Meet the new 2010 Audi A3 2.0-liter TDI, a 140 hp turbo-diesel meant to compete with everything from a MINI Cooper S to a Volvo S40.

Audi has now officially introduced the new 2010 Audi A3 2.0-liter TDI. The new TDI is part of the facelifted A3 lineup, which debuted last year.

Calling it a "highly efficient diesel small luxury car," Audi believes they may have found a niche in the market that previously went undiscovered. Indeed, it is not often you find a luxury car that gets over 40 miles per gallon on the highway.

With 140 hp and 236 ft-lb of torque coming from the four-cylinder turbo-diesel, the Audi A3 TDI is meant to compete with a wide range of vehicles. Audi envisions this car as a competitor to the BMW 1-series, MINI Cooper S, Volvo C30, Volvo S40, Toyota Prius, and Honda Insight. It does seem somewhat optimistic that Audi thinks they can steal MINI, Insight, and Prius customers with their A3 TDI. After all, pricing has not even been announced yet for the A3 diesel, but base price for the petrol A3 is already more than $4,000 more than a Cooper S.

Thus, Audi is pushing the "Top Safety Pick" from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety as a key selling point, and reminding potential customers of the McPherson suspension system that comes with this car. Also included in every A3 purchase are Audi's LED daytime lights, rear LED lights, a human-focused interior, speed sensitive steering, and an all-around rigid ride.

Satellite radio, hill-hold assist, leather seats and steering wheel, and 17" alloys also come with the A3 TDI. So does a dual-clutch S-tronic transmission with all-wheel-drive. Xenon lights are optional.

After all, power alone does not make one competitive.

The 2010 Audi A3 2.0-liter TDI will go on sale in the U.S. at either the end of 2009 or the beginning of 2010. Pricing will be announced later this year.

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