Revised Audi A3 revealed
Facelifted new Audi A3 gets new engines and technology
All-new petrol engines and updated technology are the major changes coming with the refreshed Audi A3 premium small family hatchback.
As is often the way with Audi, styling changes are minimal, with the brand opting for an evolution of the current car’s look, rather than a revolution. There’s a slightly wider and lower front grille, sleeker headlights - which can now be specified with LED Matrix technology - with revised daytime running light graphics and a slightly wider boot opening at the back.
Most of the changes, however, are under the metal, with particular emphasis on the petrol engine range. The new Audi A3 will, for the first time, be offered with the Volkswagen Group’s turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, which will develop 114bhp and is almost certain to form the entry point to the range when it arrives later this year.
At the top of the range – apart from the hot S3 and RS3 models – will be a new 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, managing 188bhp. This will be available with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Marking the mid-point of the petrol range will be the 148bhp turbocharged 1.4-litre, which comes with Active Cylinder Technology that can shut down two of the engine’s cylinders under light loads to help save fuel.
The diesel range will be made up of the now-familiar 109bhp 1.6-litre and 148bhp 2.0-litre, while a stronger 181bhp version will arrive about six months after the rest of the range.
The hot S3 model will come with a 306bhp engine (a 10bhp increase on the current version) and the plug-in hybrid Audi A3 e-tron remains pretty much unchanged. Audi hasn’t released any CO2 or fuel-efficiency figures for the revised engines as yet, but expect slight improvements over the current models.
Inside, there’s not a great deal of difference from the current A3, although the big news is the addition of Audi’s brilliant Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster, which can be configured to show a multitude of different displays instead of just the usual speedometer and rev counter. You’ll also be able to choose between two different satellite-navigation systems, with Navigation Plus connecting the system to Google Earth and Google Street View.