Sporty, versatile and functional - Audi presented the new A3 Sportback. The compact five-door model with the spacious luggage compartment is groundbreakingly light thanks to ultra lightweight technology. The engines are powerful and highly efficient. The infotainment with the intuitive connect technology and the driver assistance systems available in the new Audi A3 Sportback set new standards in the premium compact segment. The overall design language concentrates on the essentials, with each individual design element making a confident aesthetic statement.
A lightweight car is a prerequisite for sportiness and efficiency. ultra lightweight technology from Audi reduces the weight of the new Audi A3 Sportback by as much as 90 kilograms (198.42 lb) compared with the previous version. Equipped with the 1.4 TFSI engine, the five-door model has a curb weight (without driver) of just 1,205 kilograms (2,656.57 lb). Hot-shaped steels are used in the occupant cell of the new A3 Sportback to reduce the weight. The complete occupant cell is 37 kilograms (81.57 lb) lighter overall than in the previous model. Significant weight reductions were also achieved in the interior and with the engines. Audi, worldwide pioneer in lightweight construction, has reversed the weight spiral and once again set a new record.
The body of the new Audi A3 Sportback is long and lean. While the length (4,310 millimeters [14.14 ft]), width (1,780 millimeters [5.84 ft]) and height (1,425 millimeters [4.68 ft]) of the new model are only slightly greater than on the previous model, the wheelbase is now significantly longer at 2,636 millimeters (8.65 ft), an increase of 58 millimeters (2.28 in).
The front end is low; the roof arch spans a dome that extends beyond the subtle roof spoiler to the muscular tail end. The design with the three side windows is taut, with every detail precise and expressive. The large wheel wells underscore the sporty aspirations of the new Audi A3 Sportback.
The distinctive, Stone Gray single-frame grille with the angled upper corners is the distinguishing element at the front of the vehicle. Its horizontal slats and the Audi rings are highlighted three-dimensionally. The flat headlights are works of art and give the new Audi A3 Sportback a determined gaze. Full LED headlights will be offered at a later time.
The interior of the new A3 Sportback is elegant, airy and cleanly designed. It carries over the dynamics of the exterior. The instrument panel with its curving front is slim and low. Together with the center console oriented toward the driver, it appears to float slightly.
Large, round air nozzles in jet design, the elegant user interface panel for the climate control system and sculpturally styled trim set the tone - with their polish they bring the quality of the full-size class into the new Audi A3 Sportback. The seats and steering wheels are new developments, and the car's user controls are clear and intuitive - as they are in every Audi. The compact five-door model offers a generous luggage capacity of between 380 and 1,220 liters (13.42 and 43.08 cu ft).
Audi ultra lightweight technology
ultra lightweight construction has long been a main pillar of the brand. Audi recorded a pioneering achievement in the use of aluminum as a body material back in 1994: The first A8 had a full-aluminum body in ASF (Audi Space Frame) technology.
ultra lightweight technology reduces the weight of the new Audi A3 Sportback by as much as 90 kilograms (199.42 lb) compared with the previous version. Equipped with the 1.4 TFSI engine, the compact five-door model has a curb weight (without driver) of just 1,205 kilograms (2,656.57 lb). Audi, worldwide pioneer in lightweight construction, has reversed the weight spiral and once again set a new record.
ultra lightweight construction in the body
The broad-based expertise of the Audi body development engineers is by no means restricted to a certain material, but rather encompasses all relevant materials. The multimaterial construction of the new Audi A3 Sportback is entirely in keeping with the motto "The right material at the right place for optimal function."
High-end components of hot-shaped steel in the occupant cell form a strong, yet lightweight structure. Before deformation, they are heated in a continuous flow furnace to nearly 1,000 degrees Celsius and are then cooled to about 200 degrees in a water-cooled stamping press.
This extreme temperature jump creates an iron-carbon structure with extreme tensile strength. Hot shaped steels are able to perform with relatively thin walls, and this makes them lightweight.
Hot-shaped steels represent a roughly 25 percent share of body materials. They 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. What is known as a tailored rolled blank forms the transition from the floor to the rear body section - its eleven individual segments are rolled into five different thicknesses.
The B-pillars also consist of this high-end steel; their lower sections are more flexible than above, since the energy of a side-impact collision must be absorbed here. All together, the hot-shaped steels in the new Audi A3 Sportback reduce the weight of the vehicle by 37 kilograms (81.57 lb) compared with the previous model.
High-strength and ultra-high-strength steel grades are used in many other body areas such as in the side members and in the floor of the passenger cell. The engine hood, fenders, the subframe of the front axle and the sections mounted behind the front bumper as crash absorbers are made of aluminum. Together the aluminum components save around twelve kilograms (26.46 lb), thus improving axle load distribution.
Processing aluminum components in body construction and joining these components with steel components are challenging tasks. The same is true of welding hot-shaped components, which are coated with a corrosion-inhibiting aluminum-silicon alloy. Audi benefits here from its extensive know-how in ultra lightweight construction - the joining technologies have been practice-proven for years now in models such as the TT. A number of very different joining technologies are used to assemble the new A3 Sportback, including bonding, clinching and punch riveting.
Between the side wall and the roof, which are both made of steel, a Plasmatron brazed seam produces the joint, where the allowable tolerance is just a few tenths of a millimeter. The finished seam is smoothed with brushes - the practically invisible zero-joint that is produced is an expression of the stringent precision thinking at Audi.
Unlike the previous model, the doors and window frames are stamped in one piece, and this also saves weight. The door hinges integrate a convenient new type of clamping mechanism.
Rigidity and acoustics
The body of the new Audi A3 Sportback attains very good values in static and dynamic torsional rigidity - this creates the foundation for its high precision, e.g. in the fits of doors, hoods, trunk lids, in production and in the acoustic comfort inside the car. A noise-insulating windshield is standard equipment; despite the addition of an intermediate film layer, it is no heavier than the previous windshield.
New are two encircling sealing lines that reduce wind noise in the area of the doors and windows. They also keep the entry sills clean. The design of the exterior mirrors, which are mounted to the upper door panels, also contributes to the car's acoustic comfort.
Many other measures have been implemented to reduce interior noise in the new A3 Sportback, including wheel housing shells made of an acoustically insulating fleece material - its weight impact is 0.5 kg (1.10 lb). The insulation used behind the pillar trim, behind the instrument panel and in the luggage compartment consists of the same lightweight material.
Safety and aerodynamics
The new Audi A3 Sportback 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. The structural members for the engine and front suspension, as well as the sections in the upper area of the fenders, act as additional load paths. If necessary, the pedals are decoupled from the firewall; the steering column absorbs energy and is not displaced into the occupant cell.
In a side impact, the occupant cell offers excellent protection with its hot-shaped steel components such as the sills and B-pillars. In a rear-end collision, the bumper's cross members redirect loads to the large side members made of high-strength steel.
The new Audi A3 Sportback meets all legal requirements for the protection of pedestrians in the event of a collision. Starting at a specific collision speed, a new system is activated. Pyrotechnic elements at the back of the engine hood raise it upward. This increases the distance between the engine hood and the engine components, thus cushioning the impact with the pedestrian.
Minor collisions, such as the standardized low-speed collision, do not result in any major financial impact, which is also reflected in the car's favorable type classification - the new Audi A3 Sportback is rated the best-in-class for its market segment. It also performs well in the RCAR bumper test, focused on the compatibility with the other party in the collision.
The new Audi A3 Sportback is planted firmly on the road - a strength attributable in large part to Audi's aerodynamics specialists. The underbody back to the B-pillar is completely lined. The covering is made of glass fiber-reinforced polymer. It protects the sheet metal and engines from salt, water and stone impact and absorbs undesirable vibrations. Small spoilers in front of the wheels help to guide the air flow with low drag losses. The aerodynamic underbody of the new Audi A3 Sportback reduces aerodynamic drag by about ten percent. To take full advantage of the aerodynamic potential, a great deal of effort was also focused on the flow of air through the engine compartment.
Thanks in part to the aerodynamic fine tuning in such areas as the underbody and the engine compartment, the new Audi A3 Sportback has a coefficient of drag of just 0.31 with a frontal area of 2.13 mÂ² (22.93 sq ft).
ultra lightweight construction in the interior
The Audi ultra lightweight principle is not limited to the body or to specific subassemblies and parts - developers always consider the vehicle as a whole, and in their work every gram counts. This is the only way the car's curb weight could be reduced by up to 90 kg (198.42 lb) compared with the previous model.
The engineers have internalized the Audi ultra lightweight principle, and in the interior of the new Audi A3 Sportback they also succeeded in eliminating every superfluous gram. The redesigned seats contribute a one kilogram (2.20 lb) weight savings; lightweight plastic inserts replace the steel wire used previously in the frame of the rear bench seat.
A new control unit arrangement requires fewer wires, thus reducing the weight by 1.5 kilograms (3.31 lb). The blower motor requires fewer coils, and the air conditioning system shed four kilograms (8.82 lb) of weight. The housing of the passenger airbag is made of polymer; the mounting for the MMI monitor is made of magnesium. Together these two solutions save 640 grams (1.41 lb). In the previous model, many linings in the interior were fastened with steel screws. In the new Audi A3 Sportback, polymer expanding rivets were used here for a weight savings of four grams (0.01 lb) per fastening point. When it comes to the Audi ultra lightweight construction principle, every gram counts.
ultra lightweight construction in engines and chassis
The engines of the new Audi A3 Sportback have shed a significant amount of weight as well. The engines of the new A3 have shed a lot of weight as well. The 1.8 TFSI, for example, weighs just a little over 130 kilograms (286.60 lb), while the 1.4 TFSI weighs in at just 107 kilograms (235.89 lb) - 21 kilograms (46.30 lb) less than the previous engine. With a weight difference of 15 kilograms (33.07 lb), the aluminum crankcase accounts for the largest share of reductions, but progress has also been made in many small engine details - e.g. in the new aluminum pistons and the hollow-bored connecting rod pins.
In the 1.8 TFSI, the thin-wall technology of the crankcase reduces weight by 2.4 kilograms (5.29 lb). In the 2.0 TDI, the balance shafts are mounted in the engine block, which accounts for three kilograms (6.61 lb) of savings, while modified sound dampers in the exhaust system save an additional two kilograms (4.41 lb). Weight was trimmed from the exhaust system in all engine versions.
In the chassis, the new one-piece aluminum subframe and aluminum pivot bearings (depending on the engine) reduced the weight of the front suspension system by about six kilograms (13.23 lb). The optional 18-inch alloy wheels are no heavier than the 17-inch wheels; they are produced by a complex flow-forming technology. In this process, the rim well is rolled out over a cylinder under high pressure and at high temperature. The system shapes the wheel blank in a single work step, during which the material also becomes stronger. This permits thinner wall thicknesses so that the wheel is both lighter and stronger.
In developing the new A3, Audi conducted an environmental assessment of two of the engine versions. The 1.4 TFSI and the 2.0 TDI - both with a manual transmission - were subjected to a detailed analysis. Both versions offer clear benefits compared with their respective previous models. Greenhouse gas emissions, for example, are reduced by roughly two metric tons per model. This corresponds to roughly seven to nine percent of the greenhouse gas emissions over the entire life cycle. This is due in large part to the substantially lower fuel consumption and low weight of the new models. At the end of its life, about 95 percent of the new Audi A3 Sportback can be recycled.
The theme of sustainability is a high priority in production as well. The new hall, in which the bodies of the A3 Sportback are produced, has a photovoltaic system on its roof that covers 7,500 m2 (80,729.33 sq ft) of surface area. It generates about 460 MWh of electricity annually, which avoids 245 metric tons (270.07 US tons) of CO2 emissions. All production systems and their control units are networked into an intelligent shut-down strategy that saves a lot of electricity.
The new Audi A3 Sportback is long and lean. While the length (4,310 millimeters [14.14 ft]), width (1,780 millimeters [5.84 ft]) and height (1,425 millimeters [4.68 ft]) are only slightly greater than on the previous model, the wheelbase is now significantly longer at 2,636 millimeters (8.65 ft), an increase of 58 millimeters (2.28 in). The overall design language of the new Audi A3 Sportback concentrates on the essentials, with each individual design element making a clear and confident aesthetic statement. The front end is low; the roof arch spans a dome that extends beyond the subtle roof spoiler to the muscular tail end. The ratio of metal surface area to windows is two-thirds to one-third - a typical proportion for Audi.
The design with the three side windows is taut, with every detail precise and expressive. The tautly curved surfaces, the sharp shoulder of the body and the relatively narrow, sharply inclined C-pillar give the new Audi A3 Sportback its typical character. The sharply defined tornado line articulates the flank below the windows and evokes a powerful shoulder. The dynamic line above the side sills runs upward toward the rear. The large, precisely defined wheel wells and the subtle roof spoiler underscore the sporty aspirations of the new Audi A3 Sportback. The same applies to the exterior mirrors with integrated LED turn signals, which like with a sports car are mounted on the doors.
The distinguishing element of the front end is the distinctive, Stone Gray single-frame grille with the angled upper corners. Its horizontal slats and the Audi rings are highlighted three-dimensionally. A slender, chrome-plated frame surrounds the grille. Large air intakes up front hint at the supreme power of the engines.
The flat headlights are works of art of the highest technical precision and give the new Audi A3 Sportback a determined gaze. They are styled in a wedge shape, and their lower edges are contoured in a slight wave. In the optional xenon plus modules, the LED daytime running lights form clear, visually uniform contours of lights at the upper and lower edges, which suggest the shape of an eyebrow. The turn signal lights are at the pointed corner of the headlight behind the "wing" - a narrow, chrome-plated fin that is a typical Audi feature.
As an option, Audi can supply the new A3 Sportback with the high-beam assistant, and - in conjunction with xenon plus headlights - with adaptive light. It integrates a special curve, cornering and intersection light function and can be supplemented by variable headlight range control. It works together with the front-facing camera to adjust the light-dark boundary of the headlights automatically in response to approaching vehicles or the vehicles ahead. Full LED headlights will be offered somewhat later.
The rear is sculptured, and the split rear lights underscore its width. Audi offers LED rear lights in combination with the xenon plus headlights; LED light conductors appear to form a continuous arch. The adaptive brake light, which pulses at high frequency during hard braking, is standard. A sharp crease sets off the diffuser. Depending on the engine, the exhaust system terminates in one or two tailpipes on the left side of the car. On the Ambition and Ambiente they are chrome-plated.
The S line exterior package further sharpens the look of the premium compact car. The single-frame grille is painted in a high-gloss black, honeycomb-look screens with fog lights fill the large air inlets, which are bordered by powerful edges. Suggested air inlets that extend towards the wheels create distinctive visual accents. The sills have distinctive add-on strips. The roof spoiler has been lengthened, the bumper has an additional edge, the platinum gray diffuser includes a honeycomb-pattern insert, and the tailpipes of the exhaust system are chrome-plated.
There are twelve paint colors from which to choose. The solid finishes are called Amalfi White, Brilliant Red and Brilliant Black. The metallic finishes are Beluga Brown, Dakota Gray, Ice Silver, Glacier White, Monsoon Gray, Scuba Blue and Shiraz Red. The pearl-effect finishes Phantom Black and Misano Red round out the selection. The optional high-gloss package offers small highlights in the area of the side windows (standard with the Ambiente line).
The interior of the new Audi A3 Sportback is marked by an elegant, clean and light design. The dynamics of the exterior are also fully carried over here; the lines and surfaces are dynamic and taut. In the style of the larger Audi model series, a long arch called the wrap-around runs below the windshield. The instrument panel with its curving front is slim and low. Together with the center console oriented slightly toward the driver, it appears to float slightly.
The clean ergonomics are a classic Audi strength. The MMI operating system with the power-retractable monitor is available with the MMI radio and above. The center tunnel console, framed on both sides by knee pads in the style of the TT sports car, presents a clean, well-organized look. Thanks to the new electromechanical parking brake, there is no longer any brake lever; this has created space for the terminal of the optional MMI user interface. The armrest is adjustable in length and height.
The driver seats at an elegant steering wheel. Depending on the version, it has three or four spokes, a flat-bottomed rim, multifunction buttons and shift paddles. The large dial instruments can be easily read at a glance. The driver information system, which is available with an optional color monitor, displays useful data on a 3.5-inch display. These include such things as the current radio station or song title, speed, outside temperature and the time, as well as information from the navigation and driver assistance systems if present. The on-board computer provides information on fuel consumption, average speed and the time and distance driven. Furthermore, the integrated efficiency program supports an economical driving style.
The newly developed front seats offer countless adjustment possibilities for optimal support. Audi also offers optional sport seats (standard with Ambition), which can also be adjusted to the driver's body size. Another comfort and safety feature is the high-adjustable seat belt. S sport seats with integrated head restraints will be offered somewhat later as part of the S line sport package.
The new Audi A3 Sportback also offers several millimeters more head and leg room than the previous model. Thanks to the 58-millimeter (2.28 in) increase in wheelbase, it also offers enough head, elbow, knee and foot room in the rear. The L-shaped rear head restraints provide for good rear visibility.
The interior of the new A3 Sportback conveys the luxurious look and feel of the full-size class. The sculpted inlays are just one of the highlights. Audi offers a choice of Aluminum Mistral or 3D glass-look inlays (standard with Ambiente) as options. The top-of-the-line version is manufactured using a complex process. The transparent film that is drawn over the base part is imprinted with a pattern of tiny triangles five times. A layer of transparent polycarbonate amplifies the 3D visual effect and at the same time gives the trim an extraordinary glass-like look.
The four large, round air nozzles in classic jet design are a typical Audi feature that simultaneously reflects technological aesthetics. Each of the air nozzles consists of over 30 individual parts, and tolerances of just a few hundredths of a millimeter are allowable. Their air flow is adjusted by pulling on the central axis - this varies the air flow from broadly dispersed or draft-free to a focused stream. When the rings are turned, they make the sound of technical precision - a fine, precisely-defined click.
The Audi A3 Sportback comes standard with a manual air conditioning system. The control unit for the optional deluxe automatic air conditioning 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. The optional interior lighting package (standard with Ambiente) accents the interior with additional highlights: Small LED lights are placed in the headlining, front and rear, in the make-up mirrors, doors, and foot areas, at the cup holder, in the glove box and on the exterior mirrors.
Interior colors are adapted to the respective trim line. Attraction is the modern, Ambition the sporty and Ambiente the luxurious, comfort-oriented line. In the A3 Sportback Attraction, the interior is bathed in black or titanium gray; the interior of the sporty Ambition line is either all black or black with additional silver, blue or yellow contrasting elements.
The two-tone Audi design selection capri orange is available as an exclusive option for Ambition. This exclusive design from the Audi designers features a youthful color combination. The colors pashmina beige and chestnut brown are available with the luxurious Ambiente trim line.
Additional distinctions are made in the materials that are used. Cloth seats are standard with the Attraction and Ambition lines; Ambiente comes standard with a mix of cloth and synthetic leather. Milano leather in black, pashmina beige, gray, brown and capri orange (Ambition only) or a combination of Pearl Nappa leather and Alcantara in black or gray are available as options. When Milano leather is selected in conjunction with sport seats, the shoulder area is upholstered in Velvet leather. Special processing gives it a rugged, slightly rough surface similar to that of suede.
The S line sport package, which is available for the Audi A3 Sportback Ambition, completely immerses the interior in black - even the headlining. Seat upholstery options are available in various materials - ranging from a cloth/leather combination to Fine Nappa leather; S line logos are embossed on the front seatbacks. Silver seams accentuate the styling, while the same color is used in contrasting seams for the borders of the floor mats; the decorative trim strips are made of matt brushed aluminum. Besides the S line sport suspension, a gear knob in perforated leather and a three-spoke leather-covered sport steering wheel - optionally with a flattened ring - emphasize the dynamic atmosphere.
The luggage compartment of the new Audi A3 Sportback has a capacity of 380 liters (13.42 cu ft) in its standard configuration and 1,220 liters (43.08 cu ft) with the rear seats folded down. The cargo floor is flat, and the opening between the wheel wells measures 1,000 millimeters (39.37 in). The cargo floor can be inserted on two levels, and the supports on which it rests are marked with small LED lights. The rear seat can be folded down in a 60:40 split or as a whole. Practical bag hooks and lashing eyes in the cargo compartment are standard.
As options for the new A3 Sportback, Audi offers a load-through hatch, a ski and snowboard sack, a reversible floor mat and a storage and luggage compartment package. For the interior, this package offers nets on the backs of the front seats and in the front passenger area, a 12-volt outlet and a storage bin for safety vests under the middle rear seat.
For the luggage compartment, it offers a 12-volt outlet, a multi-fixing point for shopping bags, a luggage net and a compartment with net on the left side.
Audi's leadership in automotive electrical and electronic systems can also be fully experienced in the new A3 Sportback - the premium compact offers a comprehensive system of infotainment components. The heart of the mobile communications electronics is a groundbreaking innovation: the modular infotainment platform (MIB). This concept enables very fast innovation cycles in development.
The new Audi A3 Sportback comes standard with the Audi radio with a 2.5-inch monochrome display and a CD drive that also plays MP3 and WMA files. Its head unit can be lowered into the instrument panel, and an Aux-in port makes it possible to connect auxiliary devices. The Audi radio drives four loudspeakers with 80 watts of output power.
The next step up - the MMI radio - adds a control terminal on the center tunnel console and the power-retractable 5.8-inch monitor. This can be supplemented with the optional connectivity package, which includes the Audi music interface for the integration of a mobile player, a Bluetooth interface, navigation system preparation and an additional SDXC card reader. If the customer later buys an SD card with navigation data or chooses the navigation package from the very beginning, the MMI radio becomes a navigation system.
The new central computer of the MIB is located in the glove compartment of the Audi A3 Sportback. 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 the fast T-20 graphics process from market leader Nvidia's Tegra 2 series. The chip, which generates complex 3D images, is used in all online, voice control, media, navigation and telephone functions. The screen with the high-resolution monitor (5.8 or 7.0-inch diagonal) extends from the instrument panel when the system is started.
The MMI terminal is used to control the numerous functions. Audi is also presenting important innovations for the control terminal on the center tunnel console. The hard keys for navigation, telephone, radio and media have been rearranged and are now implemented as toggle switches. The volume control includes a skip function.
MMI navigation plus
The top version available in the new Audi A3 Sportback is the MMI navigation plus with MMI touch - a media center with 64 GB of storage capacity, DVD drive and whole-word voice control. The high-resolution 7-inch monitor displays the map with detailed 3D graphics. Mobile phones and auxiliary devices can be paired with MMI navigation plus through the integrated Bluetooth interface.
The power-retractable 7.0-inch monitor extending from the instrument panel has a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels for razor-sharp images with brilliant colors. Efficient LEDs provide the backlight. The cover glass is bonded directly to the surface of the TFT screen by means of a special lamination process, leaving no air gap between the display glass and the cover glass. Just eleven millimeters thin and painted in glossy black, its lightweight magnesium housing gives it an elegant, premium look.
The large rotary pushbutton has been consolidated with the touchpad called MMI touch to form the touch wheel. The top of the control wheel is a touch-sensitive field. The MMI touch, which is a solution from the Audi full-size class, works with handwriting recognition. The driver writes letters or numbers he or she wishes to input for navigation or a phone call on the touch-sensitive screen by fingertip on the pad; the system then provides acoustic feedback after each character. MMI touch will be of special interest to Asian customers, because it can process tens of thousands of characters.
A voice control system is available as an alternative to manual user control at the MMI terminal. The driver can use it to input the name of the city and street in a single command and to control the telephone, Audi connect services and music playback.
The user menus in the A3 Sportback have a new layout. In the media area, for instance, the player and media center are clearly separated; song titles, albums and artists can be located directly via free text search. The point-of-interest search for the navigation system has been simplified. The map can be used to access online traffic information, Google Earth images and the 360 degree view offered by Google Maps Street View. The point-of-interest search and the new Picturebook Navigation functions can also be activated there. Many telephone functions have been improved. The services Weather, Refuelling Stop, Travel Information, News Online, City Events, Flight and Train Information, Facebook and Twitter have been consolidated under the Audi connect menu.
Attractive modules round out the diverse range of multimedia systems available. These include a module for digital radio reception and the Audi phone box, which connects the cell phone to the vehicle's antenna. The Audi sound system, in which a six-channel amplifier drives ten loudspeakers including a center speaker and subwoofer, is available with the MMI radio and above.
Delivering even more audio enjoyment is the Bang & Olufsen Sound System, the most sophisticated sound system in the premium compact class. Its key component is an amplifier with 705 watts of output power that is mounted in the center of the cabin. It drives 14 active loudspeakers over 15 channels. The system uses a microphone to record intrusive noise in the cabin in order to adjust the sound accordingly. In combination with MMI navigation plus, the sound is also output in 5.1 format. The two woofers in the doors also offer visual highlights - running along their upper edges is an arc-shaped trim strip of anodized aluminum, in which the logo of the Danish hi-fi specialist is laser-engraved. Located between the trim strip and the loudspeaker screen is an ultra-narrow light conductor which radiates white LED light.
The vision of networked mobility becomes reality in the new Audi A3 Sportback. All of the technologies that connect the driver to the car, the Internet, the infrastructure and other vehicles are consolidated under the term "Audi connect." This takes the comfort and the pleasure in a car to a new level. The hardware component is the optional feature Audi connect.
Audi connect, an extension of MMI navigation plus, connects to the Internet via UMTS. The integrated WLAN hotspot allows passengers to freely surf and send e-mails on up to eight mobile devices. The system delivers Internet services tailored for the driver to the car - from navigation with Google Earth images and Google Maps Street View to Audi music stream to Audi traffic information online or online services such as Facebook and Twitter. Audi connect also provides flight and train information, and the City Events service provides information on current happenings. Audi will be implementing the new LTE standard in the near future, which accelerates Internet access to as much as 100 Mbit/s. This benefits the Audi connect services and will also enable new applications, such as HD video streaming, online games etc. via the WLAN hotspot in the vehicle.
The services Facebook, Twitter and news online, as well as navigation destinations and the image sources for the new Picturebook Navigation can be configured using an active myAudi account linked to the vehicle. This allows the services to be adapted to each person's individual requirements.
The online community services Facebook and Twitter have been integrated into Audi connect in a car-friendly way. Joining the text-to-speech function is a practical text function: For example, preconfigured text modules can be sent to customers, business partners, family members and friends. These can also include data such as the current location, if desired.
News online (individual) - this offering from Audi connect delivers the content of renowned national and international news desks in the predefined language via the MMI navigation plus.
The standard information sources (ATP, Tagesschau, Deutsche Welle) can be supplemented with custom news sources configured via RSS feeds.
The Audi connect Refuelling Stop service lists gas stations nearby or at another location, such as the destination city. The search results, which also take into account the type of fuel required by the vehicle, can be sorted according to price or distance.
The E-mail service transmits incoming messages from the mobile phone to the vehicle via Bluetooth. The driver can choose to have the content read aloud, after which the e-mail is marked as "Read."
The Messages service enables the driver to send text messages (SMS) quickly and easily using voice control without ever having to pick up the cell phone. Following the command "Dictate text message to
Another new service from Audi connect is Picturebook Navigation. The driver stores photos of destinations linked with geopositioning data in a "picture book" on a server. These can be the driver's own photos or images from Google Maps Street View or the Internet community. The driver can then use the images to put together a route. This service is particularly attractive for vacations. The photos are loaded into the picture box either via SD card or via a myAudi account linked to the vehicle.
Audi is making great strides in advancing the networking of its vehicles. New technologies, e.g. in seamless usage of widely diverse media, are increasingly making cars bearing the four rings more of an experiential space. Audi is building up its own IT capacities in a large way. Over the mid-term, the brand is focusing on Car-to-X communication, i.e. information exchange with other vehicles and the traffic infrastructure. This will open up many new opportunities for making driving even more safe, relaxed and economical.
Driver assistance systems
The new Audi A3 Sportback is also bringing highly developed technologies from the full-size class to the premium compact segment when it comes to driver assistance systems, such as the Audi adaptive cruise control (ACC). The radar-based cruise control system, whose sensor is located in the lower section of the single-frame grille, keeps the car at a desired distance from the vehicle ahead at speeds between 30 and 150 km/h (18.64 and 93.21 mph). It accelerates and brakes autonomously within certain limits.
The driver can adjust the distance and the control dynamics in four levels. If the assistance package (which consolidates multiple systems including the parking system plus with selective display and Audi active lane assist), the speed range at which ACC is active extends up to 200 km/h (124.27 mph). The stop & go function in combination with the S tronic complements the ACC. This function can brake the new A3 Sportback to a stop when a vehicle in front is stopping, and it can automatically resume driving if the stopped phase lasts less than three seconds.
Audi active lane assist becomes active at a speed of 65 km/h (40.39 mph). A video camera in the interior mirror identifies the lane markings on the road surface. If the new Audi A3 Sportback approaches one of them without using the turn signal, the system helps the driver to steer back into the lane. The MMI control system is used to specify how quickly this assistance system should intervene as well as whether the steering wheel should vibrate in conjunction with this. If early correction is activated, the system helps to return the car to the center of the lane by intervening slightly in the electromechanical steering.
The optional Audi side assist helps the driver to change lanes at speeds of 30 km/h (18.64 mph) and above. Two radar sensors in the rear monitor the area to the side of and behind the car at a distance of about 70 meters (230 ft). If Audi side assist considers a vehicle detected in the blind spot or approaching rapidly from the rear to be critical for a lane change, it signals this by illuminating the indicator in the respective exterior mirror. If the driver activates the turn signal in such a situation, the indicator blinks brightly and rapidly several times - a very prominent warning signal.
The camera-based traffic sign recognition system recognizes speed limits, including conditional speed limits (when wet, between certain times, only for trailers), and presents these as an additional item in the display of the driver information system. The output of the traffic sign recognition system can be configured using the multifunction steering wheel.
Also integrated into the driver information system is the rest recommendation function, which 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 analysis reveals indications that the driver's attentiveness is declining, the system recommends a rest by illuminating an indicator in the driver information system and sounding an acoustic signal. The rest recommendation can be deactivated.
Audi offers various options that make parking easy. When maneuvering in reverse, the rear parking system measures the distance to obstacles behind the car with four ultrasonic sensors. Parking system plus with selective display utilizes four additional sensors to detect such obstacles as vertical posts in front of and behind the new Audi A3 Sportback. They are shown in the driver information system display, on the MMI monitor and in critical situations are also indicated acoustically.
The high-end solution is park assist with selective display - it can back the new A3 Sportback into parking spaces. To find a parking space, it measures spots along the side of the road when traveling at moderate speeds - up to 40 km/h (24.85 mph) when parallel parking and up to 20 km/h (12.43 mph) when perpendicular parking. A notification appears in the driver information system display when the system finds a suitable spot.
If the driver now puts the car into reverse, the system takes control of the electromechanical steering. The driver must continue to accelerate, shift gears and brake. When parallel parking, it suffices if the space is roughly 0.8 meters (2.62 ft) longer than the vehicle. When perpendicular parking, 0.7 meters (2.30 ft) of additional width is sufficient. Park assist will maneuver forward and backward multiple times, if necessary. It offers similar support when pulling out of parallel parking spots. In this case, 0.5 meters (1.64 ft) is sufficient. The park assist and the parking system plus can be supplemented with a reversing camera, which is integrated inconspicuously into the handle of the tailgate.
One technology with which the new A3 Sportback is setting new standards in the compact segment is the optional safety system Audi pre sense basic. If it detects an unstable driving state via the sensors of the electronic stabilization control (ESC), it pretensions the front seatbelts. If the Audi A3 Sportback begins to skid, the system closes the windows and the optional sunroof.
The function pre sense front is integrated into the adaptive cruise control (ACC). In case of an impending collision, the system warns the driver in stages, depending on the severity of the situation. The first stage involves output of visual and acoustic signals, and the second is a warning jolt in the braking system - a brief braking pulse. If the driver now steps on the pedal, the system supports the intended braking so that a collision can be avoided.
However, if the driver remains passive, the ACC initiates braking at partial braking power to reduce the speed at impact. In an emergency, and at speeds of less than 30 km/h (18.64 mph), the system can autonomously slow the new A3 Sportback with nearly full braking power, regardless of whether the vehicle in front of the A3 is in motion or stationary. At speeds of less than 20 km/h, this function can avoid an accident altogether in some situations; in this case, the collision speed and the severity of the accident can be reduced substantially.
If a collision occurs nevertheless, a new subsystem is activated: the multicollision brake assistant. It helps to ensure that the vehicle does not continue rolling uncontrolled, while at the same time the cabin lights and the hazard lights are switched on. If the car is equipped with Audi connect, an emergency call is made automatically.
Precisely designed, powerful halogen headlights with clear glass covers ensure that the new Audi A3 Sportback comes standard with good visibility in the dark. The A3 Sportback is optionally available with xenon plus headlights. The automatic headlight range control helps to prevent blinding oncoming traffic. The integrated daytime running lights form a narrow, visually homogenous contour of light at the top and inside edges of the highlights, like an eyebrow.
If equipped with xenon plus headlights, the rear lights also use state-of-the-art LED technology. The three-dimensional floating effect of the curved LED light guide is an element of Audi's new design language. The turn signal, which also uses LED technology, closes the contour as a strip at the top edge. The adaptive brake light, which pulses during hard braking, is standard.
The xenon-plus-based Audi adaptive light pivots intelligently into curves. If linked to the navigation system, it also includes special functions for urban, interurban, highway, intersections and tourist attraction lighting (for switching from driving on the right to driving on the left). In combination with variable headlight range control, the light-dark boundary of the headlights is adjusted automatically and steplessly. This provides substantially improved visibility and safety at night.
A first in the premium compact class are the optional LED headlights, which previously have only been available in full-size models. The LED technology illuminates the road with a light similar to daylight while at the same time consuming less energy and offering a longer service life than conventional lighting systems. The low beams of the new Audi A3 Sportback are generated in two free-form reflectors with a total of nine high-performance LED chips. Ten high-performance LEDs in the matt aluminum trim provide the high beams. Depending on the features chosen, the high beams are switched on automatically and LED cornering lights illuminate tight corners. Interurban, highway and tourist attraction lighting round out the lighting convenience functions. The all-weather lights enhance safety in fog or snow.
The optional lighting package provides for pleasant, non-glare lighting in the interior of the Audi A3 Sportback. LED technology is used at the inside door handles, in the front and rear foot wells and at the cup holders. The ambient light, which shines from the roof module to the center console and also illuminates the inside surfaces of the doors, provides for improved orientation. The touch wheel of the MMI navigation plus is also illuminated via a light guide.
Audi is initially offering the new A3 Sportback with a choice of two TDI and two TFSI engines, all of which are new developments. Their engine displacements range from 1.4 to 2.0 liters and their power from 77 kW (105 hp) to 132 kW (180 hp). Additional diesel and gasoline engines will follow somewhat later, as will the TCNG engine, which can be operated on Audi e-gas or natural gas. The bivalent TCNG engine can be operated on gasoline, natural gas or Audi e-gas. All of the engines follow the Audi engine philosophy of downsizing, in which displacement is replaced by forced induction for strong performance and low fuel consumption. Fuel consumption has been reduced on average by around nine percent compared with the previous model.
Technologies from the Audi modular efficiency platform play a key role in the reductions achieved in fuel consumption. That start-stop system uses powerful fleece, AGM or EFB batteries and reduces fuel consumption by roughly 0.3 liters per 100 km.
The innovative thermal management system (in the 1.8 TFSI and the TDI engines) 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 engines have the same mounting position in the new Audi A3 Sportback - a result of standardization based on the Group's modular transverse matrix. In the previous model, the gasoline engines in some cases were still installed inclined 10 degrees to the front. Their exhaust side faced the radiator, whereas that of the TDI engines faced to the rear, i.e. toward the cabin. In the new Audi A3 Sportback, all gasoline engines have their exhaust side facing the rear, and - like the diesel engines - they are also tilted 12 degrees towards the rear.
This mounting arrangement and the compact layout of the new gasoline engines shorten the installation length in front by about 50 mm (1.97 inches) compared with the previous model. This let the Audi developers shift the front axle forward by 40 mm (1.57 inches). The front overhang was shortened by the same amount, which benefits crash behavior, styling and the distribution of axle loads.
The TDI engines from Audi have been setting standards for decades. They stand for a contemporary, smart type of sportiness - exhibiting a harmonious blend of supreme power, high torque, impressive efficiency and smooth running properties.
The 1.6 TDI is the most efficient engine in the Audi model lineup. The compact diesel engine, which displaces 1,598 cc (bore x stroke 79.5 x 80.5 millimeters [3.13 x 3.17 in]) impresses with the systematic minimization of internal friction. Improvements were achieved through the integration of thermal management measures in the oil and coolant loops, the choice of materials for the piston rings and the piston pin, and in the manufacturing process through the use of a special honing process for the crankcase cylinder barrels.
The solenoid injectors of the common rail system can perform six separate injection operations per work cycle, which benefits combustion and exhaust quality as well as engine smoothness. A new feature is the intake manifold-integrated charge air intercooler for diesel engines. This results in an extremely compact charge air path, which improves engine responsiveness substantially. An exhaust turbocharger with adjustable turbine geometry and the unthrottled intake and charging air system round out the overall concept.
In combination with the manual transmission, the 1.6-liter TDI accelerates the Audi A3 Sportback from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 10.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 195 km/h (121.17 mph). The diesel engine consumes on average just 3.8 liters of fuel per 100 km (61.90 US mpg), corresponding to 99 grams of CO2 per km (159.33 g/mile).
Two versions of the newly developed 2.0 TDI are available for the new Audi A3 Sportback. Performance figures for the version with 100 kW (150 hp) and 320 Nm (236.02 lb-ft) are: 8.7 seconds for the sprint from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) and a top speed of 216 km/h (134.22 mph). Average fuel consumption is just 4.2 liters per 100 km (56.00 US mpg), corresponding to CO2 emissions of 108 grams per kilometer (173.81 g/mile).
The more powerful version of the 2.0 TDI to follow somewhat later offers 135 kW (184 hp) and 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) of torque. The key data (with manual transmission and front-wheel drive): zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 7.4 seconds, top speed of 232 km/h (144.16 mph), average fuel consumption of 4.4 liters per 100 km (53.46 US mpg) and 114 grams CO2 per km (183.47 g/mile).
The 2.0 TDI with its 1,968 cc of displacement (bore x stroke 81.0 x 95.5 mm (3.19 x 3.76 in)) was systematically designed for low friction losses. The toothed belt in the oil pan drives the oil and vacuum pumps, which are located in a housing, via the crankcase. The two balance shafts, which were moved from the oil pan to the crankcase, are mounted on roller bearings and serve to balance the free mass forces.
Elaborate needle bearings are used in the drive system for the camshafts as well. The assembled shafts are mounted in a separate frame and mated directly in this modular component. The new valve train module is characterized by high stiffness and low weight. In contrast to the previous engine, the cylinder head has a rotated valve star layout; each of the two camshafts actuates one intake valve and one exhaust valve per cylinder.
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 cylinder head each have separate coolant circulation loops. The pump for block circulation can be deactivated during the warm-up phase, so that only the cylinder head circulation loop is active.
The common rail injection system develops up to 1,800 bar of system pressure, which will increase to 2,000 bar in the version with 135 kW (184 hp) to follow later. The fuel is nebulized via eight-port nozzles. The turbocharger operates with adjustable guide vanes whose pneumatic activation has been further refined. The intercooler is integrated into the induction pipe - this type of construction leads to short gas paths, high control quality and very good engine efficiencies. The new low-pressure exhaust gas recirculation system is also very compact and is configured for low flow losses. The emissions control system was located near the engine and is already prepped for the future Euro 6 emissions standard.
The abbreviation TFSI represents the combination of gasoline direct injection and turbocharging, a technology that Audi was the first carmaker in the world to introduce. The combination of the two technologies results in high power and high torque as well as low fuel consumption.
The entry-level gasoline engine is the completely new 1.2 TFSI, which will join the engine lineup for the new Audi A3 Sportback somewhat later. The unit exemplifies the philosophy of downsizing and has been designed for low weight. The engine weighs just 99.6 kilograms (219.58 lb) without add-on parts. The 1.2 TFSI has four valves per cylinder and displaces 1.197 cc (bore x stroke 71 x 75.6 millimeters [2.80 x 2.98 in]). The piston rings with their low pretension and compact main and connecting rod bearings of the crank shaft are optimized for low friction.
The aluminum crankcase has its own coolant circuit separate from the cylinder head. A regulated water pump ensures that the water in the block is not circulated immediately after the engine is started, enabling the engine to come up to temperature more quickly. The common rail unit injects the fuel at up to 150 bar pressure into the combustion chambers. The turbocharger has an electric actuator that actuates the wastegate flap particularly quickly and precisely. Boost pressure develops spontaneously and fuel consumption under partial load decreases.
The 1.2 TFSI produces 77 kW (105 hp) and 175 Nm (129.07 lb-ft) of torque. It accelerates the Audi A3 Sportback from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 10.5 seconds. Top speed is 193 km/h (119.92 mph).
With the manual transmission, average fuel consumption is just 4.9 liters per 100 km (48.00 US mpg), corresponding to CO2 emissions of 114 grams per km (183.47 g/mile).
The 1.4 TFSI with 1,395 cc engine displacement (bore x stroke: 74.5 x 80.0 mm [2.93 x 3.15 in]) is an engine that is new from the ground up. Its crankcase is made of die cast aluminum instead of the grey cast iron of the previous engine. It only weighs 18 kg (39.68 lb) instead of 33 kg (72.75 lb). Other changes, e.g. to the crankshaft and the connecting rods, contribute towards the new 1.4 TFSI attaining a weight of only 107 kg (235.89 lb). The 21 kg (46.30 lb) reduction also yields significant benefits in terms of axle load distribution.
Another innovation is integration of the exhaust manifold in the cylinder head. It quickly brings the coolant to 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 were redesigned; the nearly flat design of the piston heads is precisely tuned to the intake ports that were also redesigned. The common rail system operates at pressures of up to 200 bar, and its five-hole injectors can deliver up to three injections per operating cycle.
The turbocharger has shed 1.8 kg (3.97 lb) of weight compared with the previous engine. Its newly developed electric wastegate adjuster operates very quickly and precisely, which significantly improves engine responsiveness. The intercooler, which is also integrated in the induction pipe, accelerates the buildup of charge pressure - in a way similar to the 2.0 TDI.
In the 1.4 TFSI, friction losses were reduced by up to 20 percent compared to the previous engine. Improvements were made to the piston rings and their play when mounted in the grey cast iron cylinder sleeves, their reduced diameter at the crankshaft main bearing, lighter-weight valves and toothed belts for the timing and ancillary drives designed to last the life of the engine. The pressure-regulated oil pump also contributes to efficiency.
Like the 2.0 TDI, the 1.4 TFSI has a valve train module with low-friction camshaft bearings - with the difference that the shafts are integrated directly in the valve cover. The intake camshaft can be adjusted over 50 degrees of crank angle.
The new 1.4 TFSI produces 90 kW (122 hp) and 200 Nm (147.51 lb-ft) of torque, accelerating the A3 Sportback from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 9.5 seconds on its way to a top speed of 203 km/h (126.14 mph). Its average fuel consumption is 5.3 liters of fuel per 100 km (44.38 US mpg), which corresponds to 123 grams of CO2/km (197.95 g/mile).
A second version of the 1.4 TFSI to follow somewhat later produces 103 kW (140 hp) and 250 Nm (184.39 lb-ft) of torque. It features the innovative cylinder on demand (COD) system, which deactivates the second and third cylinders at low to intermediate loads and while coasting. The powerful 1.4-liter engine's average fuel consumption is thus 4.7 liters of fuel per 100 km (50.05 US mpg); CO2 emissions with the S tronic are just 110 grams per km (177.03 g/mile). Performance is strong, with a time of 8.4 seconds for the standard sprint and a top speed of 213 km/h (132.35 mph).
A TCNG engine with 81 kW (110 hp) is making its debut in the new Audi A3 Sportback. It has been systematically designed for operation on Audi e-gas. It consumes just 3.6 kilograms of natural gas or Audi e-gas, which Audi produces itself in a sustainable manner, per 100 km (65.34 US mpg). With either fuel, CO2 tailpipe emissions are less than 100 grams per km (160.93 g/mile).
The greenhouse gas balance is even more attractive in a well-to-wheel analysis that accounts for all factors from the fuel source to the car's wheels. When the A3 Sportback TCNG is powered by Audi e-gas, no more CO2 is released than was chemically input in its production beforehand - creating a closed loop. Even if the energy required to build the e-gas facility and wind turbines is included in a comprehensive analysis, CO2 emissions are still less than 30 grams per km (48.28 g/mile) in the overall energy balance
The engine is based on the newly developed 1.4 TFSI. Key modifications relate to the cylinder head and turbocharging; the injection system and catalytic converter are specially configured for natural gas operation as well. The 1.4 TCNG is bivalent, which means that despite the optimization of the engine for operation on natural gas, it outputs the same power and torque when operated on gasoline. When the pressure in the gas tank drops below a certain limit, the engine management system automatically switches to gasoline mode.
The Audi A3 Sportback TCNG has a range of over 400 km (248.55 miles) when operated on natural gas, and can cover an additional 780 km (484.67 miles) on gasoline if necessary. This adds up to a total driving range equivalent to that of an Audi A3 Sportback TDI. Two indicators in the instrument cluster inform the driver of fuel tank levels at a glance. The filler necks are placed under a common fuel door.
As part of the Audi e-gas project, the brand with the four rings is the world's first car manufacturer to establish an entire chain of sustainable energy carriers. Its end products are hydrogen and the synthetic Audi e-gas. The Audi e-gas facility that is currently being built in Werlte in the Emsland region will be operated with renewable electricity (e.g. from wind energy and solar energy).
The new 1.8 TFSI - the most powerful engine in the new A3 Sportback at market launch - showcases Audi's high-tech competence with innovative solutions in many technical areas. Its torque curve is like that of a TDI - its maximum torque of 250 Nm (184.39 lb-ft) is already available at 1,250 rpm, and it remains constant up to 5,000 rpm. Its power is 132 kW (180 hp).
A major innovation in the 1.8 TFSI is the addition of indirect injection. Complementing FSI direct fuel injection, it is active at part load; it injects the fuel at the end of the induction pipe in the vicinity of the tumble flaps, where it is intensively tumbled with the air.
The resulting improved mixture formation boosts fuel economy and reduces particulate emissions. Direct FSI fuel injection, with its up to 200 bar pressure, comes into play in the starting phase and at higher loads.
Audi engineers have discovered new degrees of freedom in filling the combustion chambers. The intake and exhaust camshafts are adjustable; on the exhaust side, the Audi valvelift system also varies the strokes of the valves to further minimize charge changing losses.
The innovative thermal management system is controlled by two rotary valves, which are combined in a module and driven by an electric motor via a worm gear. They ensure that the engine oil is rapidly heated, and they regulate coolant temperature between 85 and 107 degrees Celsius according to the driving situation. At all loads and engine speeds they strike an optimal balance between minimal friction and high thermodynamic efficiency.
As in the 1.2 TFSI and 1.4 TFSI, the exhaust manifold of the 1.8 TFSI is integrated in the cylinder head where coolant is circulating. This solution reduces the temperature of the exhaust gases, which improves fuel economy at full load. The turbocharger is also a new development; it builds up its high relative charge pressure of up to 0.8 bar very dynamically. Its main features are an electric wastegate adjuster, which regulates the charge pressure rapidly and precisely, and a turbine wheel made of a new alloy that can handle exhaust gases as hot as 980 degrees Celsius.
Despite all of its new technologies, the 1.8 TFSI only weighs a little over 140 kg (308.65 lb) - a value that is attained by such measures as reducing wall thickness slightly in the grey cast iron crankcase compared with the previous model. The walls are only about three millimeters (0.12 inch) thick, saving about 2.4 kg (5.29 lb). The pistons consist of a new high-strength alloy. The oil pan consists of a lightweight plastic, and many screws in the engine are aluminum.
Internal friction is low as well - due to a new type of coating for the piston skirts, low-friction bearings for the two balancer shafts and a reduced-diameter main bearing for the crankshaft that is 1.6 kg (3.53 lb) lighter and only requires four counterweights. The regulated oil pump requires little energy itself, and a high-precision electric system controls the piston heads with jets of oil.
Key performance data of the 1.8 TFSI with S tronic and front-wheel drive: from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 7.3 seconds, top speed of 232 km/h (144.16 mph) and average fuel consumption of 5.6 liters per 100 km (42.00 US mpg) corresponding to 130 grams CO2 per km (209.21 g/mile).
Audi will quickly expand the range of engines for the A3 Sportback. It includes a dynamic S model and additional high-efficiency, low-emissions variants. The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron with a powerful plug-in hybrid drive will follow in 2014.
At market launch of the new A3 Sportback, Audi is pairing the 1.4 TFSI and the 2.0 TDI with a manual six-speed transmission. It shifts easily and precisely over short paths and is distinguished by high efficiency. As in all Audi transmissions, the gear spread is large - the lower gears have relatively short gear ratios, while the last gear is comparatively long to reduce engine revs. The S tronic is available as an option with all engines. Depending on the version, the dual-clutch transmissions shifts extremely quickly and nearly imperceptibly through six or seven gears.
The new Audi A3 Sportback 1.8 TFSI comes standard with a seven-speed S tronic; it unites the comfort of a classic automatic with the dynamic performance and efficiency of a manual transmission. The driver can operate the S tronic via the selector lever or with the optional paddles on the steering wheel. Shift points 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 seven-speed S tronic consists of two sub-units; two multi-plate clutches service the gears. The large K1 clutch located on the outside directs the torque via a solid shaft to the gear wheels for the gears 1, 3, 5 and 7. It is connected to the smaller K2 clutch, which is integrated inside its larger sibling, and which acts on the gear wheels for gears 2, 4 and 6, as well as reverse.
Both transmission structures are continuously active, but only one of them is connected to the engine at any one time. For example, when the driver accelerates in third gear, the fourth gear is already engaged in the second transmission section. 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, which is about 37 cm (14.57 inches) long, is very compact and only weighs about 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.
quattro permanent all-wheel drive
The manual six-speed transmission and the seven-speed S tronic send the power to the front wheels of the new Audi A3 Sportback. Audi will offer the A3 Sportback somewhat later with optional quattro permanent all-wheel drive, which uses a newly developed multi-plate clutch. The hydraulically actuated and electronically controlled component, which can send the power from the front to the rear axle in just a few milliseconds, weighs significantly less than the previous unit.
In the interest of better axle load distribution, the clutch is located on the end of the prop shaft, in front of the rear 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 housing, 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 traction decreases there, the clutch can variably transfer torque to the rear axle within a few milliseconds by pressing the sets of plates together under control. A pressure reservoir helps the electric reciprocating piston pump to develop the necessary oil pressure, which can reach over 100 bar.
The sophisticated chassis of the new Audi A3 Sportback is balanced, harmonious and sporty. The finely balanced axle load distribution is the foundation for this. The front axle has been shifted forward by 40 millimeters (1.57 in) compared with the previous model, shortening the overhang correspondingly.
The front axle of the Audi A3 Sportback is a McPherson construction with wishbones and lightweight aluminum pivot bearings. The subframe to which they are linked is also made of lightweight metal. The front suspension has a track of 1,535 millimeters (60.43 in). As in the rear suspension, an anti-roll bar is used here too.
The electromechanical power steering, whose electric motor is located directly on the steering rack, impresses with its high efficiency. Its steering gear ratio of 15.3:1 is direct, and steering assist is varied as a function of vehicle speed. The turning circle measures just 10.9 meters (35.76 ft). The steering works closely together with various systems and sensors on board the new A3 Sportback. This also includes the standard rest recommendation function in the driver information system and the optional Audi active lane assist and park assist.
The four-link rear suspension has a track of 1,506 mm (59.29 in). Its trailing links absorb drive forces and braking forces, and its bearings are sized large to enhance ride comfort.
On the other hand, the three wishbones per wheel, which are responsible for absorbing lateral forces, are rigidly joined to the subframe to improve handling characteristics.
The rear links are made of high-strength grades of steel, and with quattro all-wheel drive the wheel suspensions are cast aluminum. The shock absorbers and compact helical springs are mounted independent of one another - this is advantageous for a large luggage space and finely tuned response. A weight-optimized torsion beam rear suspension is used here in the 1.2 TFSI. Audi offers an optional sport suspension that lowers the body 15 millimeters (0.59 in). With the S line sport package the amount is 25 millimeters (0.98 in).
The new Audi A3 Sportback rolls standard on 16-inch steel wheels (Attraction) or alloy wheels (16-inch with Ambiente and 17-inch with Ambition and the S line sport package). Audi and quattro GmbH also offer wheels up to 18 inches in diameter in numerous designs - with polished components, two-tone or in high gloss. Tire sizes are 205/55, 225/45 and 225/40.
All of the tires are distinguished by their low rolling resistance, without any compromises in dynamic performance. A tire pressure monitoring indicator is standard, as is the tire repair set. An emergency spare wheel is available as an option; winter wheels can also be ordered in 16 to 18-inch sizes.
The powerful brakes of the new Audi A3 Sportback can be very precisely metered. The pedal feel is spontaneous and firm. The vented front discs measure 288 or 312 millimeters (2.0 TD) in diameter (11.34 or 12.28 in); the rear discs always measure 272 millimeters (10.71 in). The new electromechanical parking brake, which is operated from a button next to the gearshift or gear selection lever, is integrated in the brake system of the rear suspension. It also serves as an emergency brake, if necessary. The optional hold assist maintains brake pressure for a certain time after the driver has taken the foot off the pedal, which enhances drive-off comfort.
In the A3 Sportback with front-wheel drive, the ESC stabilization control comes standard with the electronic limited slip differential. When the driven front wheel on the inside of a curve shows inadequate loading, the control module initiates a small and precise brake intervention at that wheel.
The intervention causes excess torque to flow to the outside wheel. Simultaneously, the difference in propulsive forces ensures that the car turns into the curve - which is helpful to the driver. Self-steering behavior remains neutral longer, making handling more precise, agile and stable.
Audi drive select (standard with Ambition) makes driving the new A3 Sportback an even more versatile and inspiring experience. The driver decides with the push of a button whether the accelerator response, the power steering and the optional S tronic operate in comfort, automatic, dynamic, individual or efficiency mode. In the latter mode, the optional deluxe automatic air conditioning and adaptive cruise control also operate in a mode targeted to optimize fuel consumption.
Another technology controlled via Audi drive select in auto mode is the optional electromagnetic damper control system Audi magnetic ride. Circulating within the shock absorbers is a synthetic hydrocarbon oil containing tiny magnetic particles between three and ten thousandths of a millimeter in size. When a voltage is applied by a solenoid, a magnetic field is generated in which the particles realign. They align perpendicular to the direction of flow of the oil, thus slowing its flow through the piston channels. The control unit constantly analyzes the condition of the road and the driver's style, repeatedly adapting the damper forces within milliseconds.
The driver can chose one of two modes directly. In comfort mode, when oil viscosity is high, the new Audi A3 Sportback offers a well-balanced, comfortable ride. In dynamic mode, by contrast - when the oil is less viscous - it reveals a dynamic character that is manifested by a firm grip on the road surface. The steering response is further improved, roll movements are largely suppressed, and targeted support of the individual wheels in fast driving through curves makes the car's self-steering behavior even more dynamic.
The Audi A3 Sportback will be available with optional progressive steering at a later time. The progressive steering reduces the driver's steering effort and provides precise steering feel with good road feel. On winding roads, the dynamics are even more tangible for the driver. The greater comfort as a result of the reduced steering effort is also noticeable in the city when maneuvering and parking.
Prices and equipment
Audi is launching the new A3 Sportback with a generous array of standard features. The package of restraint systems, which also includes a knee airbag for the driver, can be supplemented with side airbags in the back. The comprehensive list of standard equipment includes the Audi radio, the 60:40 split rear seat, the cargo floor that can be inserted on two levels, manual air conditioning, exterior mirrors with integrated LED side turn signals and a tire pressure indicator. Height-adjustable front seats and Isofix child seat anchor points in the rear are also standard.
The driver information system with color display is standard with the Ambition and Ambiente lines. Besides the rest recommendation function, it also includes the efficiency program with gear-change indicator. The A3 Sportback Ambition also includes sport seats, a three-spoke sport steering wheel, a sport suspension, 17-inch alloy wheels and the Audi drive select system. Halogen fog lights are integrated into the front skirt, and the tailpipes - single or double depending on the engine - are hidden behind chrome tips.
In addition to a four-spoke leather steering wheel, Ambiente comes standard with cruise control, the interior lighting package and the rear parking system. 3D glass-look inlays give the interior a sense of modern luxury, with additional accents provided by the high-gloss package, chrome entry sills and exhaust tips as well as 16-inch alloy wheels in a 15-spoke Y design.
Individual options directly from the luxury class are available in all trim lines for further customization. These include the panoramic glass sunroof, convenience key, deluxe automatic air conditioning, auxiliary heating, heated exterior mirrors, automatically dimming interior mirror with light and rain sensor, driver information system in two display versions and adaptive light with xenon plus headlights, which can be supplemented by the variable headlight range control. For the front seats, there are the lumbar supports, seat heating, a center armrest (standard in the Ambiente) and Isofix mounting points for the front passenger seat.
The Audi A3 Sportback is a true all-around talent. Its sporty, versatile and progressive character will appeal to a broad public. In many cases it will be purchased as a second car. The second-largest target group is single-car households and singles up to the age of 39, many of them women.
The new Audi A3 Sportback will begin appearing in German dealerships in February 2013, with prices starting at â‚¬23,400. The 1.2 TFSI will be available somewhat later for a base price of â‚¬22,500.