The Audi A3 range has received new S tronic transmissions as well as a S3 Sportback derivative for 2009.
Featuring its umpteenth facelift, the A3 receives a new front bootlit and fenders, whilst the front bumper and single-frame radiator grille has been modified.
Daytime running lights are now standard, with optional bi-xenon headlamps featuring LEDs to accentuate current Audi design language.
Along the flanks A3 connoisseurs will notice new exterior mirrors with integrated indicators and new door handles, whilst at the back a new bumper and lights arrangement rounds off the subtle styling changes.
Inside switches and controls beneath the audio system have been revised, and performance orientated customers can order an optional flat-bottomed leather sport steering wheel for the Ambition trimmed versions.
Perhaps the most notable change in the 2009 A3 is the addition of Audi?s magnetic ride as an option; a critical technological innovation which has migrated down from the fabled TT and R8 performance cars.
The driver can alter magnetic ride between "Normal" and "Sport" programs by flipping a switch.
A magneto-rheological fluid circulating in the shock absorbers changes its flow properties within milliseconds when a voltage is applied; this affects the damping characteristic, which can be varied from comfortably supple to crisply firm.
S tronic: DSG reincarnated
A second key engineering feature incorporated into the 2009 range is the presence of a new line of direct-shift S tronic transmissions. It features six-speeds on the 3.2 V6, 2.0-TFSI and diesel versions, whilst seven-speeds are available on the 1.6, 1.4- and 1.8-TFSI.
Engines are carried over from the current range, with the popular Sportback now featuring S3 power, with the 195kW, 2-litre turbo providing requisite performance credentials blended with Sportback practicality.
The updated A3 is expected in South Africa by September