A bigger car usually means a heavier unit that consumes more fuel. However, the opposite is true for the latest Audi A3. The newest version of the German carmaker’s A3 is bigger and yet, it is lighter and more fuel efficient that the outgoing model. The Audi A3 is the first car of the Volkswagen that is built using a new architecture called MQB, which will also underpin around 40 different models and six million vehicles by the Audi, VW, Skoda and Seat brands by 2018. Also available in a sedan variant, the newest A3 at 4237mm is 87mm longer than the first-generation model.
At 1175kg, the newest A3 weighs 80kg less than the outgoing model. According to Audi Chief Engineer Michael Dick, they managed to cut 25kg from the weight by using a multi-material bodyshell; 10kg by using aluminum for the front fenders and engine hood; 4kg each by installing lighter seat structures and a lighter air conditioning system. The newest A3 boasts of being more fuel efficient than the outgoing model, cutting CO2 emissions by 17 percent.
Audi plans to introduce a 105-hp 1.6-liter diesel version at the end of 2012, which will be the carmaker’s most fuel-efficient model, as it only consumes 3.8 liters of fuel per 100km and emits 99 grams of Carbon Dioxide per kilometre travelled. In response to growing demand for greener cars, Audi plans to introduce in 2012 an A3 that will be powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline engine that can run on compressed natural gas.
Audi will only offer the newest A3 sedan version to buyers in the United States, replacing the outgoing A3 hatch. The company will also market the sedan version in Europe and in China. According to data from JATO Dynamics, the A3 is the top compact-premium model in Europe in terms of sales, selling around 137,000 units.