Coming to next week’s Paris motor show is the new-generation Audi A3 Sportback, with an extensive list of equipment both standard and optional. The five-door A3 is 35 mm longer than its three-door sibling. With length, width and height measurements of 4.31, 1.78 and 1.43 metres respectively, it’s only slightly bigger overall than the Sportback before it, but wheelbase is longer by 58 mm.
This provides more headroom and legroom, and a 1,220 litre load capacity with the rear seats folded (380 litres with rear seats up). It’s also 90 kg lighter than the last one due to the use of high-strength steel for the body and aluminium for the bonnet, wings and front subframe.
Sitting on the MQB platform, the Sportback features McPhersons at the front and four-link at the rear, with two sport suspensions available that lower the body by 15 and 25 mm.
Three engines will be introduced initially: 1.4 and 1.8 litre TFSIs (122 and 180 PS) and a 2.0 litre TDI (150 PS), but four more will follow, including a 105 PS 1.2 TFSI, a 140 PS version of the 1.4 TFSI (this one features cylinder deactivation), a 184 PS version of the 2.0 TDI and a compact, efficient 1.6 TDI (3.8 litres per 100 km).
Also forthcoming is a 110 hp TCNG engine which runs on Audi e-gas, a fuel produced by the company itself in a sustainable manner. Due to arrive next year, the engine emits a low 30 grams of CO2 per km. An e-tron plug-in hybrid version of the Sportback will surface in 2014.
Standard transmission for all is a six-speed manual, with Audi’s dual-clutch S tronic an option. The handbrake on the previous model is replaced by an electronic parking brake.
The 1.8 TFSI and 2.0 TDI versions get, as an option, quattro permanent all-wheel drive with a newly-developed multi-plate clutch.
Other options include steering wheel shift paddles and xenon plus headlamps with LED rear and daytime-running lamps. LED headlamps are expected soon.
There are 13 exterior colours to choose from – three solids, eight metallics and two pearl-effect finishes. There also are S line sport and exterior packages to make the Sportback that little bit more exclusive.
How much? The 1.2 TFSI will wear a €22,500 (RM90k) price tag when it hits German showrooms in February, while UK order books are already open with a starting price of £19,825 (RM98k).
Autocar says the new S3 will also debut alongside the five-door A3 in Paris, and that the hot hatch will have a 2.0 litre 280 PS four-cylinder unit that can propel it to 100 km/h from a standstill in 5.5 seconds.