- All-new A3 Saloon range available to order now (w/c June 17), priced from £24,275 OTR to £28,105 OTR – first UK deliveries start in September
- One TDI engine at launch – 2.0 TDI 148bhp
- More seats-up luggage capacity than Sportback, same level of cabin space
The remarkable quality, efficiency and technological ingenuity at the heart of the Audi A3 can now be wrapped in a choice of three beautifully proportioned bodies following the introduction this week of the A3 Saloon to the UK model range. Priced from £24,275 OTR, the first ever ‘three-box‘ A3 complements the familiar three-door and five-door Sportback models, and spearheads the Vorsprung durch Technik brand’s first foray into the world’s largest market segment – the compact saloon class.
Short overhangs and sharply sculpted lines give the new A3 Saloon a distinctly purposeful stance, and this is reinforced by its two-tier specification. A choice of either Sport or S line trim levels will be available in the UK.
Longer than the five-door A3 Sportback by just over 14 centimetres, wider by 11 millimetres and nine millimetres lower, the new compact four-door offers similarly ample passenger accommodation, complemented by 425 litres of luggage space with the rear seats in place – 45 litres more than its five-door counterpart.
Sport and S line versions sit low on their respective 17-inch and 18-inch alloy wheels thanks to sports suspension, but both can also be specified at no extra cost with more comfort-oriented standard suspension.
They also share features including sports seats, the Audi drive select adaptive dynamics system, dual-zone climate control, the MMI radio incorporating an 11 millimetre-thick powered folding screen and DAB digital radio, preparation for SD card navigation, Audi Music Interface iPod connection, a Driver Information System and the Bluetooth mobile phone interface.
Interior highlights of the S line specification include part-leather-upholstery embossed with the S line logo and an S line sports steering wheel with perforated leather grips and shift paddles where S tronic is fitted. Outside, 18-inch alloy wheels, S line body styling and xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lamps set the top model apart.
Full-LED headlights will also be available later in 2013 as an alternative to the xenon units in S line models and the halogen units in Sport versions. S line customers can also swap their sports suspension not only for the comfort-focused standard configuration, but also for an exclusive S line sports set-up which lowers the ride height by a further 10mm below the sports suspension for even greater handling poise.
A number of highly cost effective optional equipment packages focusing on comfort, lighting and technology can be incorporated into the A3 Saloon specification. Among these will be the technology package with Audi connect, which groups together three of the highlights of the new A3 range – MMI navigation plus, MMI Touch and Mobile Phone Preparation – High with Audi connect.
Audi connect – the collective term the brand uses to encompass all the technologies that connect the driver to the car and the Internet – is taken to the next level in the A3. The system not only delivers now familiar services such as Google Maps, Google Street View, Audi traffic information online and Audi music stream, but also now provides ‘Picturebook Navigation’, access to social media services such as Facebook and Twitter, the latest news, flight and train information, nearby refuelling locations graded by price and even a ‘what’s on’ guide in specific towns and cities via its City Events service.
Many more comfort and convenience options can also be added, including a panoramic glass sunroof, the advanced key access and authorisation system, a Bang & Olufsen audio upgrade, adaptive cruise control, ‘hands-free’ park assist and an array of safety systems covering everything from motorway lane control to blind spot monitoring. Alloy wheels of up to 19 inches in diameter and a range of distinctive Audi exclusive paint finishes are also available to add visual impact.
The strict dictate of ‘Audi ultra’ lightweight design is evident in the impressively restrained 1,250kg kerb weight of the A3 Saloon that initially kicks off the range.
The diesel contingent is initially represented by the latest 2.0-litre TDI producing 150PS and 320 Nm (236.02 lb-ft) of torque. It powers the A3 Saloon from 0 to 62mph in 8.7 seconds, takes it to a top speed of 137mph and is capable of returning up to 68.9mpg. This equates to CO2 output of 107 grams per km.