Audi is further expanding the sporty profile of the A3 and the Audi A3 Sportback. High-tech components, such as the seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission and the shock absorber control system Audi magnetic ride, further enhance driving pleasure. The S3 Sportback, developing 195 kW (265 hp), rounds off the range as the new top model. With its expressively revised design, this premium compact vehicle appears even more elegant. Delivery is scheduled to start in the summer. Despite improved equipment, Audi will only be adjusting the prices marginally.
The Audi A3 is a successful model – and has been for over a decade. The first generation made its debut in 1996; it immediately opened up its own market segment, that of premium, compact vehicles for individual, demanding customers. In 2003, Audi launched the second generation of the three-door A3; one year later, this was followed by the five-door Sportback. Over the years, the model series has enjoyed outstanding success – 230,849 vehicles were manufactured in 2007 alone, the fourth record year in a row. At the end of 2008, the one millionth secondgeneration A3 came off the assembly line. Audi is now continuing to extend its position.
The A3 and Audi A3 Sportback bodies clearly reveal the many details of the streamlined, sporty profile. The engine hood and the fenders are more expressive, whilst the bumpers and the single-frame radiator grille have been finely upgraded. An elegant trim – the “wing” – underlines the high technical perfection of the new headlamps. Daytime running lights are standard; if optional bi-xenon headlamps are fitted, this is implemented by means of seven LEDs. On the flanks, exterior mirrors with integrated turn signal lamps, modified door handles and powerful wheels emphasize the main features. The wheels fitted in the sporty Ambition equipment line have a diameter of 17 inches and are manufactured from cast aluminum.
Modifications to the bumper and the lamps lend the rear end an even more striking look. In the Audi A3 Sportback, innovative light guide rods form a flat corona, which generates an unusual optical effect in the dark. In the three-door A3, the trunk lid has been provided with a new light edge. The design modifications have extended the A3 by 25 millimeters (0.98 inches) to a length of 4.24 meters (13.91 feet), whilst the Audi A3 Sportback (4.29 meters (14.07 feet)) has grown by six millimeters (0.24 inches) – its sporty proportions therefore remain virtually unchanged. Four new colors supplement the color charts.
The interior welcomes passengers with an atmosphere of sporty elegance and top quality. The air vents, the light switch and the center console have been refined with discreet chrome strips; the switches and controls beneath the audio system have been redesigned. The instruments display black dial faces and red pointers. A gear change display in the driver information system helps to achieve an efficient driving style. A driver information display with high-resolution, white lettering is fitted in the Ambiente and Ambition equipment lines. The spectrum of seat coverings rages up to Fine Nappa leather for the sports seats. New, standard trim variants in pearlescent, micrometallic and Vavona wood are available, whilst Aluminum Medial and burr walnut inlays are available as options.
With a volume of 350 to 1080 liters (12.36 to 38.14 cubic feet), the Audi A3 offers the largest luggage compartment in its class, with the Audi A3 Sportback offering 370 to 1100 liters (13.07 to 38.85 cubic feet). These values are a few liters lower in the models with quattro drive due to the special rear axle. A particularly practical feature is available in the front-wheel-drive versions – a reversible load floor, which can be used as a drip tray for damp objects. Roof railings and a panoramic sliding roof are also available for the versatile Audi A3 Sportback.