Audi A3 Sportback (2021) – Distinctive, Digitalized And Sophisticated

Audi A3 Sportback (2021) – Distinctive, Digitalized

Audi established the premium compact class segment with the A3 in 1996. The fourth generation of the success model is now being introduced on the market – sporty, digitalized and fully connected. Beneath the progressive design of the body of the new Audi A3 Sportback lie many innovations from the full-size class, for example the infotainment, suspension, and driver assist systems.

Distinctive: design and lighting

The new Audi A3 Sportback features compact proportions and a sporty design. The wide Singleframe and large air inlets at the front end accentuate the dynamic character of the premium compact car. The shoulder of the body extends in a smooth line from the headlights to the rear lights. The surface below is curved inward – a new element of Audi’s design that puts a stronger emphasis on the wheel arches. The digital daytime running lights of the Matrix LED headlights are a further innovation. They consist of a pixel array made up of LED segments in a three by five arrangement that create special light signatures and make the A3 immediately recognizable. The sporty and sophisticated design is continued in the interior with the new shifter, aluminum or carbon inlays, striking door openers and an instrument panel with a black-panel look. Seat upholstery made of recycled PET bottles and adorned with stylish contrasting stitching are being used for the first time.

Digitalized: controls and displays

The cockpit of the Audi A3 Sportback is wholly focused on the driver. 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 center of the instrument panel. This recognizes letters entered by hand, provides acoustic feedback and can be controlled using natural language. The instrument cluster, which the driver operates via the multifunction steering wheel, is also digital as standard. The Audi virtual cockpit offers additional functions such as a large display of the navigation map. The plus version measures 12.3 inches and offers three different views, including graphics with a sporty look. A head-up display that projects important information onto the windshield in color can be installed upon request.

Intensified: the infotainment

The MMI operating concept is powered by the new third generation modular infotainment platform. Its computing power is ten times higher than that of its predecessor, it performs all tasks relating to connectivity, including telephony and the Audi connect services with LTE Advanced speed, and also has an integrated Wi-Fi hotspot.

Individual settings can be stored in up to six user profiles – from climate control and the seat position to frequently selected navigation destinations and frequently used media. The DAB+ digital radio is included as standard and the online or hybrid radio is available as an option. Route guidance is even easier and more flexible. For example, the navigation offers predictions on the development of the traffic situation, high-resolution satellite images from Google Earth and detailed 3D models of many major European cities. Audi connect enriches points of interest with photos, opening hours and user reviews. The connect services also include the car-to-X services. They help with finding free parking spots on the roadside or allow the driver to surf the green wave by communicating with traffic lights. The A3 Sportback is connected to the smartphone via the myAudi app, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, as well as via the Audi phone box. The latter connects the device to the car antenna and charges it inductively. Amazon Alexa and the Audi connect key, which authorizes the customer to lock and unlock the car and start the engine via their Android smartphone, will follow shortly after the market launch.

Sophisticated: the engines

The new A3 Sportback is being launched in Europe with two TFSI and two TDI versions. All engines impress with their powerful torque and sophisticated running characteristics. The 1.5 TFSI delivers 110 kW (150 PS) and is also available as an electrified version with 48-volt mild-hybrid system. The 2.0 TDI is available in two power levels: 85 kW (116 PS) or 110 kW (150 PS). The engine versions at start of production will be combined with front-wheel drive. Power will be transmitted by a six-speed manual transmission or the quick-shifting seven-speed S tronic, the selector lever of which is now designed as a compact shifter. The driver can push and pull this to control the basic functions of the automatic transmission. Shortly after market launch, Audi will be gradually expanding the offer to include further engine versions.

 

Refined: the suspension

The suspension of the new Audi A3 Sportback – with a four-link rear axle for engines from 110 kW (150 PS) – is sporty and balanced, combining pleasant ride comfort with good dynamics. Upon request, the suspension is available with adaptive damper control, which simultaneously lowers the body by 10 millimeters (0.4 in). Each damper permanently adapts to the road condition, the driving situation and the settings in the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, creating a wide spread between highly comfortable roll motion and agile handling. With the sport suspension – standard in conjunction with the S line exterior, otherwise an option – the focus is clearly on the latter. Due to the tauter tuning of the suspension and dampers and the fact that the vehicle is lowered by 15 millimeters (0.6 in), the compact model conveys an even more direct contact with the road surface.

Well versed: the driver assist systems

Equipped with Audi pre sense front, swerve assist and lane departure warning, the A3 Sportback helps prevent accidents with other road users and offers a high level of safety as standard. Further assist systems, such as the lane change and exit warnings as well as the cross-traffic and park assist systems, are available as an option. The adaptive cruise assist, which customers know from many of the full-size models, assists with longitudinal and lateral guidance. It maintains the speed and distance to the vehicle in front and assists with lane guidance by means of gentle interventions in the electromechanical steering. This increases the level of driving comfort during long journeys in particular.

Optimized: the space concept

The new A3 Sportback offers more space and functionality combined with compact external dimensions. Measuring 4.34 meters (14.2 ft) in length and 1.82 meters (6.0 ft) in width without the mirrors, the premium compact car has grown by just over three centimeters (1.2 in) compared with its predecessor. The height of 1.43 meters (4.7 ft) and the wheelbase of 2.64 meters (8.7 ft) remained unchanged. Depending on the position of the rear bench seat, the luggage compartment holds between 380 (13.4 cu ft) and 1,200 liters (42.4 cu ft), and the loading floor can be inserted at different heights. An electric tailgate, which can also be controlled with a foot motion, is available upon request.

Scheduled: market launch and prices

Presales of the new Audi A3 Sportback start in many European countries in March 2020, with the first vehicles to be delivered to customers at the beginning of May. The 1.5 TFSI with 110 kW (150 PS) starts at 28,900 euros. The market launch will be accompanied by a special-edition model: the A3 Sportback edition one with exclusive features. From the outside, it can be recognized by attachments in matt platinum gray as well as darkened Matrix LED headlights and 18-inch wheels in titanium gray. The S line interior with newly developed sport seats including integrated head restraints, aluminum inlays and stainless steel pedals round out the dynamic look.

Exterior and Lighting

The new Audi A3 Sportback has a sporty and taut road stance. The front section is dominated by a wide, hexagonal Singleframe with a honeycomb grille. It accentuates the dynamic character of the premium compact car just as clearly as the large, angular air inlets whose depth gives them a sculptural effect.

The shoulder line runs in a wedge shape from the headlights to the rear lights, making the Audi A3 Sportback appear longer. The surface below it falls inward, accentuating the quattro blisters and highlighting the body shoulder. With its concave side, the A3 Sportback is showcasing a completely new element of the Audi design. This creates an intensive play of light and shadow, which is mainly due to the strong contour in the sill area. The lower body line is drawn upward again before it reaches the rear wheel arch. This makes it appear particularly dynamic.

The heavily inclined C-pillars also give the compact five-door car a forward thrust. They are virtually squatting on the rear wheels. A long roof edge spoiler provides shade for the rear window, making it appear particularly flat – this effect makes the rear end with its three-dimensional design appear extremely wide. This impression is reinforced by the circumferential shoulder line, the wedge-shaped rear lights, the implied air outlets at the wheel arches, the diffuser insert, and the trapezoidal tailpipe trims.

 

Signed: digital daytime running lights

The headlights are available in three versions. Even the basic version uses almost all LED technology. Their flat, wedge-like shape underlines the sporty character of the new Audi A3 Sportback. Trapezoidal angles at their outside corners are drawn downward. The matrix LED headlights, the top-of-the-line version in the range, integrate a lighting innovation from Audi in these angles: digital daytime running lights. Their matrix of LED elements in a three-by-five arrangement can be actuated variably, which means that the different versions of the new Audi A3 Sportback each have specific signatures. While horizontal lines are characteristic of the basic model, two vertical LED lines emphasize the sportiness of the S line exterior. In addition, the matrix LED headlights offer intelligently controlled, anti-glare high beam light, dynamic turn signal light, and many other functions, including new animations when the car is unlocked and when exiting the car.

Interior

Black-panel look on the instrument panel and center console, stylish contrasting stitching, striking door openers, and a new shifter design – the interior of the A3 Sportback is sporty and of high quality. Precise horizontal lines and surfaces with a clear design emphasize the width of the cockpit. This is also achieved by the striking air vent door strip on the passenger side and the curved trim strip below. On the driver’s side, the air vents form an impressive unit with the cover of the instrument cluster. The elements are merged here, which underlines the puristic design.

Many of the design motifs make logical reference to each other and the exterior. Two examples: The hockey stick shape of the handles for opening the door are reminiscent of the headlights and rear lights. With their flat, pentagonal shape, the air vent doors on the driver’s side take on the motif of the air inlets on the front end.

The cockpit is totally focused on the driver. It uses familiar elements from the brand’s full-size class models and is equipped with a 10.1-inch touch display as standard. The screen is embedded in a trapezoidal black panel trim that takes up the center area of the instrument panel. When it is switched off, the display is hardly noticeable. It is inclined slightly toward the driver, as is the newly developed control unit for climate control located below. The black-panel surface is continued to the left of the steering wheel and further highlights the width of the cockpit.

The design of the center tunnel console is also particularly ergonomic. There is an innovative shifter integrated in its black-panel surface that offers the driver a completely new operating experience: Using shift-by-wire technology, the compact controller can be pushed and pulled to control the basic functions of the seven-speed S tronic. Next to it is a further innovation: A round, sensory volume control that reacts to circular finger movements. A large stowage compartment contains the inductive charging area of the Audi phone box and two USB connections.

Controls and Displays

Digital, easy to understand, and intuitive: The new A3 Sportback features a newly developed control and display concept with a flat menu structure and symbols that are familiar from smartphones. Audi has replaced the rotary pushbutton on the center tunnel with a large MMI touch display that provides acoustic feedback. It has a 10.1-inch diagonal, is configured as an MMI radio plus as standard and is used to control the infotainment system and a number of comfort functions. When the driver selects a function, the system provides acoustic feedback. The system also allows the driver to enter text in handwriting: It recognizes individual letters, cursive, whole words, and letters written on top of each other. The MMI search provides a list of suggestions even after entering just a few characters.

Alternatively, the system can be controlled with natural language voice control. This feature also comes as standard. The Audi A3 Sportback turns into an intelligent conversation partner: The driver can formulate their instructions freely and the dialog manager responds to them. For example, the system understands questions such as “Where is the nearest Italian restaurant?” and displays matching restaurants nearby. If the customer books the Audi connect navigation & infotainment plus package, the system also performs an online comparison, which improves the rate of recognition and the quality of the results.

The Audi A3 Sportback also comes with a digital instrument cluster as standard. It has a 10.25-inch diagonal and is operated via the multifunction steering wheel. In combination with MMI navigation plus, the displays appear in the Audi virtual cockpit, which has many additional functions, such as the large navigation map display. The larger Audi virtual cockpit plus with a 12.3-inch diagonal and a resolution of 1,920 x 720 pixels is even more attractive. It offers three different views, including particularly sporty graphics.

A head-up display completes the control and display concept of the new A3 Sportback. It projects important information, including from some connect services and assist systems, in the driver’s immediate field of vision on the windshield. The image appears at a distance of 2.2 meters (7.2 ft).

Infotainment and Audi connect

The control and display system of the new Audi A3 Sportback is powered by the latest generation of the modular infotainment platform, MIB 3. Its computing power is ten times higher than that of its predecessor system, MIB 2. The new MIB 3 works with the Online Connectivity Unit (OCU), which is equipped with an integrated eSIM and a Wi-Fi module for the passengers’ mobile devices. The OCU performs all connectivity-related tasks, for example fast data transfer. Individual settings can be stored in up to six user profiles – from climate control and the seat position to frequently selected navigation destinations and frequently used media.

 

More precise: the navigation

Upon request, Audi delivers MMI navigation plus, which features the same functions as the full-size class. The navigation system can make intelligent route suggestions on the basis of the journey history. In doing so, it takes statistical experience values on time and traffic density into account, as well as real-time data on the traffic situation. Should the data stream be cut off, for example when driving through a tunnel, onboard route guidance, which runs in parallel, steps in. The basic services from Audi connect add online traffic information to the navigation, enrich points of interest with photos, opening hours, and user reviews, and provide a weather forecast for the navigation destination.

In combination with the Audi connect navigation & infotainment plus package, high-resolution satellite images from Google Earth and detailed 3D models of many major European cities make orientation easier.

Communicated: car-to-X

The connect portfolio also includes multiple car-to-X services that make use of the swarm intelligence of the Audi fleet. Provided the local infrastructure is available, they help with finding free parking spots on the roadside or allow the driver to surf the green wave by communicating with the city’s main computer. The information on the traffic light circuits is displayed to the driver in the Audi virtual cockpit. This allows drivers to adjust their speed preemptively, which increases efficiency and improves traffic flow. The onboard camera and vehicle sensor system also detect hazardous areas and speed limits and communicate them to vehicles with the corresponding equipment. Communication takes place via the mobile network.

Synchronized: the myAudi app

Many Audi connect functions are bundled in the free myAudi app, which connects the customer’s smartphone to the A3 Sportback. It can be used, for example, to transfer navigation routes to the MMI and to stream music. The driver can also use the myAudi app to lock and unlock their Audi A3 Sportback remotely, to locate where the car is parked, to be guided to the vehicle, and to operate the optional stationary heater. The many innovations also include the optional Audi connect key, which will be introduced a few weeks after the market launch. It allows up to five users to lock and unlock the car and to start the engine with the start/stop button via an Android smartphone. The convenience key, which uses ultra-wide band technology (UWB) to communicate with the vehicle, is included as standard.

Intensified: the entertainment

The A3 Sportback is equipped with DAB+ digital radio as standard. Online radio and hybrid radio can be installed upon request. The former provides access to online stations that are available worldwide, while the latter automatically switches between FM, DAB, and the online stream to ensure optimum reception at all times. The Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System delivers fascinating surround sound. It drives 15 loudspeakers that produce a total output of 680 watts. Four of these loudspeakers are located in the instrument panel and use the reflections of the windshield to create the 3D sound. An algorithm that Audi developed in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute adds breadth and depth to the sound.

In order to connect the smartphone to the MMI, the Audi A3 Sportback is equipped with the Audi smartphone interface. It establishes contact with the customers’ iOS and Android smartphones and transfers their Apple CarPlay or Android Auto environment to the MMI display. This will even work wirelessly in the near future. The Audi phone box charges the smartphone inductively with an output of 5 watts. It also connects the phone to the car’s antenna and offers a top-quality hands-free function with HD voice and LTE.

Further functions will be introduced in the Audi connect navigation & infotainment plus package in the summer. Online media streaming introduces the offering of major music portals into the car. The Amazon “Alexa” voice assistant provides access to more than 80,000 skills as well as to smart home devices. It can stream music and audiobooks via Amazon Music and Audible.

Drive

In Europe, the A3 Sportback will be launched with a 1.5 TFSI and a 2.0 TDI in two power levels. Audi is also electrifying the compact five-door car: In addition to the 1.5 TFSI with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system the brand will expand the offering over the course of the year by adding a plug-in hybrid model in two power variants. Further TDI and TFSI engine versions will also be added to the portfolio, including ones with quattro drive. All engines provide powerful torque, sophisticated running characteristics, and high efficiency.

 

Highly efficient: the 1.5 TFSI with cylinder shutoff

The four-cylinder gasoline engine in the Audi A3 Sportback 35 TFSI has an output of 110 kW (150 PS) and delivers 250 Nm (184.4 lb-ft) of torque between 1,500 and 3,500 rpm. The sprint from zero to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) takes 8.4 seconds, and the car has a top speed of 224 km/h (139.2 mph). The highlight of the 1.5 TFSI is the cylinder on demand (COD) system, which temporarily deactivates the second and third cylinders at low and medium loads. The engine is very light thanks to its aluminum crankcase. The cylinder linings have an iron coating that reduces friction significantly. The cooling module allows efficient thermal management, assisted by the exhaust manifold integrated in the cylinder head.

Electrified: the 1.5 TFSI as a mild hybrid

The 1.5 TFSI with a mild-hybrid system has the same output as its sister engine. The performance is also identical; however, it is even more efficient. A belt alternator starter (BAS) is installed on the combustion engine. It feeds a 48-volt electrical system that integrates a compact lithium-ion battery under the front passenger seat. A voltage converter connects the conventional 12-volt electrical system. In customer operation, the MHEV system achieves a fuel-consumption advantage of up to 0.4 liters per 100 kilometers.

When the driver decelerates or applies the brake slightly, the BAS can recuperate up to 12 kW of power and feed it to the battery. When driving off and accelerating from a low rotational speed, it assists the TFSI with up to 9 kW and 50 Nm (36.9 lb-ft) of torque. In certain driving situations, it shifts the loads such that the engine’s efficiency is further increased. It also manages the state of charge of the 48-volt battery. It stores enough power to enable the A3 Sportback to coast with the engine switched off in many situations. The BAS then quickly and conveniently restarts the TFSI, just like at the end of the start/stop phase, which already starts at a residual speed of 22 km/h (13.7 mph).

Optimized: the TDI engines

In terms of diesel engines, there is the 2.0 TDI with 85 kW (116 PS) or 110 kW (150 PS). Its technical intricacies include separate coolant circuits for the purpose of highly flexible thermal management, two balance shafts to enable sophisticated running characteristics (for the 110 kW engine), cylinder pressure sensors to achieve optimum combustion, and minimized internal friction to enable high efficiency. The crankshaft is 2.8 kilograms (6.2 lb) lighter than that of the two-liter predecessor engine.

The A3 Sportback 30 TDI is equipped with a 2.0 TDI with an output of 85 kW (116 PS) that delivers a full 300 Nm (221.3 lb-ft) of torque between 1,600 and 2,500 rpm. The 85 kW TDI accelerates the entry-level model from a standstill to 62.1 mph in 10.1 seconds and on to a top speed of 206 km/h (128.0 mph). The Audi A3 Sportback 35 TDI is equipped with a 2.0 TDI with an output of 110 kW (150 PS). Basic data: 360 Nm (265.5) between 1,600 and 2,750 rpm, 0-100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 8.4 seconds, top speed of 224 km/h (139.2 mph).

Newly developed: the six-speed manual transmission

Power transmission is performed by a manual transmission as standard. In the Audi A3 Sportback 35 TFSI and the A3 Sportback 30 TDI, this is done by a completely new six-speed manual transmission. It covers the torque range from 200 to 340 Nm (147.5-250.8 lb-ft). It is also very efficient, saving up to 5 grams of CO2 per 100 kilometers (62.1 mi) as compared to the predecessor transmission. The first gear usually has a very short ratio in order to enable a powerful start-off and the highest gear has very long ratio for the purpose of lowering the rotational speed and consumption.

Custom-made: the seven-speed S tronic

The A3 Sportback 35 TFSI MHEV and the A3 Sportback 35 TDI are equipped with a seven-speed S tronic as standard, which the driver can control via paddles on the steering wheel. Its gear ratio is also relatively short in the lower gears and long in the higher gears. In interaction with the optional dynamic handling system Audi drive select, the quick-shifting dual-clutch transmission offers a freewheeling function that is activated in many situations when the driver takes their foot off the accelerator. The technology of the two transmissions differs in important aspects. In the case of the seven-speed S tronic for the gasoline engine, the two clutches require no oil supply, which increases their efficiency. In the case of the transmission for the 2.0 TDI, they are cooled with oil as needed.

 

Suspension

Agile in town, sporty on country roads, comfortable on the highway – Audi further developed the strengths of the predecessor model in the suspension of the new Audi A3 Sportback. Even the standard suspension is sporty and balanced, combining pleasant ride comfort with good dynamics. The front and rear track widths have each increased in width by 11 millimeters (0.4 in), to 1,554 (61.2 in) and 1,525 millimeters (60.0 in), respectively.

With regard to the axle concept, Audi relies on a MacPherson axle with bottom wishbones at the front. Models with an output of 110 kW (150 PS) and more are equipped with a four-link rear suspension with separate spring/damper arrangement. Engines with an output of less than 110 kW (150 PS) are equipped with a light and compact torsion-beam rear axle. The swivel bearings are made of aluminum.

Even the standard electromechanical steering with speed-dependent power assistance has a sporty and direct gear ratio. The following applies to the optional progressive steering: The further the driver turns in the wheel, the more direct the ratio becomes. This reduces steering effort in urban traffic and when maneuvering; in tight curves the new A3 Sportback is even more agile and precise.

Lowered: two optional suspensions

For engine variants with an output from 110 kW (150 PS), the suspension is available with adaptive damper control upon request, which lowers the body by 10 millimeters (0.4 in). Sensors measure the vertical acceleration of the body structure and the relative movement of the individual wheels. The control unit processes their signals within milliseconds and continually adapts each damper individually to the road condition, the driving situation, and the setting in the Audi drive select dynamic handling system. Here, the driver can select between dynamic or comfort-oriented basic tuning in the profiles auto, comfort, and dynamic. The dampers enable a very wide spread between highly comfortable roll motion and agile handling. With the sport suspension, which comes as standard with the S line exterior, the focus is clearly on the latter. Due to the tauter tuning of the suspension and dampers and the fact that the vehicle is lowered by 15 millimeters (0.6 in), the compact model conveys an even more direct contact with the road surface.

Controlled: Audi drive select and ESC

The driving experience becomes even more varied with the optional Audi drive select system. The driver can use this system to vary not only the dampers, but also the characteristics of the steering assist system and throttle response, as well as the switch points of the S tronic (for engine versions with 110 kW (150 PS).

As part of the sensitive and safe regulation of the Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC), the wheel-selective torque control also contributes to vehicle dynamics: Should the front wheel on the inside of the curve lose grip when cornering at high speed, it is braked slightly to ensure that the car maintains a stable and sporty course.

Centralized: the modular dynamic handling control

New in the Audi A3 Sportback is the modular dynamic handling control. The central system collects the data from all components relevant for transverse dynamics and thus ensures that the interplay between them is precise and quick. It computes the optimal settings for the adaptive dampers, the ESC and the quattro drive – predictively based on steering movements. The modular dynamic handling control increases agility in this way, especially on winding roads.

Enlarged: wheels and brakes

The wheel portfolio of the new A3 Sportback ranges from 16 to 19 inches and up to a tire dimension of 235/35. The two exterior lines include 17-inch wheels, while offerings from Audi Sport are available for 18-inch and 19-inch wheels. The tires for all dimensions were optimized in terms of rolling resistance without compromising handling or braking performance.

The brake disks at the front axle are internally ventilated and have a diameter of 312 millimeters (12.3 in), at the rear axle the diameter is 272 millimeters (10.7 in). The brake pistons are pressurized by an electric brake booster. Due to its very quick response time, the developers were able to increase the air gap between the brake pad and the brake disk slightly. This solution prevents friction loss due to slight contact with the brake pads and increases efficiency.

Space Concept and Body

The new A3 Sportback offers more space and functionality combined with compact external dimensions. It measures 4.34 meters (14.2 ft) in length and 1.82 meters (6.0 ft) in width without the mirrors, and is therefore just over three centimeters (1.2 in) larger than the predecessor model. The passengers benefit from this directly: They have more elbow room at the front and rear and more shoulder room in the rear. Without the roof antenna, the new Audi A3 Sportback is 1.43 meters (4.7 ft) high, which is identical to the third generation, as is the wheelbase of 2.64 meters (8.7 ft). By contrast, the slightly lower seat position for the driver is a new feature. This underlines the sporty character of the compact model and benefits the headroom in the first seat row.

In addition to the standard seats, Audi offers the new advanced sport seats with high side bolsters and integrated head restraints, which are standard in the interior S line. Seat heating, electric adjustment, and a lumbar support with a pneumatic massage function are available in addition. There is even a wide range of steering wheels – round or flattened, with standard or large multifunction buttons, with or without shift paddles.

Depending on the position of the rear seats, the luggage compartment has a capacity of 380 to 1,200 liters (13.4-42.4 cu ft). The loading floor can be inserted at different heights, and the rear shelf is located beneath it. On request, Audi will deliver the storage and luggage compartment package and an electric tailgate, which can also be opened and closed with a foot motion. Depending on the engine version, the new A3 Sportback has a towing capacity of up to 1,600 kg (3,527.4 lb) (braked, at a 12 percent incline).

The body is extremely impact resistant, rigid, and acoustically comfortable. With the 1.5 TFSI, the A3 Sportback has an unladen weight (without driver) of just 1,280 kg (2,821.9 lb), making it very light. In the passenger cell, components made of hot-formed steel, which combine high strength and low weight, form a strong compound. They make up 29 percent of the weight of the body shell. The engine hood is made of aluminum. Thanks to complex soundproofing and sophisticated aeroacoustics, it is very quiet in the interior of the new A3. Privacy glazing for the rear is available as an option: The windows are tinted and make it difficult to look into the vehicle interior.

With a drag coefficient starting from 0.28, the Audi A3 Sportback is particularly aerodynamically efficient, which reduces CO2 emissions and fuel consumption. Aerodynamics developers and designers started working together closely at a very early stage and optimized many areas of the body, including the exterior mirrors and the underbody, which received large-area paneling. The 110 kW TDI engine version has a controllable cooled air inlet: two horizontally positioned louver modules behind the Singleframe that are actuated electrically. They regulate the airflow intelligently and situationally, which has two advantages: optimum cooling output and aerodynamic efficiency. While driving, they remain closed as much as possible. The brake cooling with a neutral drag coefficient, where the air is guided from the engine compartment through the wheel arch shell to the brakes, is another new feature.

Driver Assist Systems

There is a lot of technology expertise in the new A3 Sportback. This is made particularly apparent by the extensive set of driver assist systems, many of which are from the full-size class. The fully equipped version of the premium compact car has a front radar with a 60-degree opening angle that can measure up to a width of 160 meters (524.9 ft), two rear radar sensors, each with a range of 70 meters (229.7 ft), a front camera, twelve ultrasonic sensors, as well as four surround view cameras.

Safeguarded: three standard systems

In the standard Audi pre sense front system, the camera works with the front radar. This allows the A3 Sportback to avoid accidents with other vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists in front of the car, or at least to reduce the severity of such accidents. The system outputs an optical, acoustic, and haptic warning to the driver. In an emergency, it initiates emergency braking. The collision avoidance assist is another standard safety system. It broadens the spectrum of Audi pre sense front and helps the driver to steer around an obstacle. The standard lane departure warning also performs steering corrections to ensure that the car does not depart from its lane inadvertently.

Well versed: the adaptive cruise assist as part of the assist package

The adaptive cruise assist (ACA) is a highlight among the driver assist systems. It is the most complex system for the new Audi A3 Sportback and performs the tasks of steering, accelerating, and braking for the driver to a great extent on many sections of the journey up to a speed of 210 km/h (130.5 mph). The ACA is included in what is know as the “assist package” and is available for all models, including those with manual transmission. The package includes a capacitive steering wheel. Advantage: The driver does not have to apply any steering torque, but just touch the steering wheel gently in order to maintain automatic lateral guidance.

The assist package also includes the efficiency assist, which is available in combination with the navigation system. It indicates to the driver via the display when they should take their foot off the accelerator, for example because they are approaching a corner or small town. The system obtains the information from the navigation map. If the ACA is active, it can also detect vehicles driving in front via the front sensors and adapt the vehicle’s speed to theirs.

The high-beam assist and the emergency assist are also part of the extensive assist package. It also includes two parking functions: the park assist and the parking system plus. The former can guide the vehicle into parallel and perpendicular parking spots almost independently, using ultrasonic sensors all around the car. The driver only has to accelerate, brake and shift gears. In the case of parallel parking spots, the system provides the same assistance when maneuvering out of the parking spot. The system can also be activated during an ongoing manual parking procedure, for example if the driver realizes that they approached the parking spot from an awkward angle.

Optional: further systems

The Audi side assist lane change warning, the exit warning, and the cross traffic assist are also useful in urban traffic. They use the signals output by the rear radar sensors to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the rear or the side. 360 degree cameras will follow as an individual option shortly after the market launch.

Equipment Lines

There are three exterior lines and three interior lines available for the Audi A3 Sportback, which can be combined as desired. In addition to the basic version, there is the advanced exterior and the S line exterior. With regard to the colors and materials in the interior, A3 customers can choose between basic, interior design selection, and interior S line. The A3 Sportback thus offers numerous possibilities for individualization.

Tapered: the exterior variants

In the advanced exterior variant, the frames of the air inlets are designed in selenite silver, while those of the S line exterior are a matt platinum gray. There are similar differences at the rear end. The Singleframe of both lines is painted in titanium black and surrounded by a chrome frame. The air inlets and the blade that completes the front end at the bottom are larger and more striking with the S line exterior. There is a third flat air inlet above the blade. The honeycomb grilles in the Singleframe are larger and have small insert strips. The grille is mounted a little lower and there are three flat louvers above it. The roof edge spoiler has a dynamic contour and the diffuser insert has a more dominant design.

In both lines, the optional black styling package further sharpens its appearance. It includes the frame of the Singleframe and of the air inlets and the blade. In the S line exterior, it also includes the frame of the diffuser and the insert strips in the side sill. The housings of the exterior mirrors are also available in black.

A roof rail in matt black or anodized aluminum is available as an option for all three exterior variants. A3 customers can choose between twelve colors for the paint finish. Atoll blue, turbo blue, Manhattan gray, and python yellow are new colors.

Individualized: the interior lines

Different seat upholstery in various color combinations, ranging from sustainable recycled material to fine Nappa leather, are available for the three interior designs. The “Puls” and “Torsion” materials used to cover the seats in the S line and design selection interior variants consist of up to 89 percent recycled polyester. For one set of seats made of “Torsion” material, 45 1.5-liter PET bottles are shredded, melted down, chopped, and extruded to create fibers which are then spun into threads. There is also a large selection of materials and colors for the decor surfaces on the instrument panel, for example insert strips made of gray birch wood, two aluminum designs, or carbon.

Both lines include a three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, illuminated door sill trims, and stylish contrasting stitching on the center armrest, the door armrests, and the instrument panel. The design selection also includes topstitching on the gear/selector lever and the floor mats.

The contour/ambient lighting package will follow shortly after the market launch: It can be adjusted to 30 different colors and illuminates the distinctive design lines with striking light and the surfaces with soft light. The Interior S line includes the advanced sport seats with leather and Alcantara covers, which are decorated with a new rhombus pattern. The Interior S line is complemented by a black headlining, stainless steel pedals, S embossing in the front seat backrests, and a steering wheel with contrasting stitching and the S emblem.

Scheduled: deliveries and prices

The new Audi A3 Sportback is rolling off the line at the Audi main plant in Ingolstadt, just like its predecessor, and starts at EUR 26,800 in Germany. Presales will begin in March 2020 in Germany and many European countries. Deliveries are scheduled to start in early May. The 35 TFSI with 110 kW (150 PS) is listed at EUR 28,900.

The new Audi A3 Sportback features a generous list of standard equipment. The exterior includes 16-inch aluminum wheels and headlights with LED technology. The interior comes with a multifunction steering wheel, a digital instrument cluster, and a 10.1-inch touch display as standard. The standard scope of assist systems includes Audi pre sense front, the lane departure warning, and the swerve assist. Optional comfort features include the seat massage in the lumbar area, the panoramic glass sunroof, 3-zone automatic air conditioning, the contour/ambient lighting package with its various settings (standard with the design selection), and the adaptive cruise assist.

Selected: the “edition one” special-edition model

The special-edition model “edition one” with exclusive features will be available at market introduction in the four colors of atoll blue, mythos black, glacier white, and Navarra blue. The exterior is based on the advanced line with attachments in platinum gray, matt, and the interior is based on the S line package. The latter includes newly developed sport seats with integrated head restraints and the S emblem in the backrests, a perforated steering wheel with the S badge, aluminum decor, black headlining, and stainless steel pedals. Darkened matrix LED headlights and 18-inch wheels in titanium gray round off the vehicle’s dynamic appearance. The price of the special-edition model combined with the 35 TFSI starts at EUR 34,700.

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