Motoring Reporter
5 minute read
10 Nov 2016
1:16 pm

New Audi A3 launches in SA with sportier look

Motoring Reporter

The Audi A3 range will be bolstered in 2017 with the launch of the RS3 Sedan and the RS3 Sportback.

Audi seeks to tackle the much-contested A segment with the launch of its new A3 model range, which boasts new technology, engines and refreshed styling. Expect the RS versions of both sedan and hatchback to land in dealership floors next year.

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Following the local launch of the refreshed A4, this new A3 is available as a three-door Hatchback, a five-door Sportback, Sedan and as a Cabriolet. Not only did the German carmaker launch its standard A3; Audi also launches the much-tamed model, the S3 that comes with numerous innovations.

Although it’s too hard to virtually spot the differences between the new one and what it replaces, dimensions of the new Audi A3 models have remained virtually unchanged; however, the styling has been updated to reflect headlight and taillight design changes, a further emphasised bonnet, integrated front bumper, a redesigned Singleframe grille and a newly contoured rear diffuser.

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To give it a sportier look, an S line exterior package is available at an extra cost to give the vehicle with a different front bumper and rear diffuser.

Available as standard across the standard A3 range is 16-inch wheels with a range of 17- and 18-inch wheels available as options.

The Audi S3, however, is available with 18-inch wheels as standard.

The headlights of the Audi A3 form striking new lighting graphics with their jagged bottom edges. Bi-xenon units are standard. Available for the first time at an additional price in the premium compact class are the Matrix LED headlights and LED headlights.

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Both LED and Matrix LED headlights offer dynamic turn signals. Fifteen LEDs each produce the high beam of the Matrix LED headlights, which radiate from three reflectors. Supplied with information by the camera at the interior mirror, their control module turns them individually on and off as required; or additionally dims them in 64 stages each.

The engine line up for the Audi A3 comprises five engines made up of three petrol and one diesel. Their power output ranges from 85 kW to 228 kW in the top model, the Audi S3.

With the 1.0 TFSI, Audi for the first time offers a three-cylinder engine in the Audi A3 range. This compact engine provides 85 kW and delivers 200 Nm of torque from 2 000 to 3 500 rpm. Its consumption rate is limited to 4.5 litres per 100 kilometres – a CO₂ emission level of 104 grams per kilometre, making it exempt from CO₂ tax in South Africa. The new entry-level petrol engine is efficient at no cost to driving pleasure. It accelerates the A3 from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.7 seconds up to a top speed of 206 km/h.

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Another first for the A3 is the 1.4 TFSI with cylinder-on-demand (COD) efficiency technology, switching off two cylinders when that power is not required. The engine with 1 395 cm³ displacement affords 110 kW of power and develops 250 Nm of torque. The average fuel consumption in combination with the manual transmission is just 4.5 litres per 100 kilometres – corresponding to 105 grams of CO₂ emitted per kilometre, thereby also making it exempt from emissions taxation.

A technical highlight is the completely newly developed 2.0 TFSI with its innovative combustion method. From a displacement of 1 984 cm³ it generates 140 kW and provides 320 Nm of torque. It takes 6.7 seconds for the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h and reaches a top speed of 244 km/h. The consumption is 5.5 litres per 100 kilometres, with a CO₂ emission level of 126 grams per kilometre. The 2.0 TFSI engine is accompanied by a totally new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission with wet clutch which supersedes the previous six-speed dual-clutch transmission.

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Audi South Africa will offer one four-cylinder TDI engine with 1 968 cm³ displacement in the new A3. The 2.0 TDI comes with 105 kW and 340 Nm from 1 750 to 3 000 rpm. Only available in  S tronic transmission, the 105 kW engine consumes 4.5 litres of fuel per kilometre on average.

In the S3, Audi has raised the bar once more in terms of power. 18 kW more power and torque increased by 20 Nm. The 2.0 TFSI now generates 228 kW and delivers 400 Nm in the wide range of 2 000 to 5 400 rpm. Its consumption has improved in conjunction with the new seven-speed.

In interaction with the seven-speed S tronic, which comes with a freewheeling function, the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h takes just 4.5 seconds in the Audi S3. The figure is 4.6 seconds for both the S3 Sportback and the S3 Sedan, while the Cabriolet takes 5.1 seconds.

The A3 Hatchback, Sportback and Sedan will all offer the 1.0T FSI, 1.4T FSI, 2.0 TFSI, 2.0TDI and S3 versions, whereas the Cabriolet engine range is limited to only the 2.0T FSI and S3 Cabriolet.

The new Audi A3 distributes the engine power to the front wheels as standard. The suspension of the new Audi A3 is tuned for impressively balanced sportiness. In the case of the optional sport suspension, the body lies 15 millimetres lower and 25 millimetres lower with the S line sport suspension.

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The Audi A3 range will be bolstered in 2017 with the launch of two Audi Sport models in the form of the RS3 Sedan and the RS3 Sportback.

Pricing

The range will be priced as follows, including all taxes and the standard 5 year/100 000km Audi Freeway Plan:

Audi A3 Hatch:

A3 1.0T FSI Manual

R 391 000

A3 1.0T FSI S tronic

R 409 500

A3 1.4T FSI Manual

R 412 000

A3 1.4T FSI S tronic

R 430 500

A3 2.0 TDI S tronic

R 481 500

A3 2.0T FSI Manual

R 429 500

A3 2.0T FSI S tronic

R 448 000

S3 quattro S tronic

R 638 500

Audi A3 Sportback

A3 Sportback 1.0T FSI Manual

R 398 500

A3 Sportback 1.0T FSI S tronic

R 417 000

A3 Sportback 1.4T FSI Manual

R 419 500

A3 Sportback 1.4T FSI S tronic

R 438 000

A3 Sportback 2.0 TDI S tronic

R 489 000

A3 Sportback 2.0T FSI Manual

R 437 000

A3 Sportback 2.0T FSI S tronic

R 455 500

S3 Sportback quattro S tronic

R 646 000

Audi A3 Sedan

A3 Sedan 1.0T FSI Manual

R 408 500

A3 Sedan 1.0T FSI S tronic

R 427 000

A3 Sedan 1.4T FSI Manual

R 429 500

A3 Sedan 1.4T FSI S tronic

R 448 000

A3 Sedan 2.0 TDI S tronic

R 499 000

A3 Sedan 2.0T FSI Manual

R 447 000

A3 Sedan 2.0T FSI S tronic

R 465 500

S3 Sedan quattro S tronic

R 656 000

Audi A3 Cabriolet

A3 Cabriolet 2.0T FSI S tronic

R 566 500

S3 Cabriolet quattro S tronic

R 758 000