The new Audi A3 was designed with succinct lines, and its dimensions are compact. Its length of 4,237 mm (13.90 feet) and height of 1,421 mm (4.66 feet) are practically the same as on the previous model. And yet its proportions are sportier: The car’s wheelbase grew by 23 mm (0.91 inches) to 2,601 mm (8.53 feet). Its front overhang is now shorter, and its width increased by 12 mm (0.47 inches) to 1,777 mm (5.83 feet).
At its launch, Audi is offering one TDI and two TFSI engines for the new A3; these three four-cylinder engines were developed from the ground up. They bundle many efficiency technologies – direct injection, turbocharging, innovative thermal management and the start-stop system. The engine downsizing concept – reducing displacement by supercharging – stands for high power with low fuel consumption. Compared to the previous model, fuel consumption has been reduced by an average value of about 12 percent.
The 1.4 TFSI, with its 1,395 cc engine displacement, produces 90 kW (122 hp) of power and 200 Nm (147.51 lb-ft) of torque; the latter is already available from 1,500 rpm. This engine accelerates the A3 from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 9.3 seconds and up to a top speed of 203 km/h (126.14 mph). Its combined fuel consumption is a mere 5.2 liters per 100 km (45.23 US mpg), equivalent to CO2 emissions of 120 grams per km (193.12 g/mile).
The 1.8 TFSI – with an engine displacement of 1,798 cc – produces 132 kW (180 hp) and outputs 250 Nm (184.39 lb-ft) of torque between 1,250 and 5,000 rpm. It combines direct injection with supplemental injection into the induction pipe, varies the valve stroke based on load using the Audi valvelift system and utilizes a very elaborate thermal management system to quickly heat the engine after a cold start. Its key performance data: zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 7.2 seconds, top speed 232 km/h (144.16 mph), combined fuel consumption of 5.6 liters per 100 km (42.00 US mpg), equivalent to 130 g CO2 per km (209.21 g/mile).
The 2.0 TDI with 1,968 cc engine displacement also offers a high-performance thermal management system. Its two balancer shafts were relocated from the oil pan to the crankcase, which clearly improved smooth engine running. Producing 110 kW (150 hp) and 320 Nm (236.02 lb-ft), this diesel delivers tremendous power.
The A3 2.0 TDI sprints from a standstill to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 8.6 seconds and reaches a top speed of 216 km/h (134.22 mph). In combined mode, it only requires 4.1 liters per 100 km (57.37 US mpg) – equivalent to CO2 emissions of 106 g per km (170.59 g/mile).
Audi will be extending the engine line-up of the A3 model series step by step. A dynamic S model and other highly efficient and low-emissions versions are planned, including a CNG version for operation with natural gas or Audi e-gas.
A version with the especially efficient 1.6 TDI engine will debut in 2012; it consumes just 3.8 liters diesel/100 km (61.90 US mpg), equivalent to 99 g/CO2 (159.33 g/mile). There are no limitations whatsoever on the range of features for this highly efficient version; this A3 is a fully-fledged Audi as well.
At the A3 market launch, Audi will pair the 1.4 TFSI and 2.0 TDI with a six-speed manual transmission. In the 1.8 TFSI, the seven-speed S tronic is standard; the highly efficient dual-clutch transmission integrates a freewheeling function in conjunction with Audi drive select. All of these transmissions transfer power to the front wheels; the quattro permanent all-wheel drive will follow over the course of the year. Its centerpiece is a hydraulic multi-plate clutch. If necessary, it can variably distribute power between the front and rear wheels – lightning-fast and according to the momentary driving situation.