Four and two does not necessarily mean six – it means the fourth generation Audi A3 Sportback and second generation A3 Sedan due in local showrooms from August.
The Audi A3 Sportback and Sedan come in three trim lines. The Standard model offers 16-inch wheels and black detailing around the grille and air intakes. With the Advanced model, the wheel increases to 17-inches and the exterior detailing becomes chrome with Advanced line bumpers. The S line includes a modified and sportier bumper design, sports suspension, illuminated door sills with the S emblem and an S style spoiler on the Sportback.
The digital daytime running lights of the optional Matrix LED headlights are a further innovation. On the S line model, they consist of a pixel array made up of LED segments in a three by five arrangement that create special light signatures and make the new A3 immediately recognizable.
The design is continued in the interior with a new gear shifter, aluminium or carbon inlays, wedge-like door handles, and an instrument panel with a black-finish look.
With the new S3 models, the front is dominated by the Singleframe with its large rhombus-patterned grille and air inlets, while the housings of the exterior mirrors have a gleaming aluminium look. At the rear end, the large diffuser and the four exhaust tailpipes accentuate the vehicle’s sportiness.
With quattro all-wheel drive, 19-inch wheels, red brake calipers and S model specific bumpers, suspension and other S details, the S3 models are impressive characters within the new A3 range.
The new A3 models offer more space and functionality combined with compact external dimensions. Measuring 4,34 metres in length and 1,82 metres in width (without mirrors), the A3 Sportback has grown by just over three centimetres compared with its predecessor. The height of 1.43 metres – without the roof antenna – and the wheelbase of 2.64 metres remained unchanged.
Depending on the position of the rear bench seat, the luggage compartment holds between 380 litres and 1 200 litres and the loading floor can be inserted at different heights. Upon request and in combination with the comfort key feature, tailgate for the Sportback and the Sedan can also be electronically operated.
The new Audi A3 Sedan is just over 15 centimetres longer than the A3 Sportback. All other dimensions are identical. At 425 litres, the luggage capacity is the same as in the predecessor model.
The cockpit of the new A3 uses familiar elements from the brand’s full-size class models and is equipped with a 10,1-inch touch display as standard, which is integrated in the centre of the instrument panel. It recognises letters entered by hand, provides acoustic feedback and can be controlled using natural voice language.
The instrument cluster, which the driver operates via the multifunction steering wheel, is now also digital as standard. The optional Audi virtual cockpit plus (as part of the Technology Package) provides additional functions such as the large display of the navigation map. It measures 12,3 inches and enables three different views, including graphics with a sporty look.
Individual settings can be stored in up to six user profiles – from climate control and the seat position to frequently selected navigation destinations and frequently used media. The DAB+ digital radio is included as standard and the online or hybrid radio is available as an option. Route guidance is particularly easy and flexible.
For example, the navigation offers predictions on the development of the traffic situation and high-resolution satellite images.
The Audi A3 model range also ushers in fully integrated connectivity, the Audi connect portfolio includes a host of online services, which offer advanced infotainment, navigation and Car-to-X services which take advantage of the swarm intelligence to service, safety and convenience built into the connected A3.
The new Audi A3 can be connected to the user’s smartphone via the myAudi app, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, as well as via the Audi phone box. The latter connects the device to the car antenna and charges it inductively.
In South Africa, there are two engine offerings at launch, with an additional option becoming available later in 2021. The A3 35 TFSI (1.4 TFSI), with 110 kW of power and an eight-speed tiptronic transmission, serves as the entry-level engine.
The larger petrol engine, A3 40 TFSI (2.0 TFSI) with 140 kW, follows with seven-speed S tronic transmission (available only from November 2021 onwards). The performance-led S3 TFSI with quattro offers 213 kW, 400 Nm and a quick-shifting seven-speed S tronic, the selector lever of which is now designed as a compact shifter and available across the range. The driver can push and pull this to control the basic functions of the automatic transmission.
Audi A3 Sportback 35 TFSI R561,000
Audi A3 Sportback 35 TFSI Advanced R586,000
Audi A3 Sportback 35 TFSI S line R601,000
Audi A3 Sportback 40 TFSI S line R641,000
Audi S3 Sportback TFSI quattro R795,000
Audi A3 Sedan 35 TFSI R576,000
Audi A3 Sedan 35 TFSI Advanced R601,000
Audi A3 Sedan 35 TFSI S line R616,000
Audi A3 Sedan 40 TFSI S line R656,000
Audi S3 Sedan TFSI quattro R810,000