A3 gets a facelift
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Though the exterior changes give the models a sharper appearance, the most significant improvements involve the engines, and driver assistance and phone connectivity features.
Audi says the A3 is the top-selling premium compact hatchback in this country, with one in five of all Audis sold here an A3.
The company is simplifying the model range, with the new base model being the 1.4 TFSI Design, an A3 2-litre TFSI Sport becoming the intermediate model, and the S3 quattro at the top of the range.
The base model will retail for $49,500, the 2-litre Sport model for $61,500, while the S3 will retail for $79,900.
The three models have more powerful engines, with the 1.4 Design putting out 110kW, the A3 Sport at 140kW, and the S3 at 228kW.
The engines are more efficient, with the 1.4 litre featuring cylinder-on-demand technology that turns off two cylinders when the output is not required.
Exterior changes include the introduction of Xenon or LED headlamps as standard, new-look headlights and other changes, which the company says gives the model a sportier appearance on the road.
The three-model range will be followed early next year by an updated A3 E-Tron hybrid model, an RS3 sedan and an RS3 sportback model.
The general manager of Audi New Zealand Dean Sheed said the simplified A3 line up took the introduction of the new compact suv Audi Q2 into account.
All A3 models now feature more advanced driver assistance systems, including Audi pre sense city, which detects critical driving situations in the vehicle’s forward field of view, and Rear Cross Traffic Assist, supporting the driver when reversing out of a perpendicular parking space.
Inside each car, the MMI system includes navigation, and smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The Audi virtual cockpit, now on the A4, becomes an optional extra on the new A3.
The mid-range A3 Sport’s newly developed 2.0 TFSI engine generates 140kW and 320 Nm of torque, and sprints from 0-100 km/h in 6.7 seconds.
The S3’s 2.0 TFSI engine generates 228kW and 400 Nm, applying its power to the road with quattro permanent all-wheel drive. It accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 4.5 seconds.
“The new Audi A3 highlights Audi’s expertise in design, technology and driving dynamics. It brings technology that you would normally find in full-size luxury vehicles to the premium small car segment,” said Sheed.
The new high performance S3 was a serious driver's car that also offered a high degree of everyday practicality.
He said Audi would be broadening its range of vehicles available in New Zealand with further announcements before the end of the year, including the arrival of the new Audi SQ7 mid-size luxury SUV.