It’s here, the new
Audi A3 Sportsback

Audi Ireland have introduced the lates A3 Sportback to dealerships. Whilst the punchy 1.2TFSI 105 version from

Audi Ireland have introduced the lates A3 Sportback to dealerships. Whilst the punchy 1.2TFSI 105 version from

27,750 euro will arrive later in 2013, the 1.4 TFSI is now available from €29,300. The entry diesel offering is the highly efficient 1.6TDI 105 priced from €29,680.

Audi pioneered this premium compact segment. This is the third generation of the successful A3 family. Renowned for its supreme build quality, good looks, efficient engines and generous equipment levels, the A3 represented over 20% of total Audi sales.

In Ireland, over 11,000 customers have made the A3 the number one car in the premium A-segment and the Audi A3 Sportback is the most popular variant of the A3 family.

CO2 emissions of as little as 99g/km in the new A3 Sportback has been made possible with the help of ‘Audi ultra’ lightweight technology, which has enabled it to tip the scales an impressive 90 kg lighter. The aluminium front wings and bonnet help, and contribute to a class-beating kerb weight of just 1,205kg for the 1.4 TFSI model.

New developments

In addition to the 1.2 TFSI 105, the new Audi A3 Sportback will launch with three other four-cylinder engines, all of which are essentially new developments. The 1.4-litre and 1.8-litre TFSI engines and the 1.6-litre TDI and 2.0-litre TDI have outputs of 125BHP, 180BHP, 105BHP and 150BHP respectively. Compared with the previous model, they offer fuel economy improvements averaging 10 per cent.

The 1.8-litre TFSI is linked as standard to a seven-speed S-tronic twin-clutch transmission; the 1.4-litre TFSI and 2.0-litre TDI are mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. The 1.6-litre TDI engine features emissions as low as 99g ensuring it is the most fuel efficient engine in its class.

All engines in this first phase drive the front wheels; quattro permanent all-wheel drive – and further engines, including a 1.4-litre TFSI with innovative cylinder on demand technology – will follow later in 2013.

The completely redesigned interior breaks new ground in the class in terms of quality and design, with standards of materials, workmanship and ergonomics which genuinely push the boundaries at this level. The central computer of the new MMI includes the MMX board (MMX: Multi-Media eXtension).

One of the plug-in module’s key components is the fast T-20 graphics process from market leader Nvidia’s Tegra 2 series. The chip, which generates complex 3D images, is used in all online, voice control, media, navigation and telephone functions.

The high-resolution monitor of the MMI operating system measures either 5.8 or 7 inches in diagonal and extends automatically from the instrument panel. Just 11mm thick, its lightweight magnesium housing is finished in high-gloss black for an elegant, premium appearance.

Equipment enhancements

All trim lines receive significant equipment enhancements. Bluetooth interface, driver information system, MMI radio with retractable monitor, leather multifunction steering wheel, 16” alloy wheels and air conditioning feature amongst standard equipment.

For €1,000 extra customers can opt for the SE version featuring additional items such as cruise control, park assist, fog lights, interior lighting package, front centre armrest, Audi Music Interface, colour driver information system, electric heated mirrors, 3D SE specific inlays and half leather/cloth upholstery. Sport tops out the range for €1,500 extra and features 17” alloy wheels, typical sports multifunction steering wheel, Audi drive select and newly designed sports seats.

The chassis of the new Audi A3 Sportback offers great composure and stability thanks to the finely balanced distribution of axle loads. The front axle has been shifted forward by 40 millimetres compared with the previous model, shortening the overhang.

This means that occupancy in the car is increased and precious rear legroom is extended. All of the engines are installed tilted backward by 12 degrees, with the exhaust end facing the bulkhead. This concept is an element of the modular transverse platform (MQB). Sports suspension, which lowers the body by 15 mm, will also be available, as will S line suspension lowered by 25mm for even sharper dynamics.

The electromechanical power steering system operates with sensitivity, precision and high efficiency; in the straight-ahead position it does not require any energy input, and thus requires zero fuel which adds to the overall efficiency of the new Audi A3.

Another technical area in which the new Audi A3 Sportback will excel 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.

The new Audi A3 Sportback presents a ground-breaking innovation in mobile communications electronics – the modular infotainment platform (MIB). The concept behind it enables very fast innovation cycles in development.

The A3 Hatchback has already achieved 5 Stars in the Euro-NCAP test.