Next A3 heads to showrooms
SUBTLE REDESIGN, LOADS MORE TECH: So Audi hasn’t don’t much in terms of design to its new A3 but underneath its subtle redesign lies new tech and tweaked engines.
Audi’s third generation A3 has gone on sale and Although South African buyers will have to wait for this new hatchback to arrive on our shores, the UK line-up gives a us a good indicator of what we can expect.
UK A3 models have choice of three specifications – SE, Sport and S line. The entry level SE model features 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, Audi’s MMI system and a multi-function steering wheel. The new model is 80kg lighter than its predecessor with the new 1.4 TSFI model weighing 1175kg.
Sport models upgrade to 17" alloy rims and underneath the metal feature Audi’s drive select adaptive dynamics system with five modes – comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency and individual. The driving modes influence steering, acceleration and transmission. Additional kit includes dual climate control, sports seats and steering wheel with aluminium detailing.
2012 Audi A3 gallery
Highlights of the top ranged S line specification include 18" alloys, S line body styling, xenon headlights with diodes, S line sports steering wheel and leather sport seats.
Available engines at launch includes two four-cylinder petrol units (1.4 and 1.8) and 2.0 TDI, all of which are tweaked versions of previous powertrains. The 1.4 (89.7kW) and 1.8 (132kW) and the 2.0 TDI (110kW) drive power to the front wheels.
The 1.8 is linked to a seven-speed auto while the 1.4-litre TFSI and 2.0 TDI are mated to a six-speed manual. Additional engine and transmission options as well models with quattro all-wheel-drive will become available in the near future.
The MMI navigation plus acts as navigation unit and provides digital storage capacity for music. The MMI has a fingertip recognition system built into the rotary control knob and enables navigation and phone entries to be “written” with a fingertip.
The MMI also provides Google Earth and Street View as well as internet access. Audi’s patented parking assistant is available on the new A3 as well adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning.
Audi’s new A3 is due in South Africa later in 2012.
PRICING: UK prices, guidance for SA only
1.4 TFSI – six-speed manual £19205
1.8 TFSI – seven-speed S tronic n/a
2.0 TDI – six-speed manual £21505
1.4 TFSI – six-speed manual £20430
1.8 TFSI – seven-speed S tronic £24410
2.0 TDI – six-speed manual £22730