ABT Sportsline fine-tunes Audi A3 into ABT AS3

Article by Anita Panait, on March 16, 2012

Audi’s A3 premium compact car is an all-rounder in terms of being a premium compact and being classy, but it loses out in power when it’s pitted against sports cars and larger vehicle. But ABT Sportsline, the worldwide leading tuner of cars from Audi and Volkswagen, offers a tuned and intensified version of the A3 - the ABT AS3.

According to ABT chief executive Hans-Jürgen Abt, the ABT AS3 offers maximum individuality and additional dynamics. ABT’s engineers are currently testing the boost in performance of the intensified version of the AS3, which is sure to be regarded as a real sports car that can compete with larger vehicles if necessary. Despite the power behind the ABT AS3, the car will still be easy to navigate and would be reliable in daily driving.

The ABT AS3 will still be powered by a two-litre turbo-diesel engine, which is certainly economical and ideal for frequent drivers. The improved engine is expected to provide 200 HP/147 kW of output, a 30 HP/ 22 kW boost from the standard’s 170 HP/125 kW. Consumers looking for more power and speed could opt for the updated 2.0 TFSI engine, which is fine-tuned by ABT POWER to further increase its output to 250 HP/184 kW from the standard 200 HP/147 kW.

Consumers who want to give sporty qualities to their AS3 should opt for ABT’s suspension. ABT is currently developing a coil-over suspension for the AS3. ABT also installed a brake kit that is reliable and dependable. The brake discs carry a diameter of 345 mm and provide a hard grip when necessary. ABT also improved the distinctive looks of the AS3, fitting it with a new front spoiler, front grille and side skirts. 

The fine-tuned car features a rear skirt insert and two double end mufflers. The ABT AS3 also features DR light alloy wheels, available in 18 and 19 inches. The alloy wheels complement the ABT-AS3’s classy silhouette well. The five double spokes signify the balance between power and ease and movement and stability.

In designing the A3, Audi made sure to utilize crisp lines while at the same time make the dimensions compact. The new version has similar measurements as the previous with a length of 13.90 ft. (4,237 mm) and height of 4.66 ft. (1,421 mm). Even then, it is clear that the proportions are sportier. While the width is now 5.83 ft. (1,777 mm), an increase of 0.47 in. (12 mm), the overhand in the front is shorter. Wheelbase meanwhile has been increased 0.91 in. (23 mm) and is now 8.53 ft. (2,601 mm).

However, the new A3 is not about the new dimensions. Rather, it is about the progressive formal language it uses to help reveal the passion that engineers at Audi have when it comes to making cars. Beginning at the rear end, the spoiler edge that has been positioned on top of the diffuser helps highlight the width. The split taillights make use of LED technology especially when fitted with the xenon plus for its headlights.

This also reveals a change compared to the inner architecture of the headlights on the front. Meanwhile, the trunk lid comes with a three-dimensional and sculpted appearance. Depending on what engine is fitted to it, the left side of its diffuser insert will either have one tailpipe or even two. One the front section, the main defining element is the single-frame sculpted hexagonal radiator grille.

The lines continue to the hood of the engine. In order to show just how powerful the engine is, large air intakes are placed on the front. Its headlights are not only flat but are integrated on the wave-shaped lower edge. Audi is offering customers the choice for the headlights to have xenon plus units. With these, the LED bands that shape its daytime running lights make the A3 that much more unique even at night.

Looking at the side, one can see another classic feature that the brand is known for. This is the steeply tornado line which gives the region just under the windows the needed structure. Meanwhile on top of the side sills, this same dynamic line goes up sharply.

Still on the sides, the large wheel arches and the flared metal surfaces give it that strong appearance. That the A3 has a look similar to a coupe is due to the combination of a roof that curves to the spoiler and the C-pillars with its low angles.

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If there is one car that defines the premium standard in the compact car segment, it certainly is the Audi A3. And if it comes to sportiness and dynamism, the benchmark is the ABT AS3. For the new series of this successful model, the engineers of the globally largest tuner of cars produced by the Volkswagen Group have been most successful: The engines are very torquey and powerful indeed. The currently most powerful variant with ABT Sportsline shows about 280 hp (206 kW). The upratings and the ABT-typical roadworthiness are now being tested thoroughly, but what we can already say is that the 2.0 TFSI of the new Audi A3 is very potent and powerful. Up 60 hp (44 KW) on the 220 hp (162 kW) standard version is quite something, we think.

And the smaller and very efficient turbo petrol engine is also huge fun. It is a perfect mixture of reason and sportiness: 170 hp or 125 kW (standard version: 140 hp/103 kW) make for a huge drive. Regarding torque and cost savings on long distances in particular, the ABT AS3 with its 2 liter turbo diesel engine is the first choice. Depending upon the original serial performance, it then shows 210 hp (154 kW) or 180 hp (132 kW). That makes the racy compact car a real "lifestyle mule", which is speedy even when fully loaded.

The ABT AS3 is an exceptional vehicle, a car in which you can really enjoy every single mile you drive. The ABT Sportsline designers also see to it, however, that the new car makes your heart beat faster even when it hasn't moved one little bit yet: The front grille and front spoiler let the AS3 seem more bulky and impressive; in conjunction with the side skirts they make for an assertive and also harmonious impression. Following the motto "a beautiful rear also can endear", ABT has come up with a very sporty one here: The rear skirt insert, the striking double two-pipe exhaust and the rear spoiler show what a winner looks like.

ABT Sportsline recommends its CR and DR series' 18 or 19 inch design wheels. It goes without saying that these are also available in conjunction with high-speed tires. After all, ABT Sportsline makes all components part of the same successful range. The new ABT AS3 is an athlete for all seasons - no more, but also no less. Or, to use the words of Hans-Jürgen Abt, the managing director of this traditional company: "We have dealt with Audi cars for many decades now. We developed the AS3 by utilising all our experience and know-how. Our customers can always depend upon getting a fully harmonised car."

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