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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.