Audi A3 Sportback

The latest Audi A3 appears in a new capacity at next week’s Paris Motor Show (September 29 to October 14) as the third generation five-door Sportback version makes its world public debut. By combining its sleek new look with a longer wheelbase than both its predecessor and its all-new three-door counterpart, the eminently practical compact is able to offer even more space for families and their luggage, with barely any increase in exterior ‘footprint’. Carrying a premium of £620 over its three-door equivalent, the first phase of A3 Sportback models is now open for ordering priced from £19,825 OTR.

Audi will initially offer the new A3 Sportback with a choice of one TDI and two TFSI engines. Two diesel engines and one petrol unit will follow later. They combine multiple efficiency technologies – direct injection, turbocharging, innovative thermal management and the start-stop system. Fuel consumption has been reduced on average by around 10 per cent compared with the previous model.

The newly developed 2.0 TDI, with balancer shafts that now rotate in the crankcase, will in the longer term be available in two versions. The first to arrive will be the 150PS version familiar from the three-door, which produces 320 Nm of torque and enables the front-wheel-drive A3 Sportback 2.0 TDI to reach 62mph from rest in 8.4 seconds and continue to a top speed of 133mph. Combined fuel economy for this version is 67.3mpg, corresponding to CO2 emissions of 108 g/km.

The more powerful version which will follow later will offer 184PS and 380 Nm of torque. The key data (with manual transmission and front-wheel drive): zero to 62mph in 7.4 seconds, top speed of 144mph and combined fuel economy of 65.7mpg.

The 1.6-litre TDI which has just become available for the three-door version will also follow later in 2012. The outstandingly efficient compact diesel, which is characterized by minimal internal friction, can deliver up to 74.3mpg when paired with the manual transmission, corresponding to CO2 emissions of 99 g/km. It powers the Audi A3 Sportback from zero to 62mph in 10.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 121mph.

The new 1.4 TFSI will initially be the smallest petrol engine in the A3 Sportback range. Now featuring an aluminium block, and weighing just 107 kilograms – 21 kilograms less than its predecessor - it produces 122PS and 200 Nm of torque, accelerating the A3 Sportback from zero to 62mph in 9.3 seconds on its way to a top speed of 126mph. Combined economy is 53.3mpg, which corresponds to 123 grams of CO2/km.

A second version of the 1.4 TFSI offering 140PS and 250 Nm of torque will follow. It features the innovative cylinder on demand (COD) system, which deactivates the second and third cylinders at low to intermediate loads and while coasting.

The powerful 1.4-litre engine’s combined economy is 60.1mpg. Performance is brisk, with a time of 8.4 seconds for the standard sprint (with manual transmission) and a top speed of 132mph.

The new 1.8 TFSI, the most powerful petrol engine in the range, is next in the line-up at launch. It produces 180PS and 250 Nm of torque, and combines FSI direct injection with indirect injection and the Audi valvelift system to vary valve lift as required. The exhaust manifold is integrated into the cylinder head – a similar solution is also used in the two smaller TFSI engines. Key performance data with

S tronic and front-wheel drive: from zero to 62mph in 7.3 seconds, top speed of 144mph and combined economy of 50.4mpg corresponding to 130 g/km.

Later in 2012 the 1.2 TFSI, which also features an aluminium crankcase designed for low weight and minimal friction, will join the range. It produces 105PS and 175 Nm of torque. Together with S tronic transmission, it will power the A3 Sportback from zero to 62mph in 10.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 120mph. Combined fuel economy is 57.6mpg.

Audi will quickly expand the range of engines for the A3 Sportback to include a dynamic S model and additional high-efficiency, low-emissions variants.

Source: Audi press

Gallery: Audi A3 Sportback