The new Audi A3 Sportback and Sedan come in three trim lines. The Standard model offers 16-inch wheels and black detailing around the grille and air intakes. With the Advanced model, the wheel increases to 17-inches and the exterior detailing becomes chrome with Advanced line bumpers. The S line includes a modified and sportier bumper design, sports suspension, illuminated door sills with the S emblem and an S style spoiler on the Sportback.
The new S3 models display their dynamic design character at the very first glance. The front is dominated by the Singleframe with its large rhombus-patterned grille and impressive air inlets, while the housings of the exterior mirrors have a gleaming aluminium look. At the rear end, the large diffuser and the four exhaust tailpipes accentuate the vehicle’s sportiness. With quattro all-wheel drive, 19-inch wheels, red brake calipers and S model specific bumpers, suspension and other S details, the S3 models are impressive characters within the new A3 range.
Optimized: the space concept
The new A3 models offer more space and functionality combined with compact external dimensions. The A3 Sportback has grown by just over three centimetres compared with its predecessor. Depending on the position of the rear bench seat, the luggage compartment holds between 380 and 1,200 litres, and the loading floor can be inserted at different heights. Upon request and in combination with the comfort key feature, the tailgate of both the Sportback and the Sedan can also be electronically operated.
Digitalized: controls and displays
The cockpit of the new A3 is wholly focused on the driver. It uses familiar elements from the brand’s full-size class models and is equipped with a 10.1-inch touch display as standard, which is integrated in the centre of the instrument panel. It recognizes letters entered by hand, provides acoustic feedback, and can be controlled using natural voice language.
The MMI operating concept is powered by the new third-generation modular infotainment platform. Its computing power is ten times higher than that of its predecessor. It performs all tasks relating to connectivity, including telephony and the Audi connect services with LTE Advanced speed.
The Audi A3 model range also ushers in fully integrated connectivity. The Audi connect portfolio includes a host of online services which offer advanced infotainment, navigation and Car-to-X services which take advantage of the swarm intelligence to service, safety and convenience built into the connected A3.
In South Africa, there are two engine offerings at launch, with an additional option becoming available later in 2021. The A3 35 TFSI (1.4 TFSI) with 110 kW of power and an eight-speed tiptronic transmission, serves as the entry-level engine.
The larger petrol engine, A3 40 TFSI (2.0 TFSI) with 140 kW follows with seven-speed S tronic transmission (only available from November 2021 onwards).
The performance-led S3 TFSI with quattro offers 213 kW and 400 Nm, and a quick-shifting seven-speed S tronic gearbox, the selector lever of which is now designed as a compact shifter and available across the range. The driver can push and pull this to control the basic functions of the automatic transmission.
The suspension of the new A3 models – with a four-link rear axle for engines from 110 kW – is sporty and balanced, combining pleasant ride comfort with good dynamics. In combination with the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, the suspension is available with adaptive damper control (optional for the S3 models), which simultaneously lowers the body by 10 millimetres. Each damper permanently adapts to the road condition, the driving situation, and the settings in Audi drive select, creating a wide spread between highly comfortable roll motion and agile handling. With the sport suspension – standard in conjunction with the S line trim or optional with the Sports Package – the focus is clearly on dynamics. Due to the tauter tuning of the suspension and dampers and the fact that the vehicle is lowered by 15 millimetres, the new A3 conveys an even more direct contact with the road surface.
The new Audi A3 range comes standard with a five year Audi Freeway Plan:
Audi A3 Sportback 35 TFSI R561,000
Audi A3 Sportback 35 TFSI Advanced R586,000
Audi A3 Sportback 35 TFSI S line R601,000
Audi A3 Sportback 40 TFSI S line R641,000
Audi S3 Sportback TFSI quattro R795,000
Audi A3 Sedan 35 TFSI R576,000
Audi A3 Sedan 35 TFSI Advanced R601,000
Audi A3 Sedan 35 TFSI S line R616,000
Audi A3 Sedan 40 TFSI S line R656,000
Audi S3 Sedan TFSI quattro R810,000