The all-new Audi A3 has been unveiled today by the Volkswagen Group at a special preview event ahead of the Geneva Motor Show that starts tomorrow morning. It is the first vehicle to use the new MQB (Modular Transverse Matrix) platform that will be used in a number of future Audi A3 variants as well as the next generation Volkswagen Golf.
The three door version is the first to make an appearance. It is 80kg (176lbs) lighter than its predecessor and the chassis of the new platform has been tuned to give what is described as a sporty and agile driving style.
The exterior design is dominated by Audi's signature single-frame radiator grille and has headlights that use both LED and xenon plus technology. Dimensions have been left virtually untouched in comparison to its predecessor, it now measures 4,237 mm long, 1,777 mm wide and 1,421 mm tall, however the wheelbase has grown by 23mm to 2,601 mm.
There will be just three engines available when the new A3 is launched. The only diesel option will be a 2.0-liter TDI unit that generates 150PS (110kW / 148hp) and 320Nm (236lb-ft) of torque. The petrol options begin with an entry level 1.4-liter TFSI engine producing 122PS (90kW / 121hp) and 200Nm (147.51lb-ft) of torque. The top of the range (at launch) engine that gets the seven-speed S tronic transmission as standard will be the 1.8-liter TFSI unit that pumps 180PS (132kW / 177hp ) and 250Nm (184.39lb-ft) of torque
A little later in the year, Audi will launch a fourth frugal diesel option to the line-up. The 1.6-liter TDI engine has an enticing fuel economy figure of 3.8l/100 km (61.90 US mpg) and produces 99g/km of CO2 emissions. Audi has additionally confirmed natural gas and Audi e-gas versions are also in development.
Sales for the new Audi A3 will begin in the the spring with prices due to start at €21,600 in the German market.