New A3 Redefines the Premium Compact Class
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Audi will introduce a completely new model beginning May 2005. The Audi A3 is the first four-door car with the sportiness similar to the TT Coupe. Packed with sophisticated technology and defined by sporty driving dynamics, the A3 is designed for an active lifestyle but maintains the quality of a luxury German sedan. The Audi A3 is deliberately defining its own new offerings in the premium compact class.
Engine and transmission
A new FSI engine family is celebrating its world premiere in the A3: the 2.0T FSI, a four-cylinder engine with turbocharger, delivers 200 horsepower. Its maximum torque of 207 lbs. ft. is available across a wide speed range from 1,800 to 5,000 revolutions per minute. This new engine also is 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.
Fitted with the 2.0T engine is a six-speed manual gearbox or optional DSG automatic transmission, both in front-wheel drive.
The other sporty alternative is the 3.2-liter V6 engine producing 250 hp with 237 lbs. ft. available from 2,500 to 3,000 rpm. The 3.2 V6 is combined with the DSG transmission and quattro® all-wheel drive.
The sporty Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) is a unique alternative. This pioneering form of power transmission – inspired by auto racing technology – permits lightningfast 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 six-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 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.
A highly sophisticated suspension design is equally as important for the excellent driving dynamics of the Audi A3: the McPherson front suspension and the innovative four-link independent rear suspension.
The suspension is designed for sporty and agile handling offering a high standard of stability, and producing an excellent cornering performance and a high level of comfort in conjunction with both front-wheel drive and quattro.
Either the 17- or optional 18-inch wheels improve performance on the road and also add a sporty visual touch. The power of the engines is reflected by the equally powerful brake system with a large brake disc diameter.
Like other Audis, this model also is fitted with electromechanical steering with speed-dependent power assistance, a system praised unanimously by the trade press. This combines optimum feedback from steering movements with a low level of sensitivity to vibration from the road, and also consumes far less energy than a conventional system.
The A3 is immediately recognizable at first glance in the rear-view mirror: the dominant feature of its front end is the striking single-frame 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 now famous.
The silhouette of the A3 when viewed from the side becomes flatter towards the rear of the car in typical coupe fashion. The gently rearward sloping roof line incorporates the tail end harmoniously into the powerful overall proportions of the car as it sits low on the road.
The visual center of gravity of the A3 is found at its powerful rear end, which features a dual exhaust system. With its simple use of lines and graphically divided surfaces, the rear-end styling is as discreet as it is impressive.
The interior design of the Audi A3 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 center console and the clear, generous subdivision of the dashboard.
The new Audi generation of a three- or four-spoke steering wheel can be recognized by the trapezoidal central element, the design which alludes 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 expected from an Audi. 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 aluminum surrounds (like the design-leading TT), the rotary knobs on the automatic climate control and the numerous aluminum trim elements for the door and glove compartment handles. 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, through the wide-opening rear doors.
As a typical Audi, the A3 will offer a full amenity of premium standard equipment such as dual automatic climate control, satellite radio preparation and 17- inch alloy wheel, for example. The sheer quality and diversity of the standard equipment will reflect the declared objective of the A3 – to offer the high levels of standard equipment found in larger, premium automobiles.
It goes without saying that safety features such as the electronic stabilization program (ESP), the new front seats with active head restraints, front and side airbags for driver and front passenger and the Sideguard™ airbag system are all a part of the A3. Additional standard equipment will be defined closer to the launch of the A3 in May 2005.
Over and above the various standard features, A3 drivers will have the choice of many unique options, such as:
The Audi A3 will be backed by the Audi Advantage–an industry-leading combination of warranties and protection that includes:
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