May 3, 2005

New Audi A3 Defines the Premium Compact Class
Source: Audi USA

AUBURN HILLS, MICHIGAN - Audi of America, Inc. will introduce a completely new model beginning May 2005. The 2006 Audi A3 is the first four-door car with the sportiness of 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, which debut in the new 2005 A4, will power the all-new A3: the 2.0T FSI, a four-cylinder engine with turbocharger, delivering 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 gasoline 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 sporty Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) automatic transmission, both in front-wheel drive.

The other sporty alternative available in early 2006 is the 3.2-liter V6 engine producing 250 hp with 237 lbs. ft. of torque available from 2,500 to 3,000 rpm. The 3.2 V6 is combined with quattro® all-wheel drive and the DSG transmission already known in the TT 3.2.

The DSG is a unique alternative. This pioneering form of power transmission - inspired by auto 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 is derived from a conventional six-speed manual gearbox adding 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.

Dynamic suspension

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 (on 3.2 only) 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.

This new Audi model 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.

Design

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, the all-new A6 and new A4 - 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 roofline 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.

Interior

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 division 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.

Equipment

As a typical Audi, the A3 will offer a full amenity of premium standard equipment. Such items as automatic climate control with pollen filter and sun sensor, 140-watt stereo with 10 speakers and satellite radio preparation (for both Sirius and XM), 17-inch alloy wheel, cruise control, power windows, and central locking with remote just to name some of the standard features. 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.

The optional $1,800 Sport package adds a sport suspension, aluminum interior trim, leather covered three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, roof spoiler, fog lights, leather seating surfaces, and sport seats. A3s equipped with the optional $2,025 Premium package have the same features as the Sport package (except sport suspension and roof spoiler) plus HomeLinkŇ, trip computer, auto-dimming mirror with light/rain sensor, and power driver's seat. Both packages come with 16-spoke, 17-inch wheels.

Sport and Premium package equipped A3 models can also be had with optional Xenon headlights, a Bose premium sound package with Radio Symphony with in-dash six-disk CD changer, XM or Sirius satellite radio, and a cold weather package with heated seats, mirrors, washer nozzles, and a ski sack. All A3 models have the Open Sky system and rear side airbags as optional equipment. The two-part Open Sky glass sunroof system lets more light and air into the car. It allows the occupants of the A3 a generous view of the sky above and optimizes light and visibility in the interior. Separate blinds prevent the inside from heating up excessively and protect against the glare of the sun. The front glass segment can also be raised and slid back.

It goes without saying that safety features such as the electronic stabilization program (ESP), the new front seats with active head restraints, remote keyless locking, front and side airbags for driver and front passenger, and the Sideguard™ airbag system are all a standard part of the A3.






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