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The new Audi A3 saloon sports ground-up redesign and a broad spread of new infotainment, assistance and efficiency technologies.

22 Apr 2020 | International News : Germany


Audi has unveiled the new Audi A3 Saloon, sporting beautifully balanced proportions and manageable dimensions combined with a quality of finish and a level of technological sophistication befitting cars from the classes above. These attractive attributes characterised the first generation of the Audi A3 Saloon and continue to be the cornerstones for its all new successor, which is due to make its U.K. debut in the third quarter of 2020.

Highlights include the adoption of fully digital cockpit architecture with the touchscreen MMI Touch concept at its heart, the integration of mild hybrid drivetrains for selected models and the introduction of advanced new lighting configurations that give each variant a specific light 'signature'.

The new Audi A3 Saloon is 150mm longer than the Sportback
Compared with its predecessor, the new A3 Saloon is now 40mm longer at 4.,500mm in length, while its wheelbase remains unchanged. Its width has increased by 20mm to 1,820m and it is now 10mm taller at 1,430mm.

These changes in size have helped to expand elbow room and has yielded an increase in headroom of 20mm in the front, helped by the repositioned driver's seat. At 425 litres, the luggage capacity is exactly the same as in the first generation model.

In contrast with the A3 Sportback, in which the body line running above the sill rises slightly towards the rear lights before the rear wheel arch to accentuate the short rear end, the Saloon's body line continues in a straight line up to the rear bumper. This emphasises its length - 150mm longer than the Sportback - and makes for elegant proportions in profile.

The driver-centric cabin has its 10.1-inch touchscreen display inclined towards the driver
On the inside, the high definition lines of the dashboard with its striking air vents, the attractively sculpted door handles and the new compact gear shifter with its much-reduced dimensions draw the eye initially until ignition brings to life the central 10.1-inch MMI Touchscreen and the 10.25-inch fully digital cockpit display in the binnacle, both of which are subtly integrated using a black panel design.

Inclined slightly towards the driver, the primary 10.1-inch touchscreen display gives access to all media, navigation and internet-based Audi connect functions and includes handwriting detection as well as natural language control that can optionally draw on the capabilities of the cloud.

The suspension of the new A3 Saloon has been tuned to strike a finely judged balance between precision, response, adjustability and absorbency
The new A3 Saloon is available with a choice of three engines at launch - two 1.5-litre TFSI units and one 2.0-litre TDI - all of which major on efficiency.

The 35 TFSI, a 1.5-litre direct injection engine, incorporates cylinder-on-demand technology and delivers 150bhp. In conjunction with a newly developed six-speed manual transmission, it is capable of returning up to 17.2km/L with a CO2 output of 132g/km in an A3 Saloon equipped to the Sport specification, according to the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure.

A second version of this unit is used in combination with the quick-shifting seven-speed S tronic, which now performs its changes via a new switch using shift-by-wire technology.

This 1.5-litre TFSI combines cylinder-on-demand efficiency with a 48V mild hybrid system capable of recovering energy during deceleration, supporting the engine with up to 50Nm of additional torque under acceleration from low engine speeds and allowing the A3 Saloon to coast with the engine switched off in many situations. In a similar vein, a 1.0 TFSI three-cylinder engine with 110bhp will be included in the next phase of engine introductions, and will be available with either a manual transmission or as a 48V mild hybrid version with the S tronic dual-clutch transmission.

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