THE second generation of an Audi success story will arrive in Australia early next year, with the new A3 sedan set to offer a sporty yet elegant new look. The new model is winder and taller than its predecessor.
Beneath its new skin, new drives and refined suspension tuning ensure a driving experience that is as efficient as it is dynamic. The front is dominated by a large single-frame with a honeycomb grille that is flanked by striking Matrix LED headlights.
On the outside, they form trapezoidal angles that are drawn downward, with new daytime running lights offering segmented LEDs, which can be actuated individually to give the various versions of the A3 sedan a specific signature.
Inside, the cockpit is entirely focused on the driver. This begins with the interior and ends with the display and control elements. For that reason, the 10.1-inch central infotainment system faces slightly towards the person steering the car.
It includes handwriting detection as well as natural language control that can optionally draw on the capabilities of the cloud. The 10.25-inch instrument cluster behind the steering wheel is digital even in the basic model.
The RPM and speed are shown as bar diagrams with angular red graphical elements. Upon request, a head-up display complements the display concept, projecting important information onto the windshield in the driver’s direct field of vision.
In the range topping variants, MMI Navigation Plus features a Wi-Fi hot spot, and a multitude of Audi connect services as standard, including online traffic information, news, and useful information about local points of interest.
Car-to-X services that make use of the swarm intelligence of the Audi fleet are also part of the portfolio. They report hazardous areas or speed limits, for example, to vehicles with the corresponding equipment, or find free parking spaces at the side of the road.
The driver assist systems are also particularly effective thanks to close networking. In the Audi pre-sense front system, the camera behind the interior mirror works together with the front radar to prevent accidents, or at least reduce their severity.
The standard collision avoidance assist also uses the data from this sensor system, while adaptive cruise assist supports drivers with longitudinal and lateral guidance. There’s even efficiency assist to help you drive in the most fuel efficient manner.
The A3 sedan is available with a choice of two TFSI and one TDI engine at launch, with the 35 TFSI offering 110kW of power from its 1.5-litre direct injection engine. You can choose between a 6-speed manual and quick-shifting 7-speed S-tronic auto.
Besides featuring cylinder-on-demand tech, the power train uses a 48-volt mild hybrid system to deliver up to 50Nm of additional torque when driving off and accelerating from low engine speeds.
The 2.0-litre TDI also offers 110kW of power and is mated to a 7-speed S-tronic automatic transmission. Improved suspension across the range sees a more sporty and harmonious feel than the outgoing model.
As an alternative to the standard setup, there is a sport suspension option, and a suspension package with controlled dampers. The latter offers a wide spread between highly comfortable roll motion and agile handling.
The Audi drive select dynamic handling system also allows the driver to experience different levels of suspension tuning in their A3 sedan from comfort-oriented and distinctly dynamic right through to particularly fuel-efficient.
This also brings about changes in the characteristics of the throttle response and the progressive steering, for example, which varies its ratio depending on the steering angle.
The new Audi A3 sedan is expected to arrive in Australia in the first half of 2021. Further details on specific models, pricing and specification, will be announced closer to launch.