The arrival of the next-gen A3 has been delayed by Audi by a full year as the carmaker confronts the development of several other brand new models like the A1 hatch and Q3 soft-roader.
Initially scheduled to arrive at the end of 2009, the A3 will now reach the markets in the first half of next year in the base 3- and 5-door hatch versions. Further down the road Audi will be adding a new Cabrio model and Sportback wagon, and even a 4-door coupe together with an Allroad soft-roader, some reports are saying.
This is intended to aid the current A3 to rival the BMW 1-series range together with a range of sporty models derived on the next-gen Mercedes A and B-Class. Volkswagen Golf will once more share the underpinnings of the new A3, which implies that Audi's most current modular platform design had been excluded.
In contrast to the new model, however, the footprint of the latest A3 will increase in dimension and will come with a sleeker profile.The most current generation Audi B8 A4, for example, increased in length by about 14 cm above the preceding version, placing it near the 5-series and E-class with regards to size.
The vacancy left behind will be filled by a new A3-drived sedan which, is reportedly, going to measure 4.2 meters long and come with a styling like that of a coupe.
Engine lineup for the A3 will most likely include a line of 4-cylinder power units ranging in displacement from 1.2 to 2.0 liters. The basic unit will be a 1.2 TFSI that produces 125hp and 200Nm of torque and a 1.8 liter TFSI that produces 160hp and 250Nm of torque maximum.
Completing the range will be a 2.0 TFSI generating 211hp and 350Nm of torque. New turbocharged 4-cylinders are expected for the new S3 model in contrast to the naturally ventilated V6 seen in the present version.
The first-generation Audi A3, a premium compact car, was launched in 1996. Two generations later, Audi is now set to launch the third generation A3 at the Geneva Motor Show. A well-designed and technologically-advanced car, the new Audi A3 is packed with impressive innovative features. Furthermore, A3 hybrid variants using alternative fuel sources such as natural gas and Audi e-gas are also being developed.
Interestingly, an A3 variant powered by a highly efficient 1.6 TDI engine will be launched in the market come 2012. This specific variant consumes a mere 3.8 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers or 61.90 US miles per gallon and with a remarkable CO2 emissions level of 99 g CO2/km or 159.33 g/mile.
Compared to the previous generation A3, and with the aid of Audi’s ultra light technology, design engineers were able to substantially reduce the overall weight of the captivating third generation 3-door Audi A3 by 80 kilograms or 176.37 pounds. The new A3’s chassis has been designed for agile and high-energy driving, and is fitted with an exceptionally efficient and powerful engine.
The A3’s interior cabin exudes an energetic and active ambience, in consonance with the car’s sporty and energetic exterior character. Moreover, the car boasts of numerous technological features such as driver assistance systems and infotainment, rightfully giving the A3 bragging rights as one of the best in its category.
A sporty and energetic exterior design gives the new 4.24-meter long (13.91 feet) A3 an agile, sleek and low-profile stance, with well-defined edges and lines combining smoothly with the curved metal surfaces. While the overall length of the car is similar to its predecessor, its wheelbase was increased to 2.60 meters (8.53 feet). The new A3’s C-pillars were also sloped more, similar to those of a coupé, while the car’s single-frame radiator grille, with its iconic interlocking 4-circle emblem, is the focal point of the new A3’s front end. Optional xenon-technology headlights, LED daytime running lights and LED tail lights are also available. Audi intends to make the LED headlights a standard feature later on, and will be another first in the compact car category when implemented.
As a result of its ultra-lightweight construction technology, Audi has achieved another first- a lighter than ever A3, specifically its 1.4 TFSI variant which weighs a mere 1,175 kg or 2,590.43 pounds, making it substantially lighter than the rest of the competition in its class. Contributing further to the car’s lighter weight is the use of aluminum for its front fender and hood, while a combination of ultra high-strength steel and hot-formed steel is used for the body frame of the new, third generation Audi A3.