Audi A3 ready to take crown

The new A3 is in top form, for the first time Audi have put a boot on the back of it but that wasn’t the only change.

The new A3 is in top form, for the first time Audi have put a boot on the back of it but that wasn’t the only change.

Actually the really built a whole new body on the A3 saloon and now, when you pick the right spec, it’s simply gorgeous.

The boot is massive at 425ltrs there’s more than enough room in it for daily use and you’ll even get a pram in thanks to the size of the opening.

The first ever booted A3 begins the Vorsprung durch Technik brand’s foray into the world’s largest market segment – the compact saloon class. 28% of Irish cars sold in 2012 were compact saloons.

Audi’s venture into this segment in the A3 class showcases leadership of the Audi brand.

Its design is a cross between the classic three-box concept and the coupé philosophy.

The “tornado line” design element forms a distinct light-refracting edge that runs over the entire side.

The overhangs are short.

The four-door car has a 2.64 metre long wheelbase and an overall length of 4.46 metres. At the front, the bonnet contours, bumper and air intake design and the single frame grille have been redefined for the newcomer, while at the rear, lights with broad and low cuts emphasize the car’s horizontal lines and an integrated ‘kicked-up’ boot spoiler lends a purposeful air.

There’s no doubt that the A3 Saloon has the presence on the road, it also has the ability to be the top selling car in the segment but I can’t help but wonder if the A3 saloon makes the A4 redundant for retail sales.

It’s more affordable, almost as big and comes with the same engines.

I’m sure Audi know what they are doing though.

The low 100kg weight of the 1.4-litre TFSI 140HP engine is also notable for its efficiencyfocused Cylinder on Demand technology.

At low engine load, the system deactivates two cylinders to minimise mechanical effort and cut fuel consumption. As a result, combined economy tops out at a TDI-rivalling 4.7l/100km, while CO2 is pared back to 109g/km which will sit in VRT band A3.

Helped by its healthy 250Nm torque peak, the A3 1.4 TFSI Saloon takes just 8.4 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100kph, and can reach 217kph where conditions allow.

The diesel contingent is initially represented by the latest 2.0-litre TDI producing 150HP and 320 Nm of torque. It powers the A3 Saloon from 0 to 100kph in 8.7 seconds, takes it to a top speed of 220kph and is capable of returning up to 4.1l/100km.

This equates to CO2 output of 107g/km which sits the 2.0-litre TDI in VRT band ‘A3’.

Just in time for January 2014 delivery, a 1.6-litre TDI producing 105HP and 250Nm of torque will return 3.9l/100km and, with only 99g/km of Co2, it sits in VRT band A2. The same engine, when combined with a six-speed manual transmission, will have the accomplishment of being having the lowest Co2 emissions from any saloon car in Ireland. This, of course, excludes electric and hybrid vehicles.

First deliveries of the A3 saloon start in September and prices start at €29,950 for the 1.4TFSI.

*** The original A3 was introduced in the European market in 1996, marking Audi’s return to the production of smaller cars following the demise of the Audi 50.