The new Audi A3 Sportback







Published by Gerald Ferreira Date: April 26, 2013
Categories: Audi, Audi A3

  •  Classic exterior and interior design
  • Audi ultra and advanced engine technology for low CO? emissions
  • Progressive infotainment solutions with MMI touch

2013 Audi A3 Sportback

Sporty, versatile and progressive – Audi South Africa presents the new Audi A3 Sportback. The compact five-door model breaks new ground in terms of vehicle weight thanks to ultra lightweight construction technology. The engines are powerful and efficient with innovative infotainment solutions, including MMI touch, setting new standards in the premium compact segment.

The Audi A3 Sportback has played a significant part in the Audi success story. Launched internationally in 2004, it became a market and segment leader in the premium compact class. As one of the model lines with the highest conquest rates in the Audi range, the Audi A3 continues to make a major contribution to the brand’s rejuvenation today by acquiring important first-time customers and range-climbers for the brand.

Audi A3 South Africa

In South Africa, the Audi A3 Sportback has enjoyed similar popularity. It was launched to the local market in 2005, and since then has sold 15,458 units. It was also named as South African Car of the Year in 2006 among numerous other international accolades.

Design and Body

While the length (4,310 millimetres), width (1,780 millimetres) and height (1,425 millimetres) are only slightly greater than the previous model, the wheelbase now measures 2,636 millimetres, representing an increase of 58 millimeters. This makes the five-door model 35 millimetres longer between the axles than the three-door version, highlighting the flexibility of the MQB platform.

The design with the three side windows is taut and concentrated, with every detail precise and expressive. The distinguishing element at the front of the vehicle is the distinctive, single-frame grille with signature bevelled edges and large air intakes.

The sharply defined tornado line articulates the flank below the windows and evokes a powerful shoulder. The dynamic line above the side sills runs upward toward the rear.

The tautly curved surfaces, the large, precisely-defined wheel wells, the relatively narrow, sharply sloping C pillars and the understated roof spoiler underscore the sporty nature of the A3 Sportback, as do the exterior mirrors, which are perched on the doors.

The rear is extremely sculptured, and the split rear lights underscore its width. Audi offers LED rear lights in combination with the xenon plus headlights; LED light conductors appear to form a continuous arch. The adaptive brake light, which pulses at high frequency during hard braking, is standard. A sharp crease sets off the diffuser. Depending on the engine, the exhaust system terminates in one or two tailpipes on the left side of the car.

Engines

The new A3 Sportback will be available with a choice of one TDI and two TFSI engines upon its introduction. They combine multiple efficiency technologies – direct injection, turbocharging, innovative thermal management and the start-stop system. Fuel consumption has been reduced on average by around 10 percent compared with the previous model.

The 1.6 TDI is the most efficient engine in the model line-up. The compact diesel, which is characterized by minimal internal friction, consumes on average just 3.9 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres when paired with the S tronic transmission. This corresponds to CO? emissions of 102 g/km. The 1.6-litre engine accelerates the Audi A3 Sportback from zero to 100 km/h in 10.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 194 km/h.

The new 1.4 TFSI in the A3 Sportback, which now also features an aluminium block, weighs just 107 kilograms – 21 kilograms less than its predecessor. It produces 90 kW and 200 Nm of torque, accelerating the manual model from zero to 100 km/h in 9.5 seconds with a top speed of 203 km/h. Its average fuel consumption is 5.3 litres of fuel per 100 km, which corresponds to 123 grams of CO? per km. The S tronic model performs slightly better, with a zero to 100 km/h figure of 9.3 seconds and a combined fuel consumption of 5 litres per 100 km. This model is also exempt from CO? tax with a combined CO? emission of 116 g/km.

The new 1.8 TFSI, currently the most powerful petrol engine in the line-up, produces 132 kW and 250 Nm of torque. It combines FSI direct injection with indirect injection and uses the Audi valvelift system to vary valve lift as required. The exhaust manifold is integrated into the cylinder head – a similar solution is also used in the two smaller TFSI engines. With S tronic and front-wheel drive, the 1.8T will sprint from zero to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds and has a top speed of 232 km/h, with an average fuel consumption of 5.6 litres per 100 km corresponding to 130 grams of CO? per km.

Following in August 2013, the range will be expanded to include the efficient 1.2T FSI, the 1.8T FSI with manual transmission and the 1.8T FSI paired with a quattro® drivetrain. The highly anticipated Audi S3 3-door and S3 Sportback will also be launched to the local market in August.

Audi A3 Sportback Rear

Ultra lightweight body

The Audi ultra lightweight design principle has long been a sturdy pillar for the brand. It reduces the weight of the new A3 Sportback by as much as 90 kilograms compared with the previous version. Equipped with the 1.4 TFSI engine, the five-door model has a curb weight (without driver) of just 1,205 kilograms.

High-end components of hot-shaped steel in the occupant cell form a strong, yet lightweight structure. They comprise a large portion of the body and are a major factor behind the weight savings of 37 kilograms in the occupant cell. High- and ultra-high-strength steels are used in many other areas. The engine hood, the fenders, the profile behind the front bumper and the subframe for the front axle are made of aluminium. Together they save roughly 12 kilograms and thus improves axle load distribution.

The body of the Audi A3 Sportback is extremely stiff and quiet, as components such as a noise-insulating windshield reduce interior noise levels. Thanks to extensive fine-tuning that also included the engine compartment and the underbody, the coefficient of drag is just 0.30. Passive safety is also top-class. The Audi A3 Sportback also achieved the top rating of five stars in the EURO NCAP crash test with 88 out of 100 points.

Interior

The interior of the new A3 Sportback is marked by an elegant, clean and light design. Lines and surfaces are sinuously taut. A long arch runs below the windshield in the style of the large Audi models. The instrument panel with its curved front is lean and low. Together with the centre console, which is angled slightly toward the driver, it provides a sense of ergonomic simplicity.

The intuitively clean ergonomics are a classic Audi strength. The MMI operating system with the power-retractable colour monitor is standard on all models. A button for the electromechanical parking brake replaces the handbrake lever.

2013 Audi A3 Sportback gears

Thanks to the extra 58 millimetres in the wheelbase, the A3 Sportback offers ample rear seat space and easy access for three adults. The A3 Sportback also offers several millimetres more head and leg room than its predecessor.

The LED interior lighting package (standard on all models) includes subtle LED lights in the cabin. Also standard is Bluetooth with voice control and audio streaming.

The luggage compartment offers 380 litres of space in the basic configuration. The capacity expands to 1,220 litres with the seats folded down.

Infotainment

The new Audi A3 Sportback presents a ground-breaking innovation in mobile communications electronics – the modular infotainment platform. The concept behind it enables very fast innovation cycles in development. This system was recently voted as “Best Global OEM Infotainment Solution” and is the second consecutive time Audi has won this award.

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 extends automatically from the instrument panel. Just 11 millimetres thick, its lightweight magnesium housing is finished in high-gloss black for an elegant and premium appearance. The new Audi A3 Sportback comes standard with the Audi Concert radio and the power-retractable 5.8-inch monitor.

The top version is the MMI navigation plus with MMI touch – a media centre with 60 GB of storage capacity, DVD drive and whole-word voice control. The high-resolution 7-inch monitor displays the map with detailed 3D graphics. The large rotary pushbutton with MMI touch – a solution from Audi’s full-size models – has been consolidated into a touch wheel. The touch-sensitive field, on which drivers can enter letters and numbers with their fingers, forms the surface of the control wheel. Mobile phones and players can be paired with MMI navigation plus through the integrated Bluetooth interface.

Equipment and trim

Audi South Africa will offer the new A3 Sportback in three trim lines: S, SE and quattro®, with the level of standard equipment being the same as the A3 3-door.

Audi A3 Sportback Engine

S trim line will include the following standard specification:

  • 16” 10-spoke design cast aluminium alloy wheels
  • MMI Radio with full colour, retractable LCD screen
  • LED Interior lighting package
  • Front centre armrest
  • Leather covered multifunction steering wheel, 4-spoke
  • Light / Rain sensor
  • Driver information system, monochrome
  • Bluetooth with voice control and audio streaming
  • Knee airbag
  • Manual air-conditioning

SE trim line will include the following standard specification over and above S:

  • 17” 5-arm Kinetic design cast aluminium alloy wheels
  • Sports suspension
  • Sports seats
  • Front fog lights
  • Audi Drive Select with Efficiency programme
  • Exterior aluminium package
  • Leather covered multi-function sports steering wheel, 3-spoke, with shift paddles for S tronic models
  • Fully automated, dual zone air-conditioning
  • Driver Information system in colour
  • Audi Sound System

quattro® trim line will include the following standard specification over and above SE:

  • 17” 5-arm design cast aluminium alloy wheels
  • Alcantara / leather combination seat covering
  • Storage and Luggage compartment package
  • Audi Music Interface
  • Aluminium look interior

Pricing

The Audi A3 Sportback will have the following pricing, inclusive of all taxes and the standard five-year/100 000 km Audi Freeway plan.

  • Audi A3 Sportback 1.2T FSI manual S: R 283,000 (available in August 2013)
  • Audi A3 1.4T FSI manual S: R 290,500
  • Audi A3 1.4T FSI S tronic S: R 307,500
  • Audi A3 1.6 TDI S tronic S: R 319,500
  • Audi A3 1.8T FSI manual SE: R 322,000 (Avaliable in August 2013)
  • Audi A3 1.8T FSI S tronic SE: R 339,000
  • Audi A3 1.8T FSI quattro® S tronic: R 370,000 (Available in August 2013)

International Accolades

The new Audi A3 range has only been available internationally since May 2012; however it has already scooped up numerous coveted international accolades, including:

  • Golden Steering Wheel: the most important European automobile award
  • 2013 German Design Award: most prestigious design prize in Germany
  • Auto Bild Value Champion of 2013 for best value and stability in its class
  • “What Car” of the Year in the United Kingdom
  • Car of the Year in Norway
  • Gelber Engel Award for outstanding safety
  • Auto Zeitung 2013 Design Trophy
  • Best Global OEM Infotainment Solution for the Audi A3’s Modular Infotainment Platform
  • Automotive Brand Contest for Best Interior Design, Best Exterior Design and Best Connectivity