Order books open for Audi’s A3
The completely redesigned car hits the UK market with a starting price of £19,205.
While a new car from the ground up, the latest A3 is described as “subtly redefined” over its predecessor. One of the major advances is in weight, the new car tipping the scales at some 80 kilos less.
Potential buyers have the choice of three different engine units, 1.4-litre (120bhp) and 1.8-litre (177bhp) TFSI petrol engines and a 2.0-litre TDI (148bhp), all of which promise fuel economy gains of up to 12 per cent over their predecessors.
The 1.8-litre TFSI engine is linked to a seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission as standard, while the 1.4-litre TFSI and 2.0-litre TDI use a six-speed manual gearbox. Audi says that additional engine and transmission combinations will join the range later, including models equipped with quattro permanent all-wheel-drive.
There are three trim levels, SE, Sport and S line. The entry level SE model includes features such as 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, Bluetooth mobile phone interface, the Audi Music Interface iPod connection and a multi-function steering wheel.
The Sport models upgrade to 17-inch alloy wheels and and Audi’s drive select adaptive dynamics system, the first time it has been featured at this level.
The system enables drivers to choose from driving five modes – Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, Efficiency and Individual. These influence the steering weight, throttle sensitivity and the parameters used by the car’s optional cruise control system.
Additional features include sports seats and steering wheel, two-zone climate control and aluminium detailing inside and out.
The top level S line models include 18-inch alloy wheels, bespoke S line body styling, xenon headlights and an S line sports steering wheel.
Suspension across the three grades is also more interchangeable. SE models feature more comfort-oriented setups as standard, with a firmer sports suspension for Sport and S line models, although customers have the option of choosing the comfort-biased version instead.
Words by: James Charman