Audi’s new A3 that will go on display at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show would be the first to utilize the new Modular Transverse Toolkit developed by parent Volkswagen Group. VW is planning for this modular platform to be used on 6 million vehicles across 40 different models in the Audi, VW, Skoda and Seat brands by 2018.
According to VW, the new platform, which is referred to as MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten in German), would aid in reducing costs by 20% and cutting assembly hours by 30% per unit.
In addition, the MQB architecture will enable Audi to increase output and profit margins as well as increase its production flexibility when putting together different models and various brands on the same assembly line. The second model where the MQB will be used would be the seventh-generation Golf, which was introduced last September at the Paris auto show. The modularity of the platform will enable VW to build a range of models, from the VW Polo subcompact to the VW Tiguan compact SUV.
For many decades, automakers have been sharing platforms but in the past, it had meant the use of the same chassis. This led to comparable cars that have the same wheelbase and suspension setup. Platforms had become more flexible and the use of different large modules became more common, enabling automakers to build cars that have significantly different shapes and sizes at the same plant.
What powers them are basically identical too. VW's MQB platform features the uniform engine-mounting position that enables the automaker to integrate a series of 60-hp to 150-hp gasoline engines and 90-hp to 190-hp diesel units. VW explained that the engine-mounting position permits the use of current alternative drivetrains like natural gas, hybrid and battery driven.
Audi entered the premium compact segment in 1996 by launching the A3. Now, the third generation of this successful model will be making its debut at the Geneva Motor Show 2012. The new A3 is a high-tech vehicle that promises innovations in all areas. You can choose between the hybrid and the alternative drive systems, like the natural gas and the Audi e-gas, which are currently being developed. Meanwhile, a version with an outstandingly efficient 1.6 TDI, or Turbocharged Direct Injection engine will be available in the market this 2012. This version uses up only 3.8 liters of diesel per 100 km, which is equal to 99 g/CO2 (159.33 g/mile).
Audi’s ultra lightweight technology helped trim the new A3’s body weight. More specifically, the new A3 weighs 80 kg or 176.37 lb lighter than the earlier model. The stunning three-door car boasts a chassis that is tuned for an agile and sporty driving style. The car’s engines are powerful and highly efficient, and its interior gives you a dynamic ambience. In terms of driver assistance system and infotainment system, the new A3 gives you a portfolio of technologies redefining standards in the segment.
The car’s sporty character is visualized through its styling. It has a strong and powerful personality on the road, with sharp edges providing the outlines for curved sheet metal surfaces. The new A3’s overall length or 4.24 meters is the same as the previous model, but its wheelbase grew to 2.6 meters. Moreover, the C-pillars’ angle was made low, just like the C-pillar angle of a coupe. Additionally, the single-frame radiator grille, which is typical of an Audi, dominates the front end’s appearance. Audi can supply headlights in optional xenon plus technology, along with daytime running LED lights. The car’s taillights are also in LED. Full LED headlights will later on extend the range of its features, and will be the first to do in the compact car segment.
Audi consistently applies its ultra lightweight construction philosophy, therefore producing a new A3 1.4 TFSI, which weighs only 1,175 kg and which is significantly lighter than any other competing car. What’s more, the car’s front fender and its engine hood are from aluminum and its body integrates a good share of ultra high-strength as well as hot-formed steels.
Lastly, the Audi A3’s completely redesigned interior becomes more appealing with the instrument panel’s horizontal lines. The panel also seemingly floats. It uses superior-quality materials, great workmanship, and clear ergonomics. Four round air vents, the standard air conditioning system’s elegant control panel, and an instrument cluster are all highlights of the car’s interior.