All-new Audi A3 Sportback: Don’t fix what’s not broken

With the Geneva Motor Show cancelled, Audi has taken to the web to unveil its all-new Audi A3 in Sportback form.

The fourth-generation Audi A3 Sportback remains faithful to its tried and tested design, making it instantly recognisable on first glance. Even the footprint of the all-new A3 is nearly identical to its predecessor – only 3 cm wider than before.

Up front, the all-new A3 gains a wider Singleframe grille along with large sporty air inlets on both sides. Flanking the grille is the matrix LED headlights, along with a new digital daytime running light, made up of 15 individual LED to create special light signatures for the Audi A3.

The two ends of the car is joined by a large shoulder line from the headlights to the rear lights, while the surface right below it is curved inward – Audi’s latest design element to put a stronger emphasis on the wheel arches.

Just like the Volkswagen Golf 8, Audi has reserved the more significant changes to the interior of the all-new A3. Armed with a new dashboard architecture, the Audi A3 features a large 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment display, angled slightly towards the driver, along with a 12.3-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster.

A significant number of physical controls have been removed from the A3, including the rotary MMI control dial for the instrument cluster – control is relegated to the touchscreen. Fortunately, the climate control is still controlled by a physical control panel right underneath the infotainment display.

Other new design features in the interior include aluminium or carbon inlays on the dashboard, angular “door openers”, as well as a new shifter. If you opt for the automatic transmission, the Audi A3 now comes with a compact selector lever instead of a full gear stalk.

The seats upholstery on the all-new Audi A3 are made of recycled PET plastic bottles, adorned with contrasting stitching.

The fourth-generation Audi A3 will be available with three engine options at launch – a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine (TFSI) with 150 hp, and a 2.0-litre turbodiesel mill (TDI) in either 116 hp or 150 hp form.

At launch, all engine options are only paired with a front-wheel drive setup, with power transmitted via a six-speed manual or a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission.

Audi says that other drivetrain options, including electrified drive systems and quattro all-wheel drive will be made available “shortly after market launch”.

Built on the MQB-II modular architecture, Audi has promised the all-new A3 to be the most dynamic handling yet. A four-link rear axle is standard for the higher-powered 150 hp engine options, which Audi says is “sporty and balanced”. An optional adaptive damper control lowers the body by 10 mm, while providing the ability to adjust damper settings on the fly.

Alternatively, buyers can also opt for the sport suspension – standard in the S line A3 – featuring a tauter tuning on the suspension and dampers, paired with a lower ride height (15 mm lower than standard) for more agile handling characteristics.

On the safety front, the fourth-generation Audi A3 comes standard with Audi pre sense front (front collision prevention), swerve assist, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise assist.

As an option, the A3 can also be equipped with lane change assist and exit warnings, as well as cross-traffic and park assist systems.



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