Static photo,  Colour: Vegas Yellow

The wraps have been pulled off the facelifted Audi A3 – Ingolstadt’s premium small hatch, sedan and cabriolet get numerous updates inside and out to square off against the equally revamped Mercedes-Benz A-Class/CLA and BMW 1 Series.

The most noticeable difference on the new Typ 8V from the front is the revised bumper design, with a broader, sharper singleframe grille and a new lower air intake design that is connected under the grille, reminiscent of the facelifted A6. That’s on standard models; the S line and the more powerful S3 models get a new U-shaped inlet around the grille that gives the cars an almost gurning look.

Also at the front are reshaped headlights that mimic the style shown on the new B9 A4, with a jagged bottom edge. In a one-up over its rivals, xenons are now offered as standard, with LED units optional as before; matrix LED headlights are also available for the first time.

Moving to the rear, the tail lights have also been redesigned with new LED graphics, while the reflectors have been moved down to the bumper. Meanwhile, new rear valence inserts now feature on all variants, with S3 models getting a new diffuser design. A range of 16- to 19-inch alloy wheels are available, with new designs.

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Differences on the inside are rather more subtle, but just as significant. The acclaimed 12.3-inch TFT LCD Audi virtual cockpit instrument display is now offered as an option, while the MMI infotainment system has been redesigned with a flatter smartphone-style menu structure.

The retractable MMI screen itself has been upgraded, with a seven-inch display now standard-fit – up from 5.8 inches on the outgoing model, and trumping the standard 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch screens on the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and the BMW 1 Series respectively. As before, MMI navigation and MMI navigation plus with the MMI touch controller are offered as options.

Additionally, the three-spoke steering wheel has been redesigned with a standard flat bottom, while a massage function has been added to the front seats as an option. Smartphones can also now connect to the Audi phone box in the centre armrest via Near Field Communication (NFC) and be charged wirelessly.

Cockpit

Engines now consist of three turbocharged petrols and three turbodiesels, including a new 115 hp/200 Nm 1.0 TFSI three-cylinder petrol, a 150 hp/250 Nm 1.4 TFSI ultra four-pot petrol with COD (that’s cylinder on-demand, not a fish) and an all-new 190 hp/320 Nm 2.0 TFSI petrol.

On the diesel side there’s a 110 hp 1.6 TDI and a 2.0 TDI in both 150 hp/340 Nm and 184 hp/380 Nm flavours. All models get an option a six-speed manual gearbox and a seven-speed S tronic dual clutch transmission; the DCT on the 2.0 TFSI is completely new, and replaces the old six-speed ‘box. As always, power is sent to the front wheels as standard, with quattro permanent all-wheel drive available as an option.

The e-tron plug-in hybrid model has been retained, utilising a 150 hp/250 Nm 1.4 TFSI and a 75 kW/330 Nm electric motor to push out a system total of 204 hp. Also available is the g-tron model, powered by either natural gas or Audi e-gas, and powered again by a 110 hp 1.4 TFSI mill.

Engine compartment

Fans of performance machinery also get something to whoop about – the S3 model gains an extra 10 hp and 20 Nm (the latter only with the S tronic DCT) from the 2.0 TFSI, bumping outputs up to 310 hp and 400 Nm. Also added is S3-specific control for the stability control system and the multi-plate clutch.

Safety-wise, the revised A3 gains upgraded active lane assist and pre sense front systems, including predictive pedestrian protection. Also new is the traffic jam assist, working in conjunction with adaptive cruise control and its Stop&Go feature. The system keeps a safe distance from the vehicle in front and, if equipped with S tronic, will move forward again after a stop. It will also steer itself at speeds of up to 65 km/h.

Other new features include the optional Emergency Assist – which brakes to a safe stop if it detects that the driver is incapacitated behind the wheel despite warnings – along with rear cross-traffic assist.

GALLERY: Audi A3


GALLERY: Audi A3 Sportback
GALLERY: Audi A3 Sedan
GALLERY: Audi A3 Cabriolet
GALLERY: Audi S3
GALLERY: Audi S3 Sportback
GALLERY: Audi S3 Sedan
GALLERY: Audi S3 Cabriolet
GALLERY: Audi A3 Sportback g-tron
GALLERY: Audi A3 Sportback e-tron