Audi four rings logo.
Emotion-packed design, superior dynamism and the proverbial Audi quality: The Audi A3 is the premium athlete in the compact class. Powerful four-cylinder engines and a six-cylinder unit that delivers 184 kW (250 hp), quattro permanent all-wheel drive and the S tronic dual-clutch transmission (depending on version) together with the elaborate suspension design ensure a level of sportiness that sets standards.
In addition to the three-door body version, the five-door A3 Sportback appeals to those customers looking for a symbiosis of excellent dynamics and generous spaciousness together with maximum suitability for everyday use. The Audi A3 Sportback takes all the sportiness of the three-door model and adds extra space and versatility—not to mention two rear doors—with a body measuring 4.29 meters (14.07 ft.) in length, as compared to the 4.21-meter (13.81-ft.) body of the A3. This results in an extra 20 liters (0.71 cubic feet) of trunk capacity.
Concept and design.
The Audi A3 embodies the emotional iconography of the Audi brand in the compact class. The distinctive single-frame grille is the defining feature at the front end of both body variants. Two striking contours—the shoulder line and the dynamic line above the door sill—bisect the side and highlight the soft wedge shape of the sporty, taut silhouette. The coupe-like sweep of the roof line also helps create the impression that the A3 is crouching on the road, ready to spring into action.
The styling of the Audi A3 Sportback differs in that it has a slightly longer overhang at the rear. Its C-pillars are somewhat more upright than those on the three-door model; the optional roof rails, blending harmoniously into the contour, highlight its versatile nature. Passengers in the rear of the Audi A3 Sportback benefit from the generous headroom while the wide-opening doors make for easy access. Abundant room is also available for luggage: Folding down the rear seats provides 1,100 liters (38.85 cu. ft.) of storage space (or 1,032 liters (36.44 cu. ft.) on quattro models.
Sportiness, elegance and impeccable craftsmanship characterize the interior of the Audi A3—an interior which demonstrates that a perfect ergonomic design can produce outstanding aesthetic qualities. Customers can choose from three equipment lines: the charismatic Attraction, the dynamic Ambition and the exclusive Ambiente.
In terms of safety, too, the A3 offers the highest standards. In western Europe the sideguard head airbag system comes standard and covers practically the entire window area from the A-pillar to the C-pillar. The highly reputable Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the U.S. awarded the A3 its highest rating—“Top Safety Pick”—in recognition of its high level of safety. The key factor in this decision was the outstanding results achieved by this compact model in front, rear and side crash tests.
Sporty, powerful and clean: the drivetrains for the Audi A3 and A3 Sportback. All TDI models roll off the production line with particulate filters. Five gasoline engines—three of which are direct-injection, turbocharged models—and three TDI models are available to choose from. The diesel models are extremely efficient, consuming between 4.5 l/100 km (52.27 mpg) for the 1.9 TDI e—which corresponds to CO2 emissions of only 119 g/km—and 6.4 l/100 km (36.75 mpg) for the powerful 2.0 TDI quattro.
The number of different ways in which the engines for the A3 can be combined with all manner of transmission types is without precedent in the compact class. Manual five-speed or six-speed transmissions are available for all engine versions, and most engines can be ordered with either tiptronic or the S tronic dual-clutch transmission too, both of which feature six speeds. The innovative technology of the latter, inspired by the world of auto racing, permits lightning-fast gear changes. The quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system is standard on the 3.2 model and optionally available for the 2.0 TFSI and for both two-liter diesel units.
The traditional, 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine with aluminum block and variable intake manifold is the entry-level gasoline engine delivering 75 kW (102 hp) and 148 Nm (109.16 lb-ft) of torque. The next engine up is the ultra-modern 1.4 TFSI, which delivers 92 kW (125 hp) at 5,000 rpm and a maximum torque of 200 Nm (147.51 lb-ft) that is available across its unusually broad range of engine speeds (from 1,500 to 4,000 rpm).
The 1.8 TFSI attains an output of 118 kW (160 hp) and torque of 250 Nm (184.39 lb-ft) between 1,500 and 4,200 rpm. The most powerful member of the four-cylinder range is the 2.0 TFSI, which develops 147 kW (200 hp). Its tremendous torque of 280 Nm (206.52 lb-ft) is available across a wide speed range from 1,800 to 5,000 rpm. The combination of gasoline direct injection with a turbocharger provides all three of the Audi A3 TFSI engines with a unique synthesis of a free-revving character, pulling power and high efficiency.
The six-cylinder unit with 3.2-liter engine capacity powers the top model in the A3 series, developing 184 kW (250 hp) and offering a maximum torque of 320 Nm (236.02 lb-ft) between 2,500 and 3,000 rpm. The sporty 3.2-liter engine is coupled to quattro permanent all-wheel drive as standard.
The 1.9 TDI, which is available in both the traditional A3 model as well as the especially efficient ‘e’ model, delivers 77 kW (105 hp) at powerful maximum torque of 250 Nm (184.39 lb-ft). Its low fuel consumption is also impressive—requiring just 4.5 liters of diesel fuel per 100 km (52.27 mpg) in the A3 1.9 TDI e. And at 119 g/km, its CO2 emissions are likewise low. Besides ensuring a powerful drive, smooth propulsion and a high level of efficiency, Audi expertise in direct-injection technology also forms the basis for long fuel ranges—over 1,200 km (745.64 miles)—and highly economical operation.
The instrument cluster of the A3 1.9 TDI e has a new shift indicator that helps the driver improve fuel efficiency by indicating whether shifting into the next gear is the best option for the situation at hand.
Even the engine electronics have been tuned for fuel-efficient operation: A longer ratio for third through fifth gears, tires with optimized roll resistance and efforts to fine-tune the body all contribute to high efficiency. In typical Audi fashion, of course, these changes do anything but diminish driving pleasure—quite the contrary. With a top speed of 194 km/h (120.55 mph), the ‘e’ model actually outdoes its predecessor by 7 km/h (4.35 mph).
The 2.0 TDI attains an output of 103 kW (140 hp) and its maximum torque of 320 Nm (236.02 lb-ft) between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm. In the 125-kW (170-hp) model of the two-liter TDI, Audi combines the especially quiet ride provided by modern piezo injectors with highly efficient pump-nozzle injection technology. The maximum torque of 350 Nm (258.15 lb-ft) is available between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm in this model as well.
The dynamic suspension of the A3 and A3 Sportback is designed for agile and sporty handling together with excellent stability. Its special technical features include the two subframes on which all axle components are pivoted and the sophisticated four-link rear suspension that can absorb longitudinal and lateral forces separately. Four large-diameter disc brakes are fitted behind the wheels, which can be up to 18 inches in size.
The Audi A3 and A3 Sportback have an extraordinarily responsive on-board electromechanical power steering system that consumes far less fuel than a conventional hydraulic system. The steering mechanism works with the ESP stabilization system to assist the driver in critical situations by reducing resistance for steering impulses that stabilize the vehicle and increasing resistance to counteract incorrect steering maneuvers.
The latest-generation ESP constantly analyses the driving situation and adjusts intervention thresholds to the prevailing conditions. This allows it to become active sooner when danger threatens but, on the other hand, also avoid unnecessary action. The optional Audi hill-hold assist system also combines convenience and safety by briefly preventing the car from rolling back when performing a hill start.
A unique feature of the premium compact class, which was established by the Audi A3, is the range of exclusive optional extras. Audi offers the navigation plus system, electric seat adjustment for the A3 Sportback and auxiliary heating for most models. For the A3 Sportback the panoramic glass sunroof known as the open sky system is also an option. Xenon plus and adaptive light—the dynamic cornering light technology—are two cutting-edge headlight technologies. The interior of every Audi A3 can be given a highly individual touch, thanks to a wide range of materials and colors.
Audi’s navigation plus system, which operates in keeping with the clear logic of the Audi MMI, allows practically unlimited navigation throughout western Europe and in some eastern European markets. The radio's integral dual tuner ensures optimum reception and convenient station selection. The DVD drive of the navigation system and the concert and symphony audio systems all support mp3 files; iPod and USB interfaces are also available from the factory.
Audi A3 Cabriolet.
Sporty, elegant, emotion-packed—the new Audi A3 Cabriolet is making its appearance in perfect time for spring 2008. The convertible Audi A3 is the premium option in the compact class, offering the sporting genes of the A3 coupled with the uncompromising quality that distinguishes every Audi model. Four engines and a wide array of individual extras are available to choose from.
Audi convertible models generally sport a classic fabric top, with the open-top A3 measuring in at 4.24 meters (13.91 ft) in length with contours that lend a touch of harmonious elegance and the sportiness of a coupe. Its soft top, which is notable for its light weight and excellent fit, can be opened hydraulically in just nine seconds and takes up very little space when folded back. The top is available in partially automatic and fully automatic models—in the latter case as a specially soundproofed acoustic top.
The body structure of this premium convertible from Audi contains a high proportion of high-strength, ultra-high-strength and hot-formed steels, as well as a large number of reinforcement features that provide maximum rigidity and crash safety. The interior with its ample space for four occupants features typical, uncompromising Audi craftsmanship, attractive design and exemplary ergonomics, which together create an atmosphere of sporty elegance. The rear seat backs can be folded down, increasing the luggage capacity from 260 liters (9.18 cubic ft) to 674 liters (23.80 cubic ft) – whether the top is up or down!
The A3 Cabriolet leaves the factory with four engine options, two of which are TDI units and two gasoline: the 1.9 TDI with 77 kW (105 hp), the 2.0 TDI with 103 kW (140 hp), the 1.8 TFSI with 118 kW (160 hp) and the 2.0 TFSI with 147 kW (200 hp). All four of these engines utilize direct injection with a turbocharger, uniting sporty power with a high degree of efficiency. If desired, the innovative S tronic dual-clutch transmission can be selected to apply engine power to the wheels (depending on engine version).
The Audi dynamic suspension lends the A3 Cabriolet superior agility and comes complete with a responsive electromechanical power steering system that consumes very little energy. The four-link rear suspension combines superb comfort with sporty handling. A sports suspension option is also available in addition to the standard suspension.
The Audi A3 Cabriolet comes with the Attraction and Ambition equipment lines. Both packages are generous, with the Ambition line including, among other features, 17-inch aluminum wheels, sports suspension and sports seats. An S line exterior package and S line sports package are available from quattro GmbH.
(source: Audi )
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