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First ever 'three-box' A3 and S3 models set to join the Audi range, offering generous passenger and luggage space in a compact footprint.

28 Mar 2013 | International News : U.K.

The first ever booted A3 begins the Vorsprung durch Technik brand's foray into the world's largest market segment - the compact saloon class. It slickly integrates more seats-up load space than the A3 Sportback with similarly ample passenger accommodation and performance, the latter helped by 'Audi ultra' lightweight construction processes that trim weight to as little as 1,205kg.

At the rear, lights with broad and low cuts emphasise the car's horizontal lines and an integrated 'kicked-up' boot spoiler lends a purposeful air
The design of the new A3 Saloon is a cross between the classic three-box concept and the coupe philosophy. Its overhangs are short, and its 'tornado line' design element forms a distinct light-refracting edge that runs along the entire side. At the front, the bonnet contours, bumper and air intake design and the single frame grille have been redefined for the newcomer.

Vital statistics include a length of 4,460mm, a 150mm increase on the A3 Sportback, and a width of 1,796mm, which is 11mm wider. At 1,416mm in height, the A3 Saloon is also 9mm lower. The boot's carrying capacity amounts to 425 litres with the seats up - 45 litres more than the A3 Sportback. This capacity can be increased by folding down the split rear seat backs.

The low 100kg weight of the 1.4-litre TFSI 140bhp engine itself also facilitates keen performance and nimble handling. As well as low weight, this variant is also notable for its efficiency-focused Cylinder on Demand technology. At low engine load, the system deactivates two cylinders to minimise mechanical effort and cut fuel consumption. As a result, combined economy tops out at a TDI-rivalling 60.1mpg, while CO2 is pared back to 109g/km. Helped by its healthy 250Nm torque peak, the A3 1.4 TFSI Saloon takes just 8.4 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100km/h, and can reach 212km/h where conditions allow.

The wheelbase equals the A3 Sportback at 2,636mm, providing plenty of passenger room between the axles
The 1.8-litre TFSI which is next in line produces 180bhp and 250Nm of torque. Its headline figures are a 7.3 second century sprint time and a 231km/h top speed. Combined fuel economy is 49.6mpg, equivalent to 135g/km of CO2.

The diesel contingent is initially represented by the latest 2.0-litre TDI producing 150bhp and 320Nm of torque. It powers the A3 Saloon from 0 to 100km/h in 8.4 seconds, takes it to a top speed of 212km/h and is capable of returning up to 67.3mpg. This equates to CO2 output of 108g/km.

Depending on the engine chosen, the standard transmission is either a manual six-speed or the S tronic dual-clutch gearbox. The 'D' setting is programmed for maximum fuel efficiency, and the S mode with its higher shift points for more energetic driving. Where the Audi drive select adaptive vehicle dynamics system is fitted, S tronic offers a free-wheeling function in its efficiency mode which further reduces fuel consumption.

Just a few months after the launch of the new sedan model series, Audi will introduce the top model - the S3 Sedan. The 2.0 TFSI produces 300bhp and 380Nm of torque. Its high performance four-cylinder engine combines highly advanced efficiency technologies - dual fuel injection, exhaust manifold integrated in the cylinder head, the Audi valvelift system and a rotary valve module for thermal management.

This version of the Audi S3 Sedan, paired with the S tronic, accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds and with the manual transmission, it takes 5.3 seconds. The car's top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h. The four-cylinder turbo has a combined fuel consumption of just 6.9L/100km or 7.0L/100km (with S tronic or manual transmission), respectively.
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