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Audi unveils bigger, more advanced A3 Sedan

Due to arrive H1 2021, Audi’s new A3 Sedan is bigger and bolder than ever

22 Apr 2020

AUDI has ripped the covers off its second-generation A3 sedan, a car it hopes can take the fight to the Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan and BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe when it arrives Down Under next year.


Still based on the A3 Sportback – the new version of which was revealed in March – the new Sedan shares all of the same engines, underpinnings and many of the design cues as its hatchback sibling, albeit 150mm longer.


Compared to its predecessor, the new model is 40mm longer, 20mm wider and 10mm taller, helping to boost cabin space while still maintaining the same amount of boot space (425 litres).


At the front, there is the same ‘Singleframe’ honeycomb grille, flanked on either side by the same angular, almost frowning headlights while the rest of the body has been treated to the same extensive body sculpting, especially down its flanks.


All models score the same flared wheelarches front and rear as the hatch with the Sedan’s rear arches better emphasised thanks to the dropping roofline and subsequent bootline.


Under the new sculpted bonnet will lay either a 110kW 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine or a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel unit churning out an identical 110kW – torque figures for both engines are yet to be released.


Opting for the petrol engine will then bring the choice of either a six-speed manual transmission or a slick-shifting seven-speed dual clutch arrangement, the latter of which is paired exclusively to a 48V mild hybrid system designed to not only improve fuel economy – by up to 0.4 litres/100km – but also contribute an extra 50Nm of torque during acceleration.


The diesel mill meanwhile will be available only with the dual-clutch unit but forgoes the same hybrid system.


Fuel economy for the base 35 TFSI is rated at between 4.7 and 5.0 litres per 100km on the combined cycle, a figure which is slightly reduced to between 4.7 and 4.9 litres by the mild hybrid system while the diesel will sip between 3.6 and 3.9 litres per 100km.


Under the skin, Audi is promising the new A3 Sedan to be more agile than its predecessor thanks to its “central dynamic handling system that ensures optimal interaction between all the components relevant to the transverse dynamics”.


An optional sports suspension package with adaptive dampers will also be available with the different settings also being paired to the engine management system and steering, i.e. the sportiest suspension setting will automatically dial up the most potent engine parameters.


Inside the cabin, occupants are greeted by a “cockpit” that is “entirely focused on the driver” with almost every element of the interior oriented slightly towards the driver, including the 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen.


All variants will score a fully digital instrument cluster, measuring 10.25 inches in diameter in basic form while opting for the Audi virtual cockpit plus setup expands that to 12.3 inches and adds two additional layouts for drivers to choose from.


The system also features an integrated head-up display.


While the exact local specification levels are yet to be announced, Audi has named a few of the infotainment and safety features set to feature in the A3 Sedan when it arrives here, all of which mirror the Sportback.


On the top-spec model, infotainment will come courtesy of the MMI Navigation Plus system which also offers online traffic information, news and photos, opening times, and user reviews relating to points of interest.


The core of the infotainment system is the third version of Audi’s modular platform (MIB 3) which is said to have 10 times the power of the previous version and comes with its own Wifi hotspot.


Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come as standard, as does DAB+ digital radio and the full suite of Car-to-X services.


From launch, safety will be taken care of by the active collision avoidance assist, adaptive cruise assist and efficiency assist while exit warning, cross-traffic assist and surround view cameras will “follow shortly after the market launch”.


Local pricing is yet to be confirmed by Audi but is expected to be revealed closer to the A3 Sedan’s launch in the first half of next year.


Last year Audi chalked up 3362 A3 sales, accounting for a healthy 26.7 per cent of the $40,000+ small car market, second only to the Mercedes-Benz A-Class which secured a dominant 37.2 per cent share (4689 sales).


Things were not looking quite as healthy through the first quarter of 2020 however, with the A3 slipping to third in the segment with 499 sales, overtaken for second place by the BMW 1 Series (649) while the A-Class continued its dominance, accounting for 52.6 per cent of the segment (1224).

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