Audi Singapore has recently launched the all-new Audi A3 models in the island republic, making it the first market to offer in ASEAN. It’s the first time that both Sedan and Sportback bodystyles are simultaneously offered.

Styling of the compact A3 range follows suit from the new models such as Audi A7 and the Audi Q3. 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 standard LED headlights, with the option of a Matrix technology consisting of a pixel array made up of 15 individual LED to create special light signatures for the Audi A3.

Behind the large Singleframe grille lies the active shutter which controls the cooling system’s airflow requirement, ultimately benefitting in overall fuel consumption with a reduction in aerodynamic drag. A Cd value of 0.25 and 0.29, sedan and Sportback respectively, are achieved thanks to many other measures including the smooth side mirrors and an integrated boot lip spoiler.

Both the new A3 sedan and Sportback feature a large shoulder line from the headlights to the rear lights, while the surface right below it is curved inward, a signature of Audi’s latest design element to put a stronger emphasis on the wheel arches. The wheel size is 8.0J x 17 inches and wrapped with tyres measuring 225/45R17.

Being 15 cm longer, the Audi A3 sedan offers boot space of 425 litres, while the A3 Sportback begins at 380 litres and up to 1,200 litres with the seats folded down. The Sportback also comes equipped with a clever luggage floor that alters the depth for different storage requirements.

The cabin of the A3 is entirely focused on the driver. This begins with the interior design and ends with the display and control elements, all intuitive to operate. It uses familiar elements from the brand’s full-size models and is equipped with a 10.1-inch touch display as standard, which is integrated into the centre of the instrument panel, and also inclined slightly towards the driver.

The styling in here is certainly more modern compared to the larger Audi A5 Sportback, which originates from the A4 sedan launched in 2016.

As standard, it includes handwriting detection as well as natural language control that draws on the capabilities of the cloud. The new Audi A3 is connected to the smartphone via the myAudi app as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto plus Audi Connect telematics services.

The Audi virtual cockpit plus instrument cluster measures 12.3 inches and offers three different views, including sporty graphics with inclined digits and a particularly dynamic layout. Power adjustable seats are standard and are upholstered with a leather/leatherette combination.

However, for customers who are inclined to use more sustainable materials, Audi is offering the option of seat coverings made from recycled plastic bottles. All in all, up to 45 polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles in 1.5-litre size are used per seating system. On top of this, an additional 62 bottles are recycled for the carpet in the new Audi A3.  

Under the hood of both bodystyles is Audi’s latest petrol engine with mild-hybrid electrification. First up is the engine, a new 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivering outputs of 150 hp and 250 Nm of torque from a low engine revolution of 1,500 to 3,500 rpm.

Next is the electrification portion. The powertrain uses a 48-volt mild-hybrid system with a belt-alternator-starter (BAS) system and compact lithium-ion battery. It recovers energy during deceleration, supports the engine with up to 12hp and 50 Nm of torque when driving off and accelerating from low engine speeds, similar to having a short burst of electric boost from the BAS module.

Both Audi A3 bodystyles completes the benchmark century sprint in 8.4 seconds when paired with the 7-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission that drives the front wheels.   

This setup also allows the A3 to coast with the engine switched off (free-wheeling) in many feet-off-accelerator situations such as approaching a toll booth or just as the traffic lights change from yellow to red. In everyday driving, it reduces consumption by up to 0.4 litres per 100 kilometres.

With the Audi drive select, driver’s can alter the characteristics of the throttle response, S tronic transmission and the steering response. Audi pre sense, the company’s ADAS suite, is meanwhile an optional package, but lane departure warning and reversing camera are included as standard in the retail pricing.  

The all-new Audi A3 Sedan is priced at SGD166,140 while the A3 Sportback carries a SGD1,750 premium over the Sedan model.

At this performance level, Audi is offering better value than the Mercedes-Benz A200 (163 hp) priced at SGD197k, the BMW 116i (109 hp) at SGD159k and the MINI Cooper 5-door (136 hp) at SGD165k.

Manufactured at Audi Ingolstadt, the all-new Audi A3 has made quite an impact in Germany, winning the “Autonis” design competition by Auto, Motor und Sport magazine and the Auto Trophy 2020 voting held by Auto Zeitung.

Adding to the trophy collection is the more prestigious “Golden Steering Wheel” award last year in the compact car category, its fourth after winning the category in 1996, 2012 and 2013.


GALLERY

Audi A3 Sedan

Audi A3 Sportback


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Siew Weng
Enjoys studying specifications and understanding features that aid performance as well as the aesthetics of a vehicle. From spreadsheets and proposals for new products to reporting about the finished product and more.