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Audi A3 Sportback : 2006

Driving pleasure in a new guise.
Filed under:  Wagons
 
Comment(s): 0
 
 
MSRP Engine HP Manufactured
n/a v6 250.0 n/a
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Audi is defining a new segment in the premium compact class. The Sportback is characterised by the sporting elegance of a coupe and the versatility of a five-door vehicle, sophisticated technology and well-defined driving dynamics. With four and six-cylinder engines developing up to 184 kW (250 bhp), front-wheel or quattro permanent four-wheel drive and, as an option, the revolutionary DSG transmission, engine, drive train and chassis live up to the expectations raised by the sporty exterior of this five-door vehicle, driving pleasure in a new guise.


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A new, extremely dynamic representative of the FSI engine family, which really brings the special qualities of the new compact Audi to the fore, is experiencing its world premiere in the Sportback: the 2.0 TFSI, a four-cylinder unit with turbocharger, delivers 147 kW (200 bhp). Its maximum torque of 280 Nm is available across a wide speed range from 1,800 to 5,000 rpm. As a result, the A3 2.0 TFSI (with 6-speed manual gearbox) is able to complete the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in just 7.1 seconds, and continues on up to a top speed of 234 km/h.

The Audi Sportback is deliberately going its own, new way in the compact class. It offers the emphatically sporty qualities and the athletic styling of the three-door version with which it shares its drive train, dynamic suspension and wheelbase. At the same time, as well as two rear doors, it offers even more space and variability thanks to its tail end which is a total of 83 millimetres longer than on its three-door counterpart.

370 litres (1,120 litres with the rear seat back folded down) of space are available for transporting all kinds of sports and leisure equipment and anything else the family might need: even two golf bags can be stowed sideways in the luggage compartment. The asymmetrically folding rear seat back, a standard feature, and the optional luggage compartment and storage packages provide plentiful scope for using this space exactly to suit the personal requirements of every driver.

This also applies to the three trim line available: the Attraction model, which is packed with character, the sporty Ambition and exclusive Ambiente versions enable the customer to turn the A3 Sportback into his or her personal dream car. The large-area glass sunroof known as "open sky", which has been developed especially for the Sportback, gives occupants a clear view of the sky and can be opened wide if required.

Pre-sales of the Audi A3 Sportback start in June 2004; the first deliveries are planned for early September 2004.

DESIGN: The A3 Sportback is immediately recognisable at first glance in the rear-view mirror: the dominant feature of its front end is the striking single-frame radiator grille which, after the 12-cylinder A8 and the new A6, is now the distinctive mark of another vehicle in the latest Audi generation. The marked tapering of the sides and the dynamic shape of the clear-glass headlights give the face of the car that extremely self-confident and forceful character for which Audi is famous.

The silhouette of the A3 Sportback when viewed from the side becomes flatter towards the rear of the car in typical coupe fashion, a feature this model shares with the styling of its three-door counterpart. The gently rearward sloping roof line incorporates the tail end, which is 83 millimetres longer, harmoniously into the powerful overall proportions of the car as it sits low on the road. The optional roof rails also emphasise the coupe-like silhouette of the A3 Sportback effectively.

With their particularly powerful contours, the round wheel arches appear to be resting on the foundations of the sill area, which is separated from the dynamic line. Large wheels of between 16 and 18 inches in size underline the impression of masculine athleticism and make the dynamic potential of the new Audi A3 Sportback clearly visible even when stationary.

The visual centre of gravity of the A3 Sportback is thus to be found at its powerful rear end, creating the impression that the entire car is about to leap forward. With its economical use of lines and graphically divided surfaces, the rear-end styling is as discreet as it is impressive.

As on the three-door model, the visible tailpipes extending out of the single or double-chamber exhaust system, depending on engine version, are an indication of the car's dynamism. And the rear lights high up at the back of the car accentuate the trapezoidal design of the rear end particularly at night, giving the new Audi A3 Sportback its powerful appearance from behind.

Interior.
The interior design of the Audi A3 Sportback is distinguished by two features: sportiness and elegance. This impression is conveyed by the low seat position, in typical sports car style, the high and wide centre console and the clear, generous subdivision of the dashboard.

The new Audi generation of steering wheels is being introduced in the compact class for the first time with the Sportback. These three and four-spoke steering wheels can be recognised by their trapezoidal central element, the lines of which allude to the design of the single-frame front grille.

The attractive appearance of the interior surfaces and each individual detail is the result of excellent material quality and a perfect finish at the highest level of craftsmanship. This high standard by no means benefits the passengers alone, but is also reflected in the quality appearance of the luggage compartment.

Superior ergonomic design is combined with equally outstanding aesthetic qualities throughout the car's interior: typical examples are the round air vents with aluminium surrounds, the rotary knobs on the automatic air conditioning and the numerous aluminium trims, for the door and glove compartment handles for instance.

The interior is outstanding not only for its quality, but also for the amount of space it offers. Driver and passengers enjoy outstanding roominess in all areas. Rear passengers also benefit from plenty of knee room and headroom. They too have absolutely no trouble getting into the A3 Sportback, through the wide-opening rear doors. The luggage compartment has a capacity of 370 litres, 20 litres more than the three-door Audi A3. This can be increased to as much as 1,120 litres by folding down the rear seat back.

Engine & Transmission.
Offering a wide range of choice but dedicated throughout to sporting performance - this philosophy characterises the range of engines and transmissions offered for the new Audi A3 Sportback at launch. A further quality shared by all engines is their full compliance with the EU4 standard, giving owners of these cars in Germany, for example, a tax benefit of up to £613 (diesel models) and £306 (petrol models).

A new, extremely dynamic representative of the FSI engine family is celebrating its world premiere in the A3 Sportback: the 2.0 TFSI, a four-cylinder engine with turbocharger, delivers 147 kW (200 bhp). Its maximum torque of 280 Nm is available across a wide speed range from 1,800 to 5,000 rpm. This new engine is also the first production unit worldwide to combine FSI petrol direct injection with a turbocharger. This technology, which is also to be found in the Le Mans-winning Audi R8, enables a unique synthesis of high performance, free-revving response and pulling power in all speed ranges, yet excellent fuel economy.

The range of engines is as follows.
3.2 V6 developing 184 kW (250 bhp), 320 Nm
2.0 TFSI developing 147 kW (200 bhp), 280 Nm (new)
2.0 FSI developing 110 kW (150 bhp), 200 Nm
1.6 FSI developing 85 kW (115 bhp), 155 Nm
1.6 developing 75 kW (102 bhp), 148 Nm
2.0 TDI developing 103 kW (140 bhp), 320 Nm
1.9 TDI developing 77 kW (105 bhp), 250 Nm. Depending on the chosen engine, a 5 or 6-speed manual gearbox is fitted.

The sporty Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) is a unique alternative. This pioneering form of power transmission, inspired by motor racing technology, permits lightning-fast gear changes with uninterrupted traction thanks to its electro-hydraulically controlled twin clutch, and thus sheer driving pleasure in true sports car style.

The DSG combines the advantages of a conventional 6-speed manual gearbox with the qualities of a modern automatic transmission, thus providing a drive concept superior in every respect. The driver benefits from supreme agility and driving pleasure combined with harmonious and dynamic acceleration without interrupting the flow of power from the engine. This is combined with good economy thanks to low fuel consumption, and convenient operation.

The DSG can be ordered for the most powerful versions of the A3 Sportback: the 3.2, the 2.0 TFSI and the 2.0 TDI. The 6-speed tiptronic transmission is available as an option for the A3 Sportback 2.0 FSI and for the 1.6.

Still with no equivalent in the premium compact class: quattro permanent four-wheel drive. Even the power developed by the highest-performance versions of the A3 Sportback can be converted ideally into forward motion with this system, which serves as the basis for dynamic driving and active safety at the same time.


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