Audi will present new Q3 SUV, Q5 hybrid, A3 Sedan Concept at 2011 Geneva Auto Show

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 14, 2011

Audi has reportedly presented to its U.S. dealers the three new cars that will be appearing at the Geneva Motor Show, according to sources. These are a new Q3 SUV in bright orange, a Q5 Hybrid, and an A3 sedan concept that’s a preview of the next-generation A3 model. Fans are most excited about the A3 sedan, a model meant for the U.S. market where small sedan body styles are preferred over hatchbacks.

The source added that the next A3 will be available in 5 different body styles, including a 2-door cabriolet, a 3-door coupe/hatch, a 4-door sedan and as the Q3 crossover with an Avant version also being considered. The 3-door coupe/hatch is expected to be similar to the A5 coupe in styling.

The design of this A3 model will have more similarities to a scaled-down A4 than to the VW Golf appearance. In addition, this car will be longer, lower and wider than the existing version. More legroom is offered by the sedan variant than the current A4.

LED headlights will be offered an option as well. The A3 range will be powered by petrol/gasoline engines: a 1.2 liter, 1.4 liter and a new 1.6 liter that is the replacement of the twin-charged 1.4 liter for certain output levels.

The 2.0 TFSI will get bumped up to 230 bhp (171 kW/233 PS) and 300 bhp (224 kW/304 PS) on the top-end A3 variants. It has also been assumed that the 300 bhp variant will be the new S3.

It’s likely that a next-generation RS3 will be powered by the 2.5 liter TFSI engine delivering up to the 350 bhp (261 kW/355 PS) mark. Meanwhile, the diesel options include the existing 1.6 TDI and 2.0 TDI with a new top-of-the-line 2.0 liter TDI with an output of around 210 bhp (157 kW/213 PS). The source also revealed that Audi’s next-generation A3 will debut at the Frankfurt motor show in the fall.

Audi A3 is a 4-seat notchback sedan measuring 4.44 m or 14.57 ft length x 1.84 m or 6.04 ft width x 1.39 m or 4.56 ft height -- dimensions that give emphasis to its dynamic personality. Its design exudes the typical sporty elegance of an Audi. The single-frame grille is incorporated into the front end to give it a sculptured appearance. Its frame is made of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic or CFRP and its three-dimensional aluminum louvers produce a visual effect that highlights the width of the show car.

The headlights blend with the slanting upper corners of the single-frame, creating a transition that marks the beginning of the prominently emphasized lines of the engine hood. The headlights signify a new development stage in LED technology, a cutting-edge Audi innovation. They tend to become wider when extending outward while a line below them makes it look like they are floating on air. On top of the front spoiler is a complete air intake, which is made out of CFRP and is framed with the help of a metal clasp.

The spoiler comes with a splitter that increases the front wheels’ down force. From the side, the A3 concept is easy to recognize at first glance as an Audi. It has balanced proportions, tight, powerfully built surfaces and low roof dome, which has fluid lines that flow into a flat, coupé-like C-pillar.

The shoulder area transitions in a graceful manner into the tailgate. The greenhouse, which is typical of Audi design, makes up one-third of the height and the sheet metal accounts for the remaining two-thirds. The engine’s power is revealed by its powerfully flared fenders. The flank is highlighted by two highly structured lines: the undercut tornado line under the window edge and the dynamic line on top of the sills.

The outer mirrors that are made of CFRP and aluminum are located on the top shoulder, the same as on a sports car. The door handles have brushed-aluminum clasps and are recessed with the door. They power-extend whenever the driver touches them. The clever interplay between lines and surfaces characterizes the A3 concept’s tail end. The wide, flat tail lights are shaped and end in a point on the interior while the tailgate carries a stylish spoiler edge.

The rear apron comes with a diffuser insert made of metal and CFRP, which encloses two large tailpipes for the exhaust system. State-of-the-art components, design methods as well as combining techniques maintain a low body weight.

An example is the customized blanks (panels of different thicknesses) in the floor. The engine hood, tailgate and doors are aluminum-made. The stiffer body gives the basis for the sedan’s accurate handling, exceptional vibration comfort plus low weight. This lets the Audi A3 concept dominate the road at only 1,540 kg or 3,395.12 lb.

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