One wouldn’t expect Audi to just let Mercedes-Benz and BMW take the lion’s share in the premium compact sedan market without churning out a model that can rival those made by the two German auto giants. Of course not. Not to be outdone by its archrivals, Audi has recently launched its own entry-luxury compact sedan, the A3, at the Shanghai Auto Show last April 20.
Set to compete with Mercedes-Benz’s new CLA-Class as well as BMW’s 1 Series, the A3 employs Audi’s modular transverse architecture platform, known as the MQB. The MQB is a modular transverse kit that underpins a number of the Volkswagen Group’s (Audi’s parent company) most popular models, including the next Audi TT sports car.
While the MQB standardizes the engine compartment, front axle as well as firewall across a number of Volkswagen Group brands, this kit still allows each brand to modify the wheelbase length, interior packages, rear suspension setup and trunk packaging.
The end result for Audi is a “baby” sedan that measures 1.8 meters wide, 4.46 meters long, with short overhangs, sharper door lines and slightly larger wheel arches than the 1.91-meter-wide, 4.29-meter-long A3 Sportback variant. The A3 Sedan’s 2.64-meter wheelbase makes it 6.2 centimeters longer than the Sportback as well as shorter and wider than the CLA-Class of Mercedes-Benz.
The new A3 is distinguished by its hexagonal single-frame grille, rectangular front fog lights, bonnet hood with sharp fold lines, and new headlight design with wave-shaped lower edge. The sedan also features LED daytime running lights with optional xenon headlights that are unique to the A3. It also has a new rear light design, sharp side shoulder and lower dynamic lines, a wide and low profile C-pillar, and rear spoiler which helps improve aerodynamics.
Basic and top-of-the-line engines are among several options of completely redesigned, four-cylinder engines available in the market. The basic power plant is the 1.4-liter turbo fuel stratified injection (TFSI) engine that generates 142 horsepower and 250 Newton-meters of torque. While its zero to 100 kilometers per hour sprint is a brisk 8.4 seconds, it is rated to consume fuel at just 21.28 kilometers per liter. As for the A3 sedan’s top-of-the-line engine, one can opt for the 1.8-liter TFSI version that generates 182 hp and 250 Nm of torque that can power the car to sprint from 0 to 100 kph in just 7.3 seconds.
These engines bring together fuel efficiency technologies from Audi like direct fuel injection, turbocharging, innovative thermal management and start-stop system. Transmission options include a six-speed manual or seven-speed S-Tronic automatic gearbox.
For the buyer who yearns for an Audi that can outdo its other models, the high-performance S3 version will soon be available to delight many motoring enthusiasts. This turbocharged 2-liter, four-cylinder model offers an exciting 300 hp and 380 Nm of torque performance as well as a rewarding 17.54 kph fuel efficiency rating.
Aside from the hallmark four tailpipes, silver exterior mirror housings, sports seats (optional S sports seats are also available), cluster instruments with fray dials and trim strips in black 3D look, the S-model is also distinguished by its modified bumpers, a single-frame grille, air intakes, side sills and rear spoiler.
And despite the many high-end compact sedans launched this year in the market, the Audi A3 and S3 models will surely bring the excitement of many luxury car buyers a notch higher not just in the Philippines but also in China, which is currently the biggest car market in the world.
The A3 will be available in the Philippines within the year. Make sure you’re ready to shell out around P2.8 million when you head to the nearest showroom of PGA Cars, the exclusive distributor of Audi in the Philippines.