All-new Audi A3 revealed in Geneva
Aside from brining the hot TT RS Plus at the Geneva Motor Show, the Ingolstadt-based automaker Audi has introduced the new generation of the A3 hatchback, brining to the event in Switzerland the three-door version of the model.
This is the third generation of the A3 and brings a significant weight reduction, high-class premium interior, along with a very efficient lineup of gasoline and diesel engines. This is the first vehicle based on the VW Group’s new modular MQB platform that is going to be used for a lot of cars, from the small A1 to the A5 Sportback.
The lightest version of the new Audi A3 is the one that has a 1.4 TFSI engine, weighing only 1,175 kg which is 80 kg less than the equivalent model. Most of the car’s body is manufactured from high-strength steels while for the rest of the bodywork the German engineers have used aluminum for parts of the bumpers and the hood.
As far as the suspension is concerned, it comes with a MacPherson strut front configuration and a multi-link rear system. Those who want to buy the new A3 will be able to opt for an optional sport chassis that brings the car closed to the ground by 15mm, while with the optional S Line package it is lowered a further 10mm. The Drive Select package brings adaptive damping, while as standard it comes with 16-inch alloy wheels (up to 18-inch rims available).
The new generation of the Audi A3 measures 4237mm long, 1421mm high and 1777mm wide, making it 1mm shorter and 12mm wider than the outgoing model, while the height has remained the same. Even though the length is virtually the same, the engineers from Audi have managed to increase the wheelbase by 23mm for a grand total of 2601mm.
Upon launch, the new Audi A3 is going to be available with two gasoline engines and one diesel. The cheapest model will be powered by the aforementioned 1.4-liter TFSI that generates 120 hp and a peak torque of 148 lb.-ft, allowing the hatchback to complete the 0-62 mph sprint in 9.3 seconds, en route to a maximum speed of 126 mph. With this engine, the car manages to return 54.3 mpg UK and has CO2 emissions of 120 g/km.
The other gasoline engine is a bigger 1.8-liter TFSI with 178 hp and a maximum torque of 184 lb.-ft, enough for a 0-62 mph sprint in 7.2 seconds and a top speed of 144 mph. In the combined cycle, the car will return 50.4 mpg UK and has CO2 emissions of 130 g/km.
The only diesel engine which will be available upon launch is a 2.0-liter TDI that pumps out 141 hp and 236 lb.-ft, allowing the Audi A3 to hit 62 mph from start in 8.6 seconds, before hitting a maximum speed of 134 mph. With this more frugal engine, the Audi A3 returns 68.9 mpg UK and has CO2 emissions of only 106 g/km.
Later on this year, the German carmaker will offer the new A3 with a bigger 1.6-liter TDI engine which will be able to return an impressive 74.3 mpg and will have CO2 emissions of just 99 g/km. In addition, another engine that the A3 will get this year is a small 1.2-liter TFSI gasoline which will be replacing the 1.6-liter TFSI.
As far as the S3 is concerned, this will be powered by a bigger 2.0-liter TFSI gasoline engine which will be capable of producing 260 hp and will come with the company’s Quattro AWD system. In the future, we will probably see a hybrid version of the A3, along with natural gas and e-gas versions.
The 1.4 TFSI and 2.0 TDI engines will be getting as standard the 6-speed manual gearbox, while the 1.8 TFSI will be linked to a dual-clutch, 7-speed S tronic transmission. The 1.8 TFSI version will be getting the aforementioned Quattro all-wheel drive system in the last part of 2012.
Those of you who live in the United Kingdom will be able to get the car starting with September. The entry-level Audi A3 is going to cost approximately 19,000 pounds.
Source: Audi via Autocar.co.uk
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