First introduced in 1996 as a 3-door hatchback, the Audi A3 has grown its fleet into a wide lineup that includes 5-door hatchback, 4-door sedan and 2-door convertible bodies.
The new models have only received a mid-cycle refresh since the third generation of the models was only done recently in 2012. The new models gain subtle upgrades, new technology on the inside and some new drive-trains under the hood. Read along to find out more:
2017 Audi A3 Exterior
The exterior profile of the new 2017 Audi A3 has received only minor updates. The updates start with a large signature grille that now features sharper points. It is flanked by new LED headlights which have a zig-zag design on the bottom side (the headlights are adopted from the current A4). Matrix LED headlights are offered as an option. The corner vents are smaller and each air vent features a new horizontal splitter which gives them a deep appearance. The air-dam is new and folds upwards to run parallel with the lower part of the grille. This gives the vehicle a “smiley” face.
The sides are largely similar to the outgoing model; they sport the same 3D-like body lines near the bottom of the doors. The line below the waistline still stretches from the corners of the headlights to the taillights. At the rear, the taillights have been redesigned and feature LED technology. On the Sporty S3, the taillights feature LED scrolling indicators. There is also a new rear bumper. The exhaust tips design will vary across the models.
The vehicle will be offered in either 16-, 17-, 18- or 19-inch wheels wrapped in new tires. The vehicle will be available in five additional body colors which are Cosmic Blue, Tango Red, Ara Blue, Vegas Yellow and Nano Grey.
2017 Audi A3 Interior
The cabin layout remains the same featuring sewed seats just like the outgoing models. However, the interior has been hooked up with new technologies. Audi has hooked up the A3 with a virtual cockpit. The new cockpit features a new, digital instrument cluster with a huge 12.3-inch diagonal screen. The huge display has two modes (classic and infotainment modes) which one can change via a ‘view’ button on the steering wheel.
Two large simulated gauges similar to ones in the outgoing models are displayed in classic mode while in infotainment mode, the gauges shrink down to the size of small clock. The center window dominates the screen displaying the navigation map or audio systems depending on the driver’s choice.
Audi has also upgraded the MMI infotainment system which now features a menu similar to that of a Smartphone. Buyers have an option to upgrade to MMI navigation and MMI navigation Plus with MMI touch which enable the system to display Google Earth, Google Street and real traffic information.
r features include 4G LTE connection with a simcard. Other features in the cabin remain similar to those of the current models.
Engine Specs and Performance
There is a drive-train for everyone in the Audi’s A3 lineup. The German automaker offers 6 different engines which mean the A3 can be had in many configurations of both body-shape and engine. However, all types of engines will only be sold in the European market.
For the first time ever, the Audi A3 is available in a 3-cylinder engine (I can’t believe this is happening). The new mill is a turbocharged 1.0 L, TFSI petrol engine that comes good with 115 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque. The next petrol engine is a turbocharged 1.4 L, TFSI 4-cylinder engine with cylinder-on-demand (COD) technology. The engine puts up 150 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. The most potent petrol engine is a turbocharged 2.0 L, TFSI 4-cylinder unit with a power output of 190 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque.
Changing gears to the diesel engines. The first base diesel engine is a 1.6 L, TDI that pumps 110 hp. Next in the diesel lineup is the 2.0 L TDI which is offered in two versions. The first version of the engine produces 150 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque. The second version produces 184 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque
All 2.0 L engines are mated to a new 7-speed S Tronic transmission system that features a wet clutch system. 2.0 L, TFSI models with 190 hp will have an option for the Quattro all-wheel drive system. All other models are offered with front-wheel drive. The automaker did not reveal details on the A3 performance figures and fuel economy. Expect these details later on. It is likely that models in the US will offer more power output.
The A3 e-tron will also be offered with a turbocharged 1.4 L 4-cylinder engine which combines with a an electric motor to produce 204 hp. Those looking for extra performance can opt for the S3 which will feature a turbocharged 2.0 L, TFSI engine tuned to produce 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, an improvement of 14 hp and 15 lb-ft of torque from the outgoing model.
The US market is likely to feature only the gasoline powered sedan and convertible. The only hatchback in the US will be the A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid.
Price and release date
Audi did not disclose the pricing details of the Audi A3 during the launch. However, we believe it will be slightly expensive than the current model. Rumor has it that the base 1.0 L, TFSI 3-door hatch on the SE trim will start at around £19,000.
The most expensive model will be the Cabriolet at around £37,000 in Europe. These prices will slightly change in the US market. As for the release date, Audi will commence taking orders in May while the vehicles will be delivered later in summer.
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