If you've been waiting for the Audi A3 to arrive in the UK, you'll be glad to know that it will start hitting the showrooms beginning December and will cost from £18,300. The Audi A3s are fitted with S-tronic dual-clutch transmission and stop-start technology.
Previously, Audi's stop-start technology was only available on four-cylinder manual gearbox models, but Audi has now expanded the range to 1.4 TFSI and 1.6 TDI variants with the company's S-tronic twin-clutch automatic transmission. Audi's start-stop system for automatic gearboxes operates in the same way as its manual system.
The system cuts the engine when the car is stationary and the brake is pressed, and will refire it in 0.2 sec. There is a CO2 reduction of approximately 5g/km due to the system's capacity to take energy generated under braking to charge the battery.
In comparison, the A3 1.4 TFSI S-tronic with stop-start reaches 62mph from rest 0.1sec more quickly than its manual counterpart, in 9.3sec. On average, it also has a 3.7mpg advantage over the manual option, recording 53.3mpg to its 49.6mpg. CO2 emissions are an impressive 124g/km, versus the manual version's 132g/km.
The stop-start technology has the effect of making the A3 1.6 TDI average 67.3mpg (manual 68.9mpg) and report a CO2 output of only 109g/km. Audi will soon expand the roll-out of its stop-start system on engines linked to S-tronic gearboxes in 2010. It's likely that A3 models will get the system first.