1 Feb 2005
Audi treated the Sportback five-door as a separate model to the three-door A3, although it shared the drivetrains – a base 75kW/148Nm 1.6, 2.0 FSI four-cylinder units in regular (110kW/200Nm) or turbocharged (TFSI – 147kW/280Nm) guises, with the latter gaining Haldex part-time all-wheel drive from late ‘05.
All had either a six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes – with the TFSI offering Audi’s superb double-clutch DSG auto in lieu of the regular Tiptronic.
The DSG was also mated to the 103kW/320Nm 2.0 TDI four-cylinder turbo-diesel model, as well as the 184kW/320Nm 3.2 V6 Quattro flagship.
In September 2008 Audi introduced a new super-lean A3 that can use as little as 4.5 litres of diesel fuel per 100km.
It uses a relatively conventional 1.9-litre common rail turbo diesel and a five-speed manual with wider gear ratios for the best possible economy.
Other changes such as aerodynamic wheel covers, low rolling resistance tyres and low-riding suspension help limit fuel use.
There is also an indicator on the dashboard which suggests the most efficient gear to be in.
Apart from that the A3 TDi e is just like any other five-door A3.
It costs $38,990 which is $1700 more than the entry level petrol A3 five-door.