Audi ultra lightweight technology has helped to trim weight in the body of the appealing three-door car compared to the previous model, the new A3 is now 80 kg (176.37 lb) lighter. The chassis is tuned for a sporty and agile driving style. The engines are powerful yet highly efficient, the interior offers an ambience of dynamic style. In driver assistance systems and infotainment, the new A3 offers a portfolio of technologies that redefines standards in the segment.
The car’s styling visualizes the sporty character of the new A3, it gives the 4.24 meter (13.91 feet) long three-door model a powerful stance on the road. Sharp edges provide the outlines for dynamically curved sheet-metal surfaces. The overall vehicle length was kept identical to the previous model, while the wheelbase grew to 2.60 meters (8.53 feet), and the angle of the C-pillars was made low like that on a coupe. The single-frame radiator grille that is typical of Audi dominates the look of the front end. As an option, Audi can supply headlights in xenon plus technology together with LED daytime running lights; in this case, the taillights are also equipped with LEDs. Later on, full LED headlights will extend the range of features – and will be a first in the compact car segment.
The completely redesigned interior of the Audi A3 appeals with the horizontal lines of an instrument panel that appears to float, trendsetting quality of materials and workmanship as well as clear ergonomics. The four round air vents, elegant control panel of the standard air conditioning system and the instrument cluster are all highlights here. The color display of the driver information system standard on the Ambition and Ambiente equipment lines presents graphics in highly detailed 3D images. The electrically retractable MMI monitor with a seven-inch diagonal in the top version is only eleven millimeters thick. The new electromechanical parking brake creates space on the console over the center tunnel for the terminal of the optional MMI operating system. In its full version MMI navigation plus with MMI touch the upper side of its rotary pushbutton is designed as a touchpad another ergonomic innovation. The driver can input letters and numbers by finger motion as in the Audi full-size class.
Another technical area in which the new Audi A3 is extending its leadership role is in its new high-performance driver assistance systems. They range from radar-assisted adaptive cruise control to Audi side assist, Audi active lane assist, traffic sign detection, park assist and the Audi pre sense basic safety system. None of our competitors offers a similar portfolio of such systems. The 1.8 TFSI operates together with a standard seven-speed S tronic the 1.4 TFSI and 2.0 TDI are paired with a six-speed manual gearbox. In each case, engine power is always transferred to the front wheels; quattro permanent all-wheel drive and other engines, including a 1.4 TFSI engine with innovative cylinder on demand technology from Audi will follow over the course of the next few months.
The sporty-progressive lines of the exterior are also reflected in the interior of the new A3. As in large Audi models, the cockpit wraps around the driver in a curve. The instrument panel is slender and level it appears to hover above the visually lightweight centre console that is angled towards the driver. The high-end impression conveyed by the interior of the new A3 was created by the capable hands of Audi designers who selected its colors and materials, and it is a reflection of the Audi’s stringent quality standards. The interior layout is different for the different equipment lines. Attraction is the modern, Ambition the sporty and Ambiente the luxurious variant.