Audi intros all-new A3 and S3 sedans in Germany

Audi is showing the production version of the all-new A3 compact sedan and S3 performance sedan before the sedans hit German streets in a few weeks. The new A3 takes on other premium compact sedans like the BMW 1-Series, Lexus IS, and Mercedes A-Class with good-looks and premium features and options. We are several months away from the US intro, but what you see is basically what we'll get. The press releases and videos (second video is over 10 minutes) after the jump, go into great detail about the trim levels, engines, specifications, and much more. This is a compact sedan that should find many happy homes this side of the pond. The 300-hp S3 performance sedan will be a powerful addition to the A3 line and it won't be cheap, but it will be fun. Expect the S3 sometime after the initial A3 US launch. Enjoy and dream you Audi aficionado...check it out.

Source: Audi - Extensive press releases (2) and videos (2) after the jump. Previous post.

Press Release:
Compact and dynamic four-door models: The Audi A3 Sedan and S3 Sedan

  • Dynamic design in every detail
  • Consistent use of lightweight design
  • Range-topping S3 with 300 hp and quattro
With the launch of the sporty A3 Sedan late this summer, Audi will enter the world’s largest market segment – the class of compact sedans. The third model in the successful A3 model line impresses with ultra-lightweight excellence, strong and very efficient drivetrains, and a great many high-end infotainment and driver assistance systems. The top-of-the-line version is the S3 Sedan with 221 kW (300 hp).

Audi’s first notchback model in the premium compact class, the Audi A3 Sedan’s sporty character is dazzling. It all starts with a curb weight of just 1,250 kg (2,755.78 lb) for the four-door 1.4 TFSI with S tronic, thanks to Audi’s lightweight design mastery. Many of the components in the occupant cell are made of high-end hot-formed steel; the hood is aluminum. The low weight of the chassis and engines also sets new standards.

Some 4,460 mm in length (14.63 ft), the design of the Audi A3 Sedan combines classic notchback styling with the dynamics of a convertible. The flat roof line terminates at the C-pillar and merges seamlessly with the shoulder line. The tornado line is a prominent contour edge and the wheel arches are remarkably flared.

As with all Audi vehicles, the single-frame radiator grille is the primary design element up front. The bumpers, which terminate in striking horizontal contours, as well as large air inlets underscore the width of the A3 Sedan. Audi can optionally fit this new model with all-LED headlights, a marvel of engineering and a feast for the eyes alike. Taillights boasting light-emitting diodes are also available.

The roomy interior of this sporty four-door car is refined and straightforward. Its instrument panel is lean; the center console is slightly angled toward the driver. The large round air vents, the three-dimensional decorative inlays and the air conditioner’s elegant control panel evince the attention to detail that Audi devotes to every vehicle. As in all Audi models, controls are easy-to-use and self-explanatory. The 425-liter (15.01 cubic ft) luggage compartment can be extended by folding down the rear seat backs.

Three engines will initially be available for the Audi A3 Sedan: one TDI and two TFSI units. They respectively exhibit 1.4, 1.8 and 2.0 liters of displacement, and feature power outputs between 103 kW (140 hp) and 132 kW (180 hp). All three engines have been overhauled to combine robust power with astonishing fuel efficiency. A particular highlight for the 1.4 TFSI is the cylinder on demand (COD) system. At low loads, it temporarily shuts off two cylinders. Additional engines will be unveiled down the road, including a 2.0 TDI which will comply with the emission limits of the EU’s Euro 6 standard, and a 1.6 TDI.

Concerning the powertrain, the A3 Sedan is also best-in-class. Depending on the engine, a manual transmission or the S tronic is available. When combined with the Audi drive select dynamics system, the S tronic dual-clutch transmission boasts a free-wheeling function that further reduces fuel consumption. quattro permanent all-wheel drive will be made available before long.

The sporty personality of the Audi A3 Sedan can be traced in part to an optimized distribution of axle loads (59% to 41%, front to rear) and a sophisticated chassis. The MacPherson front suspension contains some aluminum components, while the four-link rear suspension handles longitudinal and lateral forces separately. A sensitive power-steering system features an electromechanical drive for high efficiency. Audi can also install progressive power steering, which varies the steering ratio. Electronic limited slip differential – an intelligent subsystem of electronic stabilization control (ESC) – makes handling even smoother and safer during fast cornering.

Upon request, Audi can fit the A3 Sedan with Audi drive select (standard with the Ambition line). It allows the driver to choose among several modes regarding engine management, power steering and the S tronic. In addition to Audi magnetic ride (electronically controlled shock absorbers), two sports suspensions are available. Wheels measure between 16 and 19 inches in diameter. 19-inch wheels are available only in conjunction with a sports suspension and Audi magnetic ride.

Groundbreaking: Infotainment
Audi offers its A3 Sedan customers a comprehensive range of infotainment modules; top-of-the-line options include a Bang & Olufsen sound system and MMI navigation plus. The latter’s ultra-sleek 7-inch screen extends electronically from the instrument panel. The user terminal has a turn/push control designed as a “touchwheel” with MMI touch – the touchwheel’s top surface is a touch-sensitive pad for inputting letters and numbers.

The Audi connect system ideally complements the MMI navigation plus. Audi connect will soon grant one-of-a-kind Internet access to A3 customers. Starting in November 2013, the fourth-generation (“4G”) mobile communications standard known as LTE (Long Term Evolution) will become a reality in the A3 Sedan. LTE already enables download rates as high as 100 Mbit/s in many places. This innovation demonstrates anew Audi’s superiority in automotive infotainment.

A3 Sedan passengers can use their mobile devices thanks to a WLAN hotspot integrated within Audi connect. The driver benefits from customized Internet services integral to Audi connect. Services range from navigation via Google Earth images and Google Street View through Audi online traffic information to Facebook and Twitter. A brand-new Audi connect service is the parking-space locator. This feature provides information on parking spaces, multi-level parking facilities and underground garages.

A broad assortment of assistance systems also bolsters the A3 Sedan. They range from adaptive cruise control to Audi side assist, Audi active lane assist, camera-based traffic sign recognition and the park-assist system with surround-view camera to the safety system Audi pre sense. The driver information system with rest recommendation is standard in the sporty and luxurious Ambition and Ambiente equipment lines; it is optional for the entry-level Attraction line.

Equipment lines also feature their own respective interior colors. The S line sports package for the Ambition line, for instance, bathes the interior entirely in black. Available upholstery materials include fabric covers, a mix of fabric and artificial leather, Milano leather and a combination of Pearl Nappa leather and Alcantara. Individual options such as Audi adaptive light and a panoramic glass sunroof are taken directly from the luxury class. Remarkably, the Audi plant in Györ, Hungary was expanded solely to build the A3 Sedan. This new model will be available at German dealerships late this summer. The basic price will be 24,300 euros (A3 Sedan 1.4 TFSI with 90 kW [122 hp]).

221 kW (300 hp): Audi S3 Sedan
Soon after the A3 Sedan reaches dealerships, Audi will launch its top-of-the-line version: the Audi S3 Sedan. Its 2.0 TFSI will produce 221 kW (300 hp) and 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) of torque. The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) takes just 4.9 seconds with the six-speed S tronic (5.3 seconds with the manual transmission). Speed is electronically capped at 250 km/h (155.34 mph). Its four-cylinder turbocharged engine averages just 6.9 liters of fuel per 100 km with the S tronic (34.09 US mpg).

An electronically controlled, hydraulic multi-plate clutch constitutes the heart of the quattro drivetrain in the S3 Sedan. The suspension lowers the body by 25 millimeters (0.98 in). Large brakes are mounted behind the 18-inch wheels. 19-inch wheels are available in conjunction with Audi magnetic ride. Progressive steering is standard for the S3 Sedan.

Press Release:
Foray into the world’s largest market segment: the Audi A3 Sedan and S3 Sedan

The Audi A3 Sedan is a born winner. This sporty four-door model with an elegantly flowing notchback bears all the strengths of Audi’s successful A3 model line. Three engines will be available for this sedan starting this summer. The top-of-the-line model will appear before long: the Audi S3 Sedan with 221 kW (300 hp). It represents Audi’s foray into a new market segment.

At a glance
The Audi A3 Sedan and the Audi S3 Sedan

Design and body
  • Sporty, elegant design with elongated styling, long wheelbase and short
  • overhangs; length of 4.46 meters (14.63 ft)
  • Intelligent multimaterial construction, aluminum hood, occupant cell consists
  • primarily of high-end steel
  • Curb weight of Audi A3 Sedan 1.4 TFSI with S tronic just 1,250 kg (2,755.78 lb)
  • All-LED headlights and LED taillights available as options
  • Spacious interior, luggage capacity of 425 liters (15.01 cubic ft), folding rear seats
  • Clear controls, elegant design and superb workmanship
  • Highlights include three-dimensional inlays and round air vents
  • Upon launch, a TDI engine with 110 kW (150 hp) and two TFSI units with
  • 103 kW (140 hp) or 132 kW (180 hp)
  • All engines feature the latest efficiency technologies, 1.4 TFSI with COD technology
  • Audi S3 Sedan with 221 kW (300 hp); 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 4.9 seconds
  • In the future, 1.6 TDI requiring just 3.8 liters of fuel per 100 km (61.90 US mpg)
  • Power transmission via manual transmission or S tronic; quattro drive system to follow
  • Some front-suspension components made of aluminum; four-link rear suspension
  • Electromechanical steering; optional progressive steering (standard in S3 Sedan)
  • Alloy wheels (16-inch to 19-inch), powerful brakes
  • Electronic stabilization control (ESC) with electronic limited slip differential is
  • standard
  • Audi drive select dynamics system, adaptive shock absorbers and two sports
  • suspensions available as options
Equipment packages
  • Generous range of standard equipment, plus many convenient and sporty extras
  • Optional cutting-edge driver assistance systems
  • Wide range of infotainment components, including MMI navigation plus with a
  • touchwheel and seven-inch monitor; Bang & Olufsen sound system
  • Audi connect optionally available as of November 2013 with LTE technology
The equipment and data specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.

Basic information:


Lightweight design/construction is one of Audi’s core areas of expertise. As a pioneer in this field, Audi discontinued and then reversed the trend toward ever-heavier vehicles. Regarding the basic version of the new A3 Sedan with S tronic, the curb weight (without driver) is just 1,250 kilograms (2,755.78 lb), which sets a new standard in this class. Yet this four-door vehicle is stately, too: 4,456 millimeters in length (14.62 ft), wheelbase of 2,637 mm (8.65 ft), 1,796 mm in width (5.89 ft) and 1,416 mm (4.65 ft) in height.

Ultra-lightweight: multi-material body
Whether aluminum, steel or composites, developers of vehicle bodies at Audi possess a wealth of expertise. They do not limit themselves to any one material; on the contrary, they rely on any and all materials that result in a perfect blend of properties.

Form-hardened steels constitute 26 percent of the A3 Sedan’s body. Before deformation, they are heated in a continuous-flow furnace to nearly 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,832 degrees Fahrenheit) and are then cooled to about 200 °C (392 °F) in a water-cooled stamping press. This radical drop in temperature creates an iron-carbon structure of exceptional tensile strength. Components made of these high-end steels can exhibit relatively thin walls, making them lightweight.

Form-hardened components are used in the transition from the front of the vehicle to the occupant cell, in the A-pillars, roof arch, center tunnel, side sills and floor panels. The B-pillars also consist of this form-hardened steel. Their lower sections are more flexible than higher ones, as the energy of a side-impact collision must be absorbed here. Audi uses high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel grades in many other body areas, such as the longitudinal members and the C-pillars. Something known as a tailored rolled blank joins the floor with the rear body section. Such a blank has eleven individual segments of five different thicknesses.

Moreover, the hood, the front axle’s subframe, the energy-absorbing section behind the front bumper and the rear shelf are all made of aluminum. All in all, these light-alloy components save 12 kilograms (26.46 lb). This advancement benefits the distribution of axle loads. The front-end axle carrier is made of high-strength plastic and weighs three kilograms (6.61 lb) less than its predecessor.

The vehicle body of the A3 Sedan features a remarkable variety of joining techniques. In addition to classic resistance spot welding – which creates 5,467 weld spots – primary techniques include MIG/MAG welding, laser welding, stud welding, projection welding, clinching, seaming and semi-tubular punch riveting. Just one A3 Sedan body contains 54 meters (177.17 ft) of structural adhesive, five meters (16.40 ft) of retaining adhesive, 20 meters (65.62 ft) of seam adhesive and four meters (13.12 ft) of lining adhesive.

A laser-brazed seam serves as a high-precision joint between the vehicle’s side wall and roof. This seam is smoothed with brushes, resulting in a practically invisible zero-joint that demonstrates Audi’s commitment to precision. The seams around the tailgate’s water drains are executed via plasmatron brazing. The doors and window frames are pressed in one piece, which likewise reduces weight. Cutting-edge remote laser welding is used for the doors.

Benchmarks: rigidity, acoustics, safety and aerodynamics
Thanks to the extensive resources Audi commits to body manufacturing, the  A3 Sedan boasts excellent static and dynamic torsional rigidity. This contributes to the vehicle’s excellent precision of manufacture and quiet interior. A noise-insulating windshield is standard equipment, as are two wraparound soundproofing seals that minimize wind noise at doors and windows. The outside mirrors were designed to likewise reduce interior noise levels. Noise-insulating materials in the interior, especially the molded part between the floor and carpeting, are very lightweight yet highly effective.

The new Audi A3 Sedan is tops when it comes to passive safety. In a frontal collision, the front cross-member distributes the forces to the two side members, which undergo defined deformation to dissipate these forces. Additional crumple zones include the front axle’s subframe and sections in the upper part of fenders. In a side impact, hot-shaped steel components such as the sills and B-pillars offer occupants excellent protection. In a rear-end collision, the bumper's cross members transmit the stress to large longitudinal members.

In a vehicle/pedestrian collision above a certain speed, an active safety system is activated. The hood separates from its hinges at lightning speed, and it is pushed upward by gas-filled springs. This increases the distance between the engine hood and hard parts of the engine compartment, and the impact of the pedestrian is less severe.

The Audi A3 Sedan features a drag coefficient of just 0.29, thanks in part to finishing touches in concealed areas. Covers made of glass-reinforced plastic line the underbody up to the B-pillars. These covers protect the sheet metal and engine from salt, water and pebbles while absorbing vibrations. A small spoiler in front of every wheel helps minimize loss of airflow. The aerodynamic underbody of the new A3 reduces overall aerodynamic drag by about 12 percent.

Exterior design

Concentrated, athletic and taut: the Audi A3 Sedan is precise and distinctive from A to Z. Wedge-shaped headlights featuring a wave-shaped lower edge impart a determined appearance to this new model. In the optional xenon plus modules, LED daytime running lights form visually uniform contours of light at the upper and lower edges. The turn signal is in the tapered inner corner underneath a chromed strip.

Different versions of Audi headlights offer appealing options. A high-beam assistant and Audi adaptive light are but two examples. The latter’s control unit regulates swiveling modules to ensure the most suitable lighting at all times – whether in urban areas, rural areas, or on the highway. These modules also serve as specialized turning, cornering and all-weather lights. The driver can use Audi drive select to tweak the operation of adaptive light.

Variable headlight range control – an optional supplementary function of adaptive light – utilizes image data supplied by an on-board video camera to identify built-up areas and other vehicles. A computer smoothly and continuously adjusts the range of the headlights to ensure optimal illumination.

Audi adaptive light also works closely with the optional MMI navigation plus. This navigation system processes route data in advance and relays it to the headlights’ control unit. In turn, highway lighting will be activated before the vehicle even enters the on-ramp, for example. This system automatically switches on cornering lights before the vehicle reaches an intersection. In countries with left-hand traffic, it switches the headlights accordingly.

Optional LED headlights are another high-end solution for the Audi A3 Sedan; this technology is straight from the luxury class. At a color temperature of  5,500 Kelvin, their light resembles daylight and reduces eye fatigue. These light-emitting diodes are designed to last the entire service life of the vehicle itself and very energy-efficient. The low beams consume just 40 watts per unit. The LED headlights also boast special functionality for urban driving, intersections, rural areas, highways, left-hand traffic and inclement weather. And that is especially true when LED headlights are paired with MMI navigation plus.

Audi uses the design of its LED headlights to demonstrate just how beautiful technology can be. Nine high-performance LED chips in two free-form reflectors generate the low-beam light, while the high beams consist of eight high-performance LEDs and a matte-polished aluminum embellisher. The static turning and all-weather lights are housed in a separate module. In addition, the daytime running lights, parking lights and turn signals are formed by a light guide that wraps around the upper and inner headlights as a narrow contour. A diagonal imparts structure to its inside.

Widespread appeal: The front end
The front of the Audi A3 Sedan is broad and determined. The single-frame grille with its tapered upper corners is black. Its horizontal slats and the Audi rings appear downright three-dimensional. A refined chromium frame encloses the grille. The lower section of the bumper tapers to a pushed-forward edge. Upright bars offset the air inlets and render them three-dimensional. Optional fog lights – standard in the Ambition equipment line – are housed in the air inlets’ corners.

The Audi A3 Sedan does not have a single metal panel in common with its sister models, the A3 and the A3 Sportback. Even the low hood has been redesigned. Its prominently rendered outline complements the flowing lines of the headlights. And the crisply focused tornado line – a contour edge along the entire side – divides the area underneath the windows. A similarly pronounced dynamic line above the sills assertively extends upward toward the rear.

These two lines enclose the sides of the vehicle. The interplay of light and shadows highlights the sides, imparting an athletic and muscular personality to the A3 Sedan. The wheel arches have become considerably more flared to make room for optional 19-inch wheels. As with a sports car, the exterior mirrors with integrated LED turn signals are mounted on the doors. The ratio of vehicle body to passenger compartment is two-thirds to one-third – typical Audi proportions.

In structural terms, the Audi A3 Sedan lies between a classic notchback design and that of a convertible. Its curved roof slopes elegantly toward the rear and merges seamlessly with the shoulder line. This transition expresses this four-door vehicle’s dynamic personality. A compact trunk lid terminates in a pronounced arc that serves as a contour edge and spoiler lip.

The A3 Sedan’s tail end is typical of Audi. It is assertively three-dimensional and boasts a seamless transition from the bumper to the license plate. Twin exhaust tailpipes are encircled by a diffuser insert. The vehicle’s width is further underscored by large and flat taillights that taper inward to a point. Audi generally supplies the taillights as LEDs in conjunction with xenon plus or LED headlights. Light guides form elegant arches, fitted with standard adaptive brake lights that flash rapidly whenever the driver brakes hard.

Even sharper: The S line exterior package
Thanks to the S line exterior package, the Audi A3 Sedan looks better than ever. Its single-frame grille is high-gloss black. An integrated honeycomb structure look and fog lights appear in the air inlets, which are bordered by powerful edges. When one admires the A3 from the side, the sill extensions are particularly eye-catching. A Platinum Gray diffuser houses a honeycomb insert and the exhaust system’s tailpipes sport chrome tips. The door sill trims bear aluminum inserts with S line logos; S line badges adorn the fenders.

There are 16 paint colors from which to choose. The Audi exclusive customization program allows quattro GmbH customers to have any possible paint job customized for them. The optional high-gloss package offers small highlights near the side windows (standard with the Ambiente line).

Audi A3 Sedan: External dimensions
Length 4,456 mm (14.62 ft)
Wheelbase2,637 mm (8.65 ft)
Width1,796 mm (5.89 ft)
Height1,416 mm (4.65 ft)

The interior

Elegant, refined, clear: the interior of the Audi A3 Sedan mirrors the styling of the exterior. A long, continuous curve spans the windshield from door to door. Known as a wrap-around, this feature also appears in Audi's large model lines. A sleek instrument panel, taut at the front, oozes roominess.

Both front seats in the A3 Sedan provide excellent support thanks to precise settings and ergonomic contours. An optional center armrest – standard in the Ambition equipment line – is adjustable. Upon request, Audi will include electric lumbar supports, electric controls and sports seats. In fact, sports seats are standard in the Ambition equipment line. S sports seats with integrated head restraints, removable cushions and S line embossing are optionally available. Depending on the steering wheel in question, it is fitted with three or four spokes, a flat-bottomed rim, multifunction pushbuttons and S tronic shift paddles.

It is easy to read both large round gauges at a glance. Between them is the 3.5-inch screen of the driver information system (DIS). It displays important information, while the DIS’s efficiency program advises the driver on fuel-efficient driving. The DIS also issues rest-recommendation alerts. A color DIS screen is standard in the Ambition and Ambiente equipment lines; a monochrome version is available for the Attraction package.

As in all Audi vehicles, ergonomics in the A3 Sedan are clear and intuitive. Starting with the MMI radio package, the MMI operating system with an electrically telescoping monitor is standard; it measures either 5.8 or 7.0 inches diagonally, depending on the version. The MMI control panel has been placed atop the center console for a clear and tidy layout. An electromechanical parking brake, operated by a button, has replaced the handbrake lever.

One of many interior highlights are three-dimensional decorative inlays. Options include two aluminum versions, a 3D-design “Black” and a 3D-design “Optic” (standard with the Ambiente line). The control unit for the optional deluxe climate-control system is mounted on a panel in Piano-finish black. The instrument cluster fascia is also black. Upon request, many of the controls feature an aluminum-look finish.

Audi aesthetics: The air vents
Bearing a classic jet design, four large round air vents are a feature typical of compact Audi models. Their air flow is adjusted by pulling on the central axis, which adjusts the air flow from broadly dispersed and draft-free to a focused stream. Turning the rings generates a fine, precisely-defined click.

Upon request, an LED interior lighting package (standard with the Ambiente line) will spruce up the interior even more with additional highlights. Small LEDs serve as reading lights and provide illumination in the make-up mirrors, doors, footwells and near the cupholders. Dome lights subtly illuminate the center console.

The A3 Sedan’s interior colors match a given equipment package. With the A3 Attraction line, the interior is bathed in black or titanium gray; the interior of the sporty Ambition line is either all black or black with contrasting silver, blue or yellow elements. Pashmina beige and chestnut brown are available for the luxurious Ambiente trim line. An Ambition option, the two-tone Audi design selection lasso brown exudes exclusivity.

Striking differences extend to interior materials, as well. Cloth seats are standard in the Attraction and Ambition lines; Ambiente comes standard with a mix of cloth and synthetic leather. The seats can alternatively be covered in Milano leather in black, pashmina beige, titanium gray, chestnut brown – or a combination of Pearl Nappa and Alcantara leather that is either black or gray (for sports seats). The sports seats covered in Milano leather feature Velvet leather in the shoulder area. With a rugged and slightly coarse surface, Velvet leather is reminiscent of suede.

The A3 Sedan Ambition can optionally be ordered with the S line sport package, which bathes the interior and even the headlining entirely in black. A variety of materials is available for seat upholstery, including exquisite Fine Nappa leather. The (optional S) sports seats’ backs bear embossed S line logos. Silver seams accentuate the look and silver color-contrasting stitching outlines the floor mats. Decorative inlays are made of brushed aluminum. A special sport steering wheel – with a flat-bottomed rim, upon request – and a shift knob covered with perforated leather round out the sporty package.

The Audi A3 Sedan offers plenty of room for five people. Thanks to the long wheelbase, entry is easy and there is enough legroom – even in the rear. The L-shaped head restraints hardly affect rear visibility at all in their retracted positions.

The trunk offers a base capacity of 425 liters (15.01 cubic ft), which can be increased to 880 liters (31.08 cubic ft) by folding down the split rear seat backs. The luggage compartment is level and the trunk lid offers a wide berth for loading and unloading items. Audi can optionally supply a load-through hatch, a ski/snowboard bag and a reversible mat. The A3 Sedan can be rendered exceptionally practical by means of the optional cargo-storage set. This optional equipment package comprises a second electrical outlet, a multi-use fastener, a cargo net, bag hooks, storage nets on the backrests of the front seats and for the front passenger as well as a side shelf with adjustable net.

Uncompromising: Quality and lightweight excellence in the interior
Elegant, easy to operate and luxuriously finished: The air vents in the Audi
A3 Sedan reflect Audi's uncompromising commitment to excellence. Each air vent consists of more than 30 individual components – each of them manufactured and mounted precisely within hundredths of a millimeter.

Decorative inlays in a 3D-design “Optic” likewise boast extensive expertise. At the heart of such an inlay is a roof-like mount made of plastic. During the first step, this mount is wrapped in a transparent polycarbonate film. But first, a pattern consisting of tiny triangles is printed on the mount by means of the screen-printing method. The pattern is applied three times to the rear side and twice to the front side. This creates a graphic of remarkable three-dimensionality.

Via back injection molding, securing points are then affixed to the rear of the substrate. Liquid polycarbonate is then re-applied to the front. Just five millimeters thick, this coating enhances the 3D appearance of the printed graphic while imparting an extraordinary glass-like appearance. The final step entails sealing the inlay with a UV varnish to permanently prevent yellowing and protect it against scratches.

Precise to hundredths of a millimeter: Precision in the interior
Audi devotes its complete attention to even the tiniest detail. The chromed ornamental ring on the shift knob, for instance, is fitted within hundredths of a millimeter. The window panes first shift forward into a guideway before traveling upward to create a perfect seal at the junction of the roof and the window channel.

Premium quality is a fundamental commitment at Audi. The B-pillar covers in the A3 Sedan’s interior are covered with fabric and fitted with coat hooks. The window frames are completely covered. Fabric coverings and leather trim never become creased; all seams are precise and flawless. This is true even in tricky areas of the steering wheel, where there is little space between spokes and the rim.

Audi does not cut any corners even in those places rarely seen by customers. The carpeting in the trunk is not needled felt, but cut velour instead. Once the hood has been raised, a pneumatic spring keeps it stationary. The handful of welds visible in vehicle-body areas such as sill trims, the engine compartment or the trunk reflect the very highest in welding precision.

Ultra-premium quality and ultra-lightweight excellence do not constitute a paradox at Audi. Indeed, Audi engineers trimmed every superfluous gram from the interior of the Audi A3 Sedan. The seats, for instance, are very lightweight. Intelligent placement of control units significantly reduced the amount of wiring needed. The air-conditioning system and the blower motor have also been optimized to weigh less. The front-passenger airbag housing is made of plastic, and the bracket of the MMI monitor is magnesium.


Three re-designed engines will initially be available for the Audi A3 Sedan: one TDI and two TFSI units. Their engine displacements range from 1.4 to 2.0 liters, with power output between 103 kW (140 hp) and 132 kW (180 hp). Audi resolutely sticks to its downsizing commitment, as usual. Substituting engine displacement with turbocharging boosts performance and fuel efficiency alike.

In this context, technologies from Audi’s modular efficiency platform play a key role. The start-stop system, for example, relies on a high-performance Absorption Glass Mat (AGM) battery to reduce fuel consumption by 0.3 liters per 100 km. The innovative thermal management system ensures that the engine comes up to its operating temperature rapidly after a cold start – this shortens the phase of elevated friction losses due to viscous oil, and the car’s interior warms up faster as well.

All three engine versions are installed as per the same configuration: tilted backward by 12 degrees with the intake side at the front. This advancement from the Volkswagen Group’s modular transverse platform paired with the engine’s compact layout made it possible to position the Audi A3 Sedan’s front axle very far forward. This, in turn, has improved crash safety, the vehicle’s design and the distribution of axle loads (59% of power to the front and 41% to the rear).

Audi’s dedication to ultra-lightweight construction also extends to its engines. The re-designed 1.4 TFSI weighs a mere 107 kg (235.89 lb). And the 1.8 TFSI barely weighs 140 kilograms (308.65 lb) – thanks in part to a thin-walled crankcase that weighs 2.4 kg (5.29 lb) less than its predecessor. And, in the 2.0 TDI, relocating both balance shafts to the cylinder block saved 3.0 kg (6.61 lb).
Audi A3 Sedan: Initial engines 
DisplacementPower outputTorque
1.4 TFSI1,395 cm3103 kW (140 hp)250 Nm (184.39 lb-ft)
1.8 TFSI1,798 cm3132 kW (180 hp)250 Nm (184.39 lb-ft)
2.0 TDI1,968 cm3110 kW (150 hp)320 Nm (236.02 lb-ft)
0 – 100 km/h (62.14 mph)Top speedConsumption (ECE)CO2 emissions
1.4 TFSI8.4 seconds217 km/h (134.84 mph)4.7 l/100 km (50.05 US mpg)109 g/km
(175.42 g/mile)
1.8 TFSI7.3 seconds235 km/h (146.02 mph)5.6 l/100 km (42.00 US mpg)129 g/km
(207.61 g/mile)
2.0 TDI8.7 seconds220 km/h (136.70 mph)4.1 l/100 km (57.37 US mpg)107 g/km
(172.20 g/mile)

Vigorous power: The 2.0 TDI
The 2.0 TDI has been overhauled. Its 110 kW (150 hp) of power output is paired with 320 Nm (236.02 lb-ft) of torque between 1,750 and 3,000 rpm. The 2.0 TDI furthermore propels the Audi A3 Sedan from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 8.7 seconds en route to a top speed of 220 km/h (136.70 mph). Its average fuel consumption is a mere 4.1 liters per 100 km (57.37 US mpg) and it emits 107 grams of CO2 per kilometer (172.20 g/mile).

A reduction in friction was prioritized during development of this two-liter diesel engine, which features a displacement of 1,968 cm3 (bore x stroke 81.0 x 95.5 millimeters [3.19 x 3.76 in]). The toothed belts for the camshafts and ancillary components run smoothly and quietly. The balance shafts, relocated from the oil pan to the crankcase, boast anti-friction bearings and are lubricated by an oil mist. Elaborate needle bearings are used for the drive wheels of the camshafts, as well. The shafts are pressed into a separate bearing frame; a new valve train module exhibits high rigidity and low weight.

At the pistons, reduced stress on the rings results in smooth running. In manufacturing the engine, a honing process in fine machining of the cylinder liners guarantees high precision. The oil pump, with its two-stage control, requires very little drive energy. The cylinder block and the cylinder head have discrete coolant circuits supplied by dedicated pumps. During the engine’s initial warm-up period, only the cylinder head’s circuit operates.

The common-rail injection system in the 2.0 TDI generates up to 1,800 bar of pressure; eight-hole injection nozzles nebulize the fuel. A turbocharger with adjustable vanes is operated pneumatically. An intercooler is integrated in the intake manifold, facilitating short gas-travel paths, good control quality and high efficiency ratios. A new low-pressure, exhaust-gas recirculation system which is located near the engine is also very compact and designed to minimize friction losses.

With cylinder on demand: The 1.4 TFSI
In 2004, Audi became the world’s first manufacturer to pair direct gasoline injection with turbocharging – and the abbreviation TFSI has stood for great output, terrific torque and low fuel consumption ever since. A shining example of all these attributes, the 1.4 liter version has been overhauled. Its 103 kW (140 hp) of power output is paired with 250 Nm (184.39 lb-ft) of torque between 1,500 and 3,500 rpm. The 1.4 TFSI furthermore propels the Audi A3 Sedan from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 8.4 seconds en route to a top speed of 217 km/h (134.84 mph). It averages 4.7 liters per 100 km (50.05 US mpg), corresponding to 109 grams CO2 per km (175.42 g/mile).

Regarding the ultra-lightweight character of the 1.4 TFSI engine – which features a displacement of 1,395 cm3 (bore x stroke 74.50 x 80.00 millimeters [2.93 x 3.15 in]) – the single largest role is played by the crankcase. Unlike its predecessor made of cast gray iron, this die-cast aluminum innovation weighs a mere 18 kg (39.68 lb) instead of 33 kg (72.75 lb). Additional improvements made to the crankshaft, connecting rods and elsewhere have reduced the overall weight of the engine to 107 kg (235.89 lb).

Frictional losses have been reduced by as much as 20 percent compared with the previous engine. Improvements concern the piston rings, their reduced diameter at the crankshaft main bearings, lighter valves and toothed belts for the timing and ancillary drives designed to last the life of the engine. The pressure-controlled oil pump also contributes to engine efficiency. Like the 2.0 TDI, the 1.4 TFSI has a valve train module with low-friction camshaft bearings, whereby these shafts are integrated directly in the cylinder-head cover. The intake camshaft can be adjusted by 50 degrees of crank angle.

Intelligent thermal management: The exhaust manifold
Another innovation is integration of the exhaust manifold in the cylinder head. It quickly brings the coolant to operating temperature after a cold start; only then does a thermostat in the new coolant pump module enable cooling of the crankcase. At full load – e.g. during very fast freeway driving – the cooling jacket reduces the temperature of the exhaust gases. This eliminates the process of enriching the fuel-air mixture which would otherwise be necessary – which improves fuel economy significantly.

The aluminum pistons have also been redesigned. The nearly flat design of the piston heads is precisely tuned to the intake ports, which have likewise been redesigned. The five-port nozzles of the common rail unit facilitate up to three injections per power stroke. The turbocharger has shed 1.8 kg (3.97 lb) compared to the previous engine. Its new electric wastegate adjuster is very quick and precise, which significantly improves engine responsiveness. An intercooler integrated within the intake manifold accelerates generation of boost pressure.

A particularly intriguing innovation in the 1.4 TFSI is the cylinder on demand (COD) system. A similar version is found in Audi’s large S and RS models. An advancement of the Audi valvelift system that varies valve stroke, it shuts down the second and third cylinders of the four-cylinder engine at low and moderate engine load during coasting. The system operates between 1,400 and 4,000 rpm and torques up to 100 Nm (73.76 lb-ft). Switchover lasts 13 to 36 milliseconds, depending on engine speed. This transition is accompanied by tweaks to fuel injection, ignition point and the throttle valve.

Valves are adjusted by sleeves, each of which has two different cam profiles. When these sleeves are axially adjusted on the camshafts by electromagnetically telescoping pins, something known as zero-stroke cam profiles rotate over the exhaust and intake valves. They do not actuate the valves, and the valve springs remain closed; at the same time, fuel injection is deactivated. In the active cylinders 1 and 4, on the other hand, efficiency rises, because their operating points are shifted to higher loads. As soon as the driver presses firmly down on the gas pedal, the cam units retract and the idle cylinders are reactivated.

Even with a 360-degree firing interval, the remarkably harmonized 1.4 TFSI runs very quietly and with little vibration, on account of modifications to the engine mounts, dual-mass flywheel and exhaust system. Fuel consumption as per standards of the ECE (Economic Commission for Europe) is reduced by some 0.4 liters per 100 km thanks to the COD system. Moderate driving can result in fuels savings as high as 20 percent.

High-tech engine: The 1.8 TFSI
The 1.8 TFSI showcases Audi’s high-tech expertise via numerous innovations. Of the engines initially available for the A3 Sedan, this is the most powerful. Its maximum torque of 250 Nm (184.39 lb-ft.) remains constant between 1,250 and 5,000 rpm. Power output amounts to 132 kW (180 hp). This four-cylinder engine also offers sporty performance, needing just 7.3 seconds to propel the A3 Sedan to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) before topping out at 235 km/h (146.02 mph). Its average fuel consumption is just 5.6 liters per 100 km (42.00 US mpg), which corresponds to 129 grams of CO2/km (207.61 g/mile).

One of the key innovations in the 1.8 TFSI is the addition of indirect fuel injection. During partial-load operation, it aids FSI direct gasoline injection. This system supplies fuel at the tip of the intake manifold to the tumble flaps, whereupon the fuel is intensively swirled with air. This enhances carburation, consequently reducing fuel consumption and particulate emissions. Direct fuel injection, which generates pressure as high as 200 bar, operates upon starting and at relatively high loads.

The turbocharger generates boost pressure very rapidly. Its notable features include an electric wastegate adjuster and a turbine wheel made of a new alloy that can withstand exhaust-gas temperatures nearly as high as 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,832 °F). Audi engineers have pushed the envelope by optimizing charging efficiency in the combustion chambers. The intake camshafts and exhaust camshafts are adjustable. The Audi valvelift system switches, as needed, between two settings regarding lift of the exhaust valves. Scavenging losses drop as a result. As in the 1.4 TFSI, the 1.8 TFSI’s exhaust manifold is integrated within the cylinder head.

Two rotary slide valves – housed in a single module and driven by a motor – regulate the thermal-management system of the 1.8 TFSI. They not only ensure that the engine oil is rapidly heated, but also maintain a coolant temperature between 85 and 107 degrees Celsius (185.00–224.60 °F) as per given operating conditions. Regardless of operating point, they strike an ideal balance between minimal friction and excellent efficiency.

Despite these new technologies, the 1.8 TFSI barely weighs 140 kilograms (308.65 lb). This is due in part to a crankcase made of cast gray iron; its walls are just three millimeters thick. The pistons consist of a new high-strength alloy. The oil pan is lightweight plastic and many bolts are aluminum. Internal friction is low thanks to a novel coating for the piston skirts, low-friction bearings for the two balance shafts and a narrower main bearing for the compact crankshaft. A regulated oil pump requires little energy itself and an electric system cools the piston heads with jets of oil.

Economical and strong: The other A3 engines
At some point in the not-too-distant future, Audi will offer the highly efficient 1.6 TDI for the A3 Sedan. This compact diesel engine delivers 77 kW (105 hp) of power from a displacement of 1,598 cm3 (bore x stroke 79.5 x 80.5 millimeters [3.13 x 3.17 in]). It also supplies 250 Nm (184.39 lb-ft) of torque, which remains constant from 1,500 to 2,750 rpm. It will emit less than 100 grams of CO2 per km (160.93 g/mile).

A particular strength of the 1.6 TDI lies in the ongoing minimization of internal friction. Key enhancements concern the oil pump, the piston rings, the honing process for the cylinder barrels, the toothed belt and the carbon-coated pins of the cast-aluminum pistons. The common-rail system’s piezo injectors facilitate as many as six injections per power stroke.

A tangential port in the intake manifold precisely whirls incoming air while an adjustable flap in the adjacent swirl port meters the fuel-air mixture as per load and engine speed. When the swirl port closes, the tangential port alone handles intake. A turbocharger with variable turbine geometry rounds out this engine.

Another engine, which is planned for the phase following the market launch, is the 2.0 TDI with 135 kW (184 hp) of power output and 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) of torque between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm. A third configuration of the two-liter diesel engine will offer 110 kW (150 hp) and comply with the emission limits of the EU’s Euro 6 standard. The single-most important technology module in these engines will be a unit that adjusts the camshafts by 50 degrees of crank angle. This unit, known as a valve star, is offset by 90 degrees. Each of the two camshafts actuates one intake valve and one exhaust valve per cylinder. A sophisticated emission-control system and an injection system generating as much as 2,000 bar complement this engine.

Among the gasoline engines, a 1.4 TFSI with 90 kW (122 hp) will be the entry-level unit.

Power transmission

The A3 Sedan will initially be fitted with one of two transmissions. The 2.0 TDI will be paired with a six-speed manual transmission, while a seven-speed S tronic is standard with the TFSI engines. As in all Audi transmissions, the gear spread is large. The lower gears have relatively short gear ratios, while the highest gear is comparatively long to reduce engine revs on long rural drives. Short gearshift travel makes it easy to precisely shift the six-speed transmission, which excels thanks to its high efficiency ratio.

The seven-speed S tronic combines the convenience of a classic automatic transmission with the dynamics and efficiency of a manual transmission. It namely comprises two sub-transmissions, which are actuated by two multi-plate clutches. The large K1 clutch located on the outside directs the torque via a solid shaft to the gear wheels for gears 1, 3, 5 and 7. A hollow shaft rotates about the solid shaft. This hollow shaft acts on the gear wheels for gears 2, 4 and 6 as well as reverse. It is connected to the smaller K2 clutch, which is inside the K1 clutch.

Though only one subsidiary transmission is engaged with the engine at any given time, both are continuously active. For example, when the driver accelerates in third gear, the fourth gear is already engaged in the second sub-transmission. Shifts are performed by switching the clutches. This takes just a few hundredths of a second and happens without any noticeable interruption in propulsive power.

The seven-speed S tronic is just 37 cm (14.57 in) in length and weighs some 70 kg (154.32 lb). The two clutch mechanisms do not require an oil supply, which further boosts their already impressive efficiency. A regulated electric oil pump supplies the clutch and gear actuators.

Revs are somewhat higher in the automatic S mode, whereas D mode prioritizes taller gear ratios. When combined with the Audi drive select dynamics system (standard in Ambition), the S tronic includes a free-wheeling function in efficiency mode that further reduces fuel consumption. The driver can control the seven-speed S tronic via the selector lever. Audi can install optional shift paddles on the steering wheel.

Outstanding traction: quattro permanent all-wheel drive
Audi will initially offer the A3 Sedan with front-wheel drive. Down the road, the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system will be paired with the more robust engines. It features a newly developed multi-plate clutch that is hydraulic and electronically controlled.

In the interest of better axle-load distribution, the clutch is located on the end of the prop shaft and in front of the rear-axle differential. Inside is a package of plates that rotate in an oil bath. The metal friction rings are arranged behind one another in pairs. One ring of each pair is rigidly meshed with the clutch basket, which rotates with the prop shaft; the other ring is meshed with the output shaft to the rear-axle differential.

During normal driving, the clutch sends most of the engine’s power to the front wheels. If the front axle loses grip, the clutch can steplessly redistribute torque to the rear axle within milliseconds. A piston automatically presses together the plate packages. The requisite oil pressure, generated by an electrically actuated axial piston pump, can reach nearly 400 bar. A pressure accumulator is no longer needed. Moreover, the clutch has shrunk and is 1.4 kg (3.09 lb) lighter than its predecessor.


A complex design and sportily balanced tuning: the chassis of the Audi A3 Sedan raises the bar. It all starts with an optimized axle-load distribution, itself facilitated by the front axle also being located far forward, near the front end. The front suspension is a MacPherson design with wishbones underneath. The one-piece subframe and the pivot bearings paired with more robust engines are made of aluminum. These aluminum components collectively weigh 6 kg (13.23 lb) less than their steel counterparts. The front suspension has a track of 1,555 millimeters (61.22 in). A stabilizer bar is used for both front and rear axles.

A power steering system contributes to the Audi A3 Sedan’s excellent efficiency. Because the system’s motor is mounted directly on the steering rack, it consumes no energy during straight-ahead driving. Power-steering assistance varies in accordance with the vehicle's speed. Its ratio of 15.3:1 is sportily direct and the vehicle’s turning circle is just 10.9 meters (35.76 ft). Electromechanical steering works closely in conjunction with three assistance systems: rest recommendation, Audi active lane assist and the park assist system.

Upon request, Audi will supply electronically-assisted progressive power steering, though not for the 1.6 TDI. Thanks to a custom-toothed steering rack, steering ratios vary as per steering angle: somewhat indirect around the center and very direct when steered sharply. Progressive power steering makes maneuvering much easier and renders the vehicle’s dynamic handling even more exciting on winding roads.

As for the Audi A3 Sedan’s four-link rear suspension, its track is 1,526 mm (60.08 in). The swordlike trailing arms absorb propulsive and braking forces efficiently. The arms’ bearings are large and exhibit a relatively soft configuration, which enhances ride comfort. Conversely, three transverse links per wheel – designed to absorb lateral forces – are rigidly joined to the steel axle carrier for enhanced handling.

The rear-axle links are made of high-strength grades of steel; the wheel carriers are aluminum. The shock absorbers and the compact coil springs are kept separate, enabling excellent responsiveness and considerable capacity for cargo. Audi offers an optional sport suspension that lowers the body by 15 millimeters (0.59 in); with the S line sports suspension, by 25 millimeters (0.98 in). This decidedly taut suspension is available by itself, or paired with 18-inch wheels as part of the S line sports package.

The A3 leaves the factory with 17-inch or 16-inch alloy wheels in the Ambition and Ambiente lines. The Attraction line is fitted with 16-inch steel wheels. Audi and quattro GmbH offer a broad range of options. The top-of-the-line option: 8 J x 19 wheels in one of three designs fitted with 235/35 tires, with either a semi-polished or machine-polished titanium finish.

The sophisticated flow-forming method is used to manufacture the 18-inch and 19-inch alloy wheels. In this process, the rim well is rolled out over a cylinder under high pressure and at high temperature, rendering the wheel very lightweight but also high-strength. All tires are distinguished by low rolling resistance and powerful performance. A tire-pressure monitoring system and a repair kit are standard; a spare wheel is optional.

Powerful brakes behind the large wheels provide a tautly sporty pedal feel for precise braking. The front discs are ventilated and, depending on the engine, are either 288 or 312 millimeters (11.34 or 12.28 in) in diameter. The rear discs measure 272 mm (10.71 in). The electromechanical parking brake is integrated within the rear-axle braking unit. If necessary, the parking brake can double as an emergency brake. An optional hold assist system maintains brake pressure for a certain time even after the driver has taken his foot off the pedal.

Even more stable and even sportier: The electronic limited slip differential
Electronic limited slip differential is standard in every Audi A3 Sedan with front-wheel drive. A component of electronic stabilization control (ESC), it makes handling even more agile, precise and stable. Upon detecting that the front inside wheel in a turn has been relieved too much, the system’s control unit gently and precisely brakes said wheel. Excess torque then flows to the outside wheel. At the same time, surplus drive traction helps the driver gently turn the car into the corner.

The optional Audi drive select system (standard with the Ambition line) packs even more emotion into driving. The basic version of this system regulates the gas pedal, power steering and the S tronic. The driver can press a button to switch among five modes: comfort, auto, dynamic, individual and efficiency. In efficiency mode, the optional deluxe climate-control system, adaptive light, Audi pre sense basic and adaptive cruise control are operated with an eye on optimized fuel efficiency. Starting with the MMI Radio package, there is also an individual mode. It allows the driver to specify, within certain constraints, his very own profile of preferred settings.

Another optional module for engines as of 110 kW (150 hp) is Audi magnetic ride, an electromagnetic shock-absorber control system. It is integrated within Audi drive select. Circulating inside the shock absorbers’ pistons is a synthetic oil containing tiny magnetic particles. When a coil applies a voltage, a magnetic field is created and the particles align perpendicular to the flow of oil, impeding its flow through the channels in the pistons. A control unit constantly analyzes road conditions and the driver’s style, in turn adjusting the shock absorbers by the millisecond.

The driver can specify one of three different modes: comfort, automatic or dynamic. In comfort mode, when oil viscosity is high, the Audi A3 Sedan offers a particularly well-balanced and comfortable ride. In dynamic mode, at low viscosity, the A3 will hug the road. Steering response becomes better still, roll movements are largely suppressed, and targeted support of individual wheels during fast cornering makes for even more dynamic self-steering. During braking, Audi magnetic ride counteracts the tendency of the body to sag, which is typically 15 mm (0.59 in) lower in the first place.

Infotainment systems

Automotive infotainment also puts the A3 Sedan at the head of the field, showcasing the full extent of the brand’s expertise.

Infotainment for the A3 Sedan was conceived as a set of modular components. It all starts with the standard Audi radio and four loudspeakers. The first upgrade is to the MMI radio which supplies sound to eight loudspeakers. It also features an electrically telescoping 5.8-inch color monitor and the MMI control panel atop the center console. There is also a connectivity package offering numerous plug-in and playback options. If an A3 Sedan customer purchases an SD card with navigation data down the road – or chooses the navigation package from the very beginning – the MMI radio is transformed into a navigation system.

The top-of-the-line version MMI navigation plus with MMI touch features an internal flash-memory drive with 64 GB of storage capacity as well as a DVD drive, a radio with a triple tuner and eight loudspeakers. This version also boasts two memory-card readers, Audi Music Interface (AMI) and a Bluetooth interface for integration of mobile playback devices and smartphones. Whole-word voice input allows the driver to simply explain his destination – or effortlessly operate the phone, Audi connect services and music playback using his voice. Last but not least, a speed-limit indicator reflects real-time data.

The MMI’s central computer is housed in the glove compartment. It comprises two units: the radio car control unit and the MMX board (MMX = Multi-Media eXtension). One of the plug-in module’s key components is a speedy T-20 graphics processor from market leader Nvidia’s Tegra 2 series. This chip generates complex 3D images and handles all online, voice-input, media, navigation and telephone functions.

When the MMI operating system starts up, its 7-inch color screen automatically emerges from the instrument panel. It provides truly crisp images in vivid colors thanks to its resolution of 800x480 pixels; efficient LEDs supply backlighting. Its layer of glass is united directly with the surface of the TFT screen by means of a special lamination process, which leaves no air gap. Premium smartphones are no different. The high-gloss black housing made of lightweight magnesium underscores its elegant look. Just eleven millimeters thick (0.43 in), it is as thin as a mobile telephone.

Clear and logical: The MMI terminal
The MMI terminal is used to control the numerous functions. The conventional wheel/pushbutton controller has been combined with the MMI touchpad to create the touchwheel. A touch-sensitive screen is atop the touchwheel. The driver writes letters or numbers on the screen with his finger and the system provides acoustic feedback after each character is entered. This, in turn, allows the driver to phone or provides him with navigational information.

A straightforward menu makes everything easy to use from day one. The touchwheel is surrounded by a Main Menu key and a Back key; four softkeys for navigating menus; and two rocker switches for navigation, phone, radio and media. The volume control knob can be used to skip tracks. Buttons, paddles, and rollers on the optional multifunction steering wheel can likewise control many functions.

Yet more appealing infotainment options are available for the Audi A3 Sedan. They include a tuner for digital radio reception (DAB+) and the Audi Phone Box, which conveniently and wirelessly links a smartphone to the vehicle’s antenna. Starting with the MMI Radio package, the Audi sound system is an option. Its six-channel amplifier supplies sound to ten loudspeakers.

A Bang & Olufsen sound system will appeal to discerning audiophiles. Installed beneath the driver’s seat, its amplifier delivers 705 watts of sound via 15 channels to 14 active loudspeakers – among them a center speaker and a subwoofer. The system uses a microphone to analyze unwanted noise in the car’s interior and then adjusts accordingly. In combination with the MMI navigation plus DVD drive, music can also play in 5.1 surround sound.

The Bang & Olufsen sound system is also a feast for the eyes. Along the upper edge of the bass speakers in the front doors, a boomerang-like trim strip made of anodized aluminum bears a laser-etched logo of the Danish hi-fi specialists. Also located between the trim strip and the loudspeaker screen is a narrow light guide that radiates white LED light.

Audi connect

As an ideal complement to the A3 Sedan’s MMI navigation plus, Audi offers the optional Audi connect system. This data-transmission module grants online access. Starting in November 2013, Audi will be the world’s first carmaker to utilize the fourth-generation, or 4G, standard known as LTE (Long Term Evolution). Already available in many places, this broadband Internet connection enables download rates as high as 150 Mbit/s and the exchange of large files – such as music and videos – in HD quality.

This lightning-fast transmission of data is especially appealing to A3 Sedan passengers. They can simultaneously enjoy online connectivity on as many as eight mobile devices, thanks to a WLAN hotspot integrated within Audi connect. Audi connect also provides tailored Internet services for the driver. Examples include navigation via Google Earth images and Google Street View, Audi music stream (an Internet radio app), and Audi online traffic information. The online community services Facebook and Twitter have also been adapted for the open road. Along with a text-to-speech function, a text function is provided with templates.

And the range of options is growing rapidly. A brand-new Audi connect service making its debut in the A3 Sedan is the parking-space locator. This feature provides information on parking spaces, multi-level parking facilities and underground garages near the driver’s destination – or anywhere else, for that matter. Whenever possible, this technology will specify the number of available spaces and parking fees. The street address of the parking space can be used as a navigation destination.

Driver assistance systems

Audi is leading the way when it comes to driver assistance systems, as well. Audi offers options for the A3 Sedan that are directly from the luxury class. In the Ambition and Ambiente equipment lines, the driver information system with a color screen and rest recommendation is standard. Rest recommendation technology analyzes the driver’s steering motions, among other things, at speeds between 65 and 200 km/h (40.39 and 124.27 mph). If the system determines that the driver’s attentiveness is declining, then it will recommend some rest by illuminating an indicator in the driver information system and sounding an acoustic signal.

The adaptive cruise control (ACC) is the most complex of the optional driver assistance systems. This radar-based cruise control system, whose sensor is at the bottom of the single-frame grille, maintains this sporty four-door model at a desired distance from the vehicle ahead at speeds – if equipped with a manual transmission – between 30 and 150 km/h (18.64 and 93.21 mph). ACC also accelerates and brakes autonomously in many instances. The driver can choose from several settings regarding following distance and degree of control.

In combination with the S tronic, a stop & go function drops the lower limit of the ACC’s control range to 0 km/h. When the vehicle ahead comes to a stop, the Audi A3 Sedan likewise stops. And after less than three seconds, stop & go gently accelerates the vehicle. If the A3 is equipped with the assistance package comprising several systems, then the ACC’s control range increases to 200 km/h (124.27 mph).

A second system, Audi side assist, helps the driver to change lanes. At speeds above 30 km/h (18.64 mph), radar sensors at the rear monitor what is happening as far away as 70 meters (229.66 ft) behind the A3 Sedan. If Audi side assist considers a vehicle in the blind spot, or one that is closing quickly, hazardous regarding a lane change, then it will alert the driver by illuminating an indicator in the respective exterior mirror. If the driver nonetheless activates the turn signal to change lanes, the indicator will become brighter and begin to flash quickly.

At speeds above 65 km/h (40.39 mph), Audi active lane assist identifies lane markings on the road surface via video camera. If an A3 Sedan driver approaches a lane marking without activating the turn signal, then the system will gently intervene to coax the driver to remain in his lane. The driver can use the MMI to specify how quickly Audi active lane should intervene and whether or not the steering wheel should vibrate. If a driver selects the "early" setting, then the system will help the driver remain in the middle of his lane.

If the A3 Sedan is equipped with MMI navigation plus, then Audi active lane will also feature camera-based traffic sign recognition. This innovation utilizes image data from the on-board video camera to alert the driver to traffic signs stipulating speed limits, no-passing zones and the like. A third feature of Audi active lane assist is the high-beam assistant. Also available as a stand-alone option, this technology switches automatically between high beams and low beams.

Audi offers various options that make parking easy. The high-end solution is park assist with selective display. It can back the A3 Sedan into parking spaces. If necessary, the park assist will make multiple maneuvers, forwards and backwards. The park assist system with selective display can be supplemented with a rearview camera.

The benchmark in its class: Audi pre sense
The safety system Audi pre sense constitutes yet another A3 Sedan technology that raises the bar in its segment. This system consists of several subsystems. Also available as a stand-alone option, Audi pre sense basic will intervene upon detecting an unstable driving situation via the sensors of electronic stabilization control (ESC). More specifically, it will pretension the front seat belts. If the A3 begins to skid, the system will close the windows and the optional panoramic glass sunroof.

Audi pre sense front
By means of warnings and targeted braking intervention, the safety system Audi pre sense front helps the driver avoid imminent accidents or at least keep any damage to a minimum. With the aid of a radar sensor integrated in the A3’s front end, this system continuously monitors the distance to the vehicle ahead. In a critical situation, the first warning consists of visual and audible alarms. If the driver still does not react, then Audi pre sense front briefly brakes the vehicle to jolt the driver into reacting.

If the driver does not brake sufficiently, then the system will automatically brake to the extent necessary to avoid a collision. If the driver does not react at all, Audi pre sense front will automatically decelerate the vehicle to grant the driver more time to react. The system furthermore assists the driver by indicating whenever following distance does not suffice.

City Emergency Braking function
A supplemental feature of Audi pre sense front, the City Emergency Braking Function operates below 30 km/h (18.64 mph). It employs radar sensors to monitor the area ahead of the A3. In case of an imminent collision with a moving or stopped vehicle ahead, the brake system will prep itself for intervention should the driver not react at all. If necessary, the City Emergency Braking Function will automatically initiate maximum braking. And if the driver does not depress the brake pedal enough, then the system will maximize deceleration.

If a crash does indeed occur, then the secondary-collision brake assistant will be activated. Standard in the A3 Sedan, it will, in certain situations, prevent the vehicle from rolling uncontrollably. This feature will also switch on the A3’s interior lighting and hazard warning lights. If the A3 is equipped with Audi connect, then the secondary-collision brake assistant will even alert emergency services.

Prices and equipment

Audi will offer a generous equipment package for its new A3 Sedan. Its package of restraint systems includes seven airbags, an integral head-restraint system, a knee airbag for the driver, and can be supplemented with side airbags in the back. Additional safety features include ISOFIX mountings for child safety seats in the rear, adaptive brake lights, a tire-pressure monitoring system and electronic stabilization control (ESC) with electronic limited slip differential.

Split-folding rear seats, a manual air conditioner and exterior mirrors with integrated LED turn signals are all part of the A3 Sedan’s standard-equipment package. A soundproof windshield, electric windows, height-adjustable front seats and an electromechanical parking brake also merit mentioning.

The driver information system with color display is standard with the Ambition and Ambiente lines. Besides the rest recommendation function, it includes an efficiency program with gear-change indicator. Other Audi A3 Sedan Ambition features include sports seats (optionally S sports seats), a three-spoke sports steering wheel covered in leather, a sports suspension, 17-inch alloy wheels, the Audi drive select driving-dynamics system and fog lights.

The Ambiente line denotes an exceptionally comfortable Audi experience. Standard equipment includes a four-spoke leather steering wheel, cruise control, an LED interior lighting package, a center armrest in the front and a rear parking system. Decorative inlays in a 3D-design “Optic” underscore modern luxury in the interior, while a high-gloss package and 16-inch alloy wheels accentuate the exterior.

In addition, all three lines offer many options taken directly from the luxury class. In the interior alone, they include a panoramic glass sunroof, tinted rear windows, a convenience key, a deluxe climate-control system, auxiliary heating, heated and folding exterior mirrors, a storage and luggage compartment package and an automatic anti-dazzle rearview mirror with light and rain sensors. The heated front seats boast lumbar supports and electric controls.

The many options for steering wheels, seat upholstery, and colors allow customers plenty of leeway to realize their visions. The crème de la crème: the S line sports package and sublime offerings from the Audi exclusive range by quattro GmbH. The Audi A3 Sedan offers state-of-the-art mobile infotainment and driver assistance systems.

The range of headlight technologies is breathtaking. Audi offers xenon plus modules, adaptive light, variable headlight range control, LED headlights and LED taillights. For safe and sporty driving, there is progressive steering, a wide portfolio of wheels up to 19 inches in diameter, two sports suspensions and Audi magnetic ride, a shock-absorber innovation.

This sporty new four-door model is Audi’s foray into the world’s largest market segment: compact sedans. The single-most important sales market will be China, followed by the United States. Thanks to its versatile nature, the A3 Sedan appeals to a broad base of customers. The key cohort will be men around 40 years of age, who tend to prioritize design and sportiness when selecting a new vehicle to purchase. Starting in late summer, the new Audi A3 Sedan will be available at German dealerships for a basic price of 24,300 euros.

Audi A3 Sedan: Prices
A3 1.4 TFSI 24,300 euros
A3 1.8 TFSI27,700 euros
A3 2.0 TDI28,100 euros

Audi S3 Sedan

With 221 kW (300 hp) and 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) of torque between 1,800 and 5,500 rpm, the Audi S3 Sedan has raced to the front of its class. And its fuel efficiency is every bit as groundbreaking. When paired with the six-speed S tronic, the 2.0 TFSI in the S3 Sedan averages just 6.9 liters of fuel per 100 km (34.09 US mpg) as per standards of the ECE (Economic Commission for Europe). The manual transmission results in 7.0 l/100 km (33.60 US mpg).

This high-performance four-cylinder engine has been overhauled, and now relies on the same technologies as the 1.8 TFSI. Advancements include dual injection, integration of the exhaust manifold in the cylinder head, two adjustable camshafts, the Audi valvelift system, innovative thermal management with a rotary valve module, a turbocharger with an electric wastegate valve, a regulated oil pump, reduced internal friction and a thin-walled crankcase. This 2.0 TFSI also weighs several kilograms less than the previous generation.

All of this high-tech synergy makes trying to tame the Audi S3 Sedan’s engine an emotion-packed experience. This four-cylinder unit responds quickly and explosively to the gas pedal. Its custom-designed exhaust system generates an imposingly sporty sound that becomes only more intense in conjunction with the dynamic mode of the Audi drive select system. When equipped with the six-speed S tronic, the Audi S3 Sedan sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in just 4.9 seconds. The six-speed manual transmission needs just four-tenths of a second more. Speed is electronically capped at 250 km/h (155.34 mph).

The lower gears of both transmissions are tightly spaced for sporty performance, while a broad spread of the highest gear ratio reduces engine speed to boost fuel efficiency. The six-speed S tronic can be controlled via optional shift paddles on the steering wheel, and offers the automatic modes D and S in addition to manual mode. Launch Control delivers the engine's power to the road with defined tire slip upon driving off. The quattro permanent all-wheel drive makes use of a re-designed multi-plate clutch. The S3 Sedan is dynamic and stable in all conditions.

A key factor in the dynamic performance of this top-of-the-line model is its lightweight construction. The S3 Sedan boasts a curb weight of just 1,455 kilograms (3,207.73 lb). The sophisticated wheel suspensions and the ideal distribution of axle loads (59% to 41%, front to rear) likewise contribute significantly to sporty handling. The S sports suspension lowers the vehicle body by 25 millimeters (0.98 in).

Progressive steering and the Audi drive select vehicle-dynamics system are standard; Audi magnetic ride – a shock-absorber control system – is available as an option. The Audi S3 Sedan boasts 7.5 J x 18 wheels fitted with 225/40 tires. 19-inch wheels are also available. The front brake discs measure 340 millimeters (13.39 in) in diameter. The brake calipers are black (optionally red) and bear S logos.

Moreover, the exterior design clearly underscores the dynamics of this top-of-the-line model. The S-specific grille sports aluminum-look, double horizontal bars; the insert is matte Platinum Gray. The dual “wings” (chromed plastic contours) housed in the air inlets feature an aluminum look, as do the housings of the outside mirrors. Angular sill strips accentuate the design. The rear spoiler lip and the rear bumper have also been redesigned. A Platinum Gray diffuser encloses the exhaust system’s four elliptical tailpipes.

Black throughout, the interior captivates with sporty elegance. The pedals and footrests are made of brushed aluminum. Instrument gauges are dark gray and the indicators white. The tachometer’s gauge integrates a boost-pressure display. Decorative inlays boast a 3D-design “Black”. Many of the controls feature an aluminum-look finish. The on-board monitor (standard with MMI radio and above) greets the driver with an S logo on the screen when the driver turns on the ignition. Further highlights include S3 emblems and color-contrasting seams. In lieu of standard sports seats, Audi can install optional S sports seats featuring embossed S3 logos.

Standard equipment includes an alarm system, a deluxe automatic air conditioning system, xenon plus headlights and a storage and luggage compartment package. Upon request, Audi can equip the S3 Sedan with any option for this model line – including all infotainment and driver assistance systems. The Audi S3 Sedan will arrive at dealerships in February 2014. The base price in Germany will be 40,400 euros.