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This is going to be personal. I'm a huge fan of the Golf GTI. My only gripe is that it's front-wheel drive. Bar the 3.2-litre six-cylinder R32, there isn't any other all-wheel driven European hot-hatch for sale in Singapore.

27 Nov 2008

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So you can imagine how high my eyebrows shot upon hearing word of a certain 2-litre turbocharged, dual-clutch gearbox, quattro A3™

But personal interests aside, the Audi A3 never needed much fixing. After all, Audi's news site has been harping on how they've exceeded the million-marker for sales in March after a five year run. But like we've previously said, it isn't very good to rest on one's laurels. And so, we were presented with the 2009 model-year A3.

This particular model, I'm sure, will gain a particular amount of interest amongst Volkswagen-Audi groupies. It has the 200 bhp, 2.0-litre TFSI turbocharged four-pot - the same engine used in the Golf GTI, save for a few software updates and tweaks for efficiency. It still yields 200 bhp from 5,100 rpm to 6,000 rpm, and 280 Nm between 1,700 rpm to 5,000 rpm. It's also coupled to Audi's S tronic six-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

Audi says the quattro all-wheel drivetrain on this car has been improved mechanically for 2009. The central hydraulic multi-plate Haldex clutch has been further developed, something which Audi claims will enable the A3 to respond more rapidly to the way the driveline apportions torque to all four wheels.

Aesthetically speaking™

The first things that got our attention were the new daytime running lights that were integrated in the A3's headlamps, and the sportier bumper design that featured flared trailing edges. The side profile now has redesigned mirrors with integrated signal lamps and modified door handles. To top it all off, we found very handsome looking 18-inch wheels shod in 225/40 profile Continental Sport Contact 2 tyres.

Rounding off the back-end was a subtly reworked trunk lid that appeared to have lighter trailing lines. Dimensionally speaking, the exterior facelift hasn't bloated it up - at 4.24 metres long, only 25 millimetres in length separate old and new.

Car Information

This model is no longer being sold by local distributors
Audi A3 Sportback 2.0 TFSI quattro S-tronic (A)
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Price

: -

Engine Type

:

4-cylinders in-line TFSI Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

1984cc

Horsepower

:

149kW (200 bhp) / 6000 rpm

Torque

:

280 Nm / 5000 rpm

Transmission

:

6-speed (A) S-tronic

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

7.07

Top Speed

:

236km/h

Fuel consumption

:

13.8 km/L

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