-litre TFSI; pushing the power outputs to 228kW and 400Nm.

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