ⓘ Audi A3
The Audi A3 is a small family or subcompact executive car manufactured and marketed since the 1990s by the Audi subdivision of the Volkswagen Group, now in its 3rd generation.
The first two generations of the Audi A3 were based on the Volkswagen Group A platform, which they share with the Audi TT, Volkswagen Golf, Volkswagen Caddy, and Volkswagen Touran, as well as SEAT Leon, SEAT Toledo, and Skoda Octavia.
The third-generation A3 uses the Volkswagen Group MQB platform.
1. First generation Typ 8L; 1996–2003
The original A3 or Type 8L was introduced in the European market in 1996, marking Audis return to the production of smaller cars following the demise of the Audi 50 in 1978. This was the first Volkswagen Group model to use the "PQ34" or "A4" platform, bearing a close resemblance to the contemporary Volkswagen Golf Mk4, which arrived a year later. Within three years, this platform was used for total of seven cars.
The A3 was initially available only with a three-door hatchback body, to present a more sporty image than the Golf, in both front and four-wheel drive. The inline four-cylinder engines were transversely mounted. The Audi A3 was the eighth model in the Audi lineup to use five valves per cylinder.
The United Kingdom market first received the Audi A3 in November 1996.
In 1999, Audi expanded the range with the introduction of more powerful versions: a 1.8 turbo rated 180 PS 132 kW; 178 hp, and a 1.9 TDI diesel engine with unit injector "Pumpe Duse" PD technology and variable geometry turbocharger. The four-wheel-drive A3 1.8T quattro used either the 150 PS 110 kW; 148 hp or 180 PS 132 kW; 178 hp engine, and the same Haldex Traction-based four-wheel-drive system as the Audi S3 and the Audi TT. Also in 1999, Audi also introduced a five-door body.
In late 2000, the A3 range was revised with new headlights and rear lamps, other minor cosmetic changes, an improved interior, and the introduction of a six-speed manual gearbox, on the 180 PS 132 kW; 178 hp 1.8 Turbo and the new 130 PS 96 kW; 128 hp 1.9 TDI.
Audis electronic stability control, traction-control, and brake force distribution computer became standard equipment in some countries.
Although the first-generation Audi A3 was replaced in Europe in 2003, the first generation model continued to be sold in some markets. Production of the first generation model stopped in Brazil in 2006.
1.1. First generation Typ 8L; 1996–2003 S3 1999–2003
Audi released the A3-derived Audi S3 in 1999, only as a three-door hatchback. The inline-four 20v 1.8 L turbocharged petrol engine came in two versions: 210 PS 154 kW; 207 hp and 225 PS 165 kW; 222 hp. Early models 1999–2001 had 210 PS 154 kW; 207 hp. Later models 2001–2003 had variable valve timing and 225 PS 165 kW; 222 hp. The engine had a maximum of 280 N⋅m 210 ft⋅lbf torque. This was the first time a small four-cylinder engine had been used in an Audi S-series car.
Although dubbed "quattro", the S3 uses a different four-wheel drive system. The Haldex Traction coupling adjusts the bias of torque distribution from the front to rear axle as grip requirements change – most of the time it operates as a front-wheel drive.
The S3 was sold in Europe, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.
The S3 was given a facelift in 2002, where it was given one-piece headlights/indicator units, different front wings, rear lights clusters, and some minor upgrades to interior trim.
Standard features include xenon HID headlamps with high pressure washers and auto levelers, front fog lamps, 17" "Avus" alloy wheels with 225/45R17 tyres, electrically adjustable Recaro leather seats, climate control, alarm and electronic stability control with traction control.
Options include a Bose sound system, boot/trunk or in-dash mounted 6-disc CD changer, metallic paint, 18-inch 9-spoke RSTT wheels, glass sunroof, centre arm rest, privacy glass B-pillar backwards, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, parking assist, luggage net, heated front seats, cruise control, aluminium door mirror casings and part leather/Alcantara blue/silver/yellow combination seat coverings. These items are standard in some export markets.
1.2. First generation Typ 8L; 1996–2003 Engines
The engines used are the same as those for many other cars in the Volkswagen Group.
2.1. Second generation Typ 8P; 2003–2013 Initial release
At the 2003 Geneva Motor Show, Audi launched the second generation of the A3, the Typ 8P, designed by Gary Telaak during 2000 however, the final design was frozen in 2001. Originally launched only as a three-door hatchback with four-cylinder engines, it featured a new automobile platform the PQ35 platform, a redesigned and more spacious interior, new petrol engines with Fuel Stratified Injection FSI, and standard six-speed manual gearboxes except on the base 1.6.
In mid-2003, the line was updated with two sports-oriented models, a 2.0 Turbo-FSI version rated 200 PS 147 kW; 197 hp, and a 3.2 L VR6 engine for the first time with 250 PS 184 kW; 247 hp. Haldex Traction-based quattro on-demand four-wheel drive, and the S-Tronic semi-auto gearbox were introduced as options quattro is standard on the VR6 on models with engines over 140 PS 103 kW; 138 hp.
In 2005, the "S line" trim level, offering new decorative elements, became available and the three-door A3 received the same front end styling features as the Sportback model. For the first time, the A3 became available in the North American market, exclusively with the Sportback body, with the base 2.0 inline-four FSI introduced in 2005 as a 2006 model, and the 3.2 VR6 quattro following.
2.2. Second generation Typ 8P; 2003–2013 A3 Sportback 2004–2013
The five-door "Sportback" model was introduced in June 2004. The A3 Sportback is 80 mm 3.1 in longer than the base three-door body, and includes improved rear cabin space and a larger luggage compartment 370 litres. It also received the new "single frame" front grille originally introduced in the A8 W12, which was later adopted across the whole A3 range.
2.3. Second generation Typ 8P; 2003–2013 S3 2006–2013
In August 2006, Audi announced the second generation S3. Offered in three- and five-door body styles, the second generation - Typ 8P - S3 is powered by a modified and uprated Volkswagen Group-sourced 2.0-litre turbocharged FSI petrol engine, with a maximum output of 195 kW 265 PS; 261 bhp. As with all Audi S models, the design was done in-house by quattro GmbH. The engine features uprated high-performance pistons, revised boost/fuel mapping, increased turbocharger size KKK K04 and larger intercooler. The most powerful form of this engine, and quattro four-wheel drive, makes for a 0–100 km/h 0–62 mph time of 5.5 seconds, and an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h 155 mph. Audi offers both six-speed manual and six-speed S-Tronic automatic transmissions with the S3.
The spring ratings and dampers were revised, along with the body kit. Like its predecessor, although badged a "quattro" model, the S3 does not employ a Torsen centre differential as in other common quattro models, but instead uses the Swedish Haldex Traction system in its on-demand four-wheel drive transmission, due to the transverse engine layout.
2.4. Second generation Typ 8P; 2003–2013 Safety
Euro NCAP tested a second generation Audi A3 with front airbags, side airbags, seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters as standard. Despite Audi increasing the protection inside the car for the driver and passengers, pedestrian safety actually got 33% worse compared to the first generation and Euro NCAP gave criticism for the car offering virtually no protection at all on the front end and scoring just one star from a possible four. "A poor result for a new car" was the verdict given for pedestrian safety after the test.
2.5. Second generation Typ 8P; 2003–2013 2008 facelift
Audi introduced a number of changes to the A3 and S3 in 2008. These include revised nose and tail styling, with a modified grille and daytime running lights, common rail 2.0 TDI engines, seven-speed S tronic dual clutch transmission availability for the smaller non-U.S. engines, and optional "magnetic ride" adaptive shock absorbers. In addition, the range now includes an S3 Sportback model.
Also, a cabriolet version was introduced. It was similar dimensions to the 3-door version, with a two-box design.
2.6. Second generation Typ 8P; 2003–2013 Audi A3 TDI Clubsport quattro 2008
Audi A3 TDI Clubsport quattro is a concept car unveiled in 2008. Based on the Audi A3 three-door, it is an approach by Audi to address both performance and the environment.
The engine in the concept car is a turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel producing 224 hp 167 kW and 332 lb⋅ft 450 N⋅m. of torque. It produces 113.8 horsepower 84.9 kW per litre while meeting Euro 5 Diesel emission standards. It uses the quattro drive system with a six-speed manual transmission.
The chassis has Audis Magnetic Ride Suspension system, lowering the vehicle 1.4 inches 36 mm from the base model. It also has ceramic front brakes, a four-link rear suspension and electro-mechanical servo assist for the rack and pinion steering.
Exterior modifications include the widening of the three-doors grill, modifying the odd, and enlarging air intakes. Bolt-on fender flares and a large rear spoiler have been added. The interior changes include sport seats and a flat-bottomed steering wheel.
Audi claims performance of 0 to 62 mph 0 to 100 km/h in 6.6 seconds with a top speed of 149 mph 240 km/h. It is expected to get approximately 40 miles per US gallon 5.9 L/100 km; 48 mpg ‑imp.
2.7. Second generation Typ 8P; 2003–2013 RS 3 Sportback 2011–2012
The Audi RS 3 is derivative of the A3 Sportback with a 5-cylinder, 2.480 cc 151 cu in turbocharged engine rated at 340 PS 250 kW; 335 hp and 450 N⋅m 332 lb⋅ft, vermicular-graphite cast iron crankcase, seven-speed S tronic transmission with two automatic modes and one manual mode, Quattro on-demand four-wheel drive system, widened track to 1.564 mm 61.57 in, MacPherson strut in aluminum, lowered body by 25 mm 0.98 in, 19-inch cast aluminum wheels in machine-polished titanium styling optional black with a red rim flange with 235/35 front and 225/35 rear tires, 370 mm 14.57 in front and 310 mm 12.20 in ventilated brake discs, aluminum brake disk covers, four-piston fixed calipers in high-gloss black with RS logos, electronic stabilization program with Sport mode, flared front fenders made of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic CFRP, prominent sill panels and exterior-mirror casings in matte aluminum, roof spoiler, high-gloss black diffuser insert, two elliptical exhaust tailpipes on the left, black interior, sports seats upholstered in Nappa leather with silver contrasting stitching, inlays in Piano black finish or Aluminum Race colour, flat-bottomed leather multifunction sports steering wheel, choice of 5 body colors are available with an unlimited selection of custom paint finishes. Its acceleration is quoted as 0 to 62 mph 0 to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds, with an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph 249 km/h. Optional features included front bucket seats, roof rails in matte aluminum look, styling packages in black or matte aluminum.
First deliveries started in early 2011.
2.8. Second generation Typ 8P; 2003–2013 A3 Cabriolet Sport and S line Final Edition 2013–
The A3 Cabriolet Sport Final Edition is a version of the A3 Cabriolet Sport model for the UK market, commemorating the end of the A3 Cabriolets production run. It included Vienna leather upholstery, front seat heating, rear parking sensors, automatic headlight and wiper activation, cruise control, a Bluetooth mobile phone interface.
S line Final Edition is based on the A3 Cabriolet Sport Final Edition model, with 18-inch S line alloy wheel with a new five-segment spoke design, full Vienna leather upholstery, S line safety and entertainment features with xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lamps, DVD-based satellite-navigation, Audi Music Interface iPod connection, a BOSE sound system.
2.9. Second generation Typ 8P; 2003–2013 Engines
In January 2007, the normally aspirated non-turbo 2.0 FSI was replaced by a new turbocharged 1.8 TFSI engine rated 160 PS 118 kW; 158 hp. It is available in front-wheel drive only.
In late 2007, Audi introduced a new 125 PS 92 kW; 123 hp 1.4 L TFSI engine for the A3, replacing the 1.6 L FSI engine, and a new diesel "e"-model. The "e"-model, Audis equivalent of Volkswagens BlueMotion, is available with the 1.9 L TDI engine, and offers a more ecological car, with a CO 2 emission below 120 g/km.
In June 2009, Audi announced the release of two models of A3 1.6 TDI for European market. The first uses Audis start/stop and energy recovery system, and will produce 105 PS 77 kW; 104 hp. This engine will achieve approximately 4.1 L/100 km 69 mpg ‑imp ; 57 mpg ‑US. The second engine does not use the same efficiency systems and will produce 90 PS 66 kW; 89 hp will get 4.5 L/100 km 63 mpg ‑imp ; 52 mpg ‑US. They went on sale in June 2009.
In August 2009, Audi announced that the 1.6 L eight-valve petrol engine would be replaced by a turbocharged 1.2 TFSI engine already found in VWs Polo and Golf models. This engine is rated at 105 PS 77 kW; 104 hp and 175 N⋅m 129 lb⋅ft, emitting 127 g/km of CO 2. As of April 2010, Audi has yet to release official specifications or prices for the 1.2 TSI model, as the 1.6 model has been made a special clearance model for clearing out 1.6 stock.
The A3 2.0 TDI clean diesel is a version of Audis A3 2.0 TDI for the North American market, making it the second Audi TDI vehicle sold in North America, following the Audi Q7 TDI in 2008. It is a FWD vehicle with S-tronic transmission with Hill-hold assist, Sirius satellite radio, Leather seats and steering wheel, Auxiliary audio input, Dual-zone climate control, 17 in 432 mm alloy wheels. The vehicle was unveiled at the 2009 North American International Auto Show. This US model would begin sale in the first quarter of 2010 as a 2010 model year vehicle.
In March 2011, the line-up was expanded with the introduction of a more powerful 2.0 TDI with 170 PS 125 kW; 168 hp.
The 2012 Audi 2.0L I4 TDI produces 140 hp 104 kW and 236 lb⋅ft 320 N⋅m of torque and will go from 0 to 60 mph 0 to 97 km/h in 8.9 seconds.
The 2.0 TDI engine was included in the engines found by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to use software intentionally designed to turn off emission control systems except when undergoing emission testing. Models made from 2009 to 2015 were affected.
3. Third generation Typ 8V; 2012–2020
The vehicle was unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show and went on sale in Europe in September 2012.
First vehicle using the flexible modular Volkswagen Group MQB platform, the third generation is available as a three-door hatchback, a five-door "Sportback", a four-door saloon to directly rival the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class, and a two-door Cabriolet.
The front suspension is a MacPherson strut set-up while the rear utilizes multi-link rear suspension.
The features include:
- adaptive cruise control
- 4G broadband internet
- Multi-collision brake: Emergency braking function stops the car after the first impact, to prevent secondary collisions
- Multi Media Interface MMI entertainment system Tegra 3 processor with handwriting recognition
- active lane assist
- side assist
- Pre sense front/basic radar-guided collision avoidance system
Early German models include 1.4 TFSI 122 PS, 1.8 TFSI 180 PS, and 2.0 TDI 150 PS. 1.2 TFSI 105 PS, 1.4 TFSI 140 PS, 1.8 TFSI quattro 180 PS, 1.6 TDI 105 PS, and 2.0 TDI quattro 150 PS were added in 2013.
A3 1.2 TFSI 105 PS was added to the UK market in 2013, followed by A3 1.4 TFSI 140 PS in 2013.
3.1. Third generation Typ 8V; 2012–2020 A3 Sedan 2013–present
The A3 Sedan includes a body 11 mm 0.43 in wider and 9 mm 0.35 in lower than that of the A3 Sportback. Other features include 16- to 18-inch-wheels optional 19-inch wheels via quattro GmbH and electronic stabilization control with electronic differential lock.
The vehicle was unveiled at the 2013 New York Auto Show.
The German model went on sale in late summer 2013. Early models include 1.4 TFSI 140 PS, 1.8 TFSI 180 PS, and 2.0 TDI 150 PS.
Delivery of the UK models began in autumn of 2013. Early models include 1.4 TFSI 140 PS, 1.8 TFSI 180 PS, and 2.0 TDI 150 PS.
In international markets like Pakistan, Audi has introduced it with a 1.2 TFSI engine. This has allowed Audi to bypass high import duties on larger displacement engine, offer the car at a competitive price and become a leader in imported luxury car segment. In Malaysia, the Audi A3 was launched in 2014 and sold as two models - a 1.4-liter with 7-speed S-tronic transmission, and a 1.8-liter with 6-speed DSG and Quattro all-wheel drive. The facelifted version has yet to be launched. In Singapore, the Audi A3 sedan and sportback are currently available as 1.0-liter turbo models only.
3.2. Third generation Typ 8V; 2012–2020 A3 Cabrio 2013–present
The A3 cabriolet model was offered starting in 2014. It has a three-box bodystyle and a larger boot than the previous model 320 litres versus 260.
3.3. Third generation Typ 8V; 2012–2020 A3 Sportback g-tron 2013–present
It is a version of the A3 Sportback with 1.4 TFSI 110 PS engine powered by compressed natural gas or Audi e-gas synthetic methane; gas tank made of gas-impermeable polyamide polymer, carbon fiber reinforced polymer CFRP, glass fiber reinforced polymer; and an electronic gas pressure regulator. The synthetic methane was produced by waste product from a nearby Werlte biogas plant operated by power utility EWE.
3.4. Third generation Typ 8V; 2012–2020 A3 Sportback e-tron 2014–present
The plug-in hybrid concept car was unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. In May 2013 Audi confirmed its decision to produce a plug-in hybrid version of the A3, the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron, which was scheduled for retail sales in Europe by late 2013, and by mid 2014 in the U.S. and the UK. The A3 e-tron shares the same plug-in hybrid powertrain used in both the Volkswagen Golf GTE and Passat GTE. To charge the A3 e-tron, the Audi four rings logo is pulled along to reveal a charging socket.
The A3 Sportback e-tron is powered by a 1.4 L TSI gasoline engine that delivers 148 bhp 110 kW and 184 lb⋅ft 249 N⋅m of torque, coupled with a 101 bhp 75 kW electric motor, which is integrated into the cars six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, for a total combined output of 201 bhp 150 kW and 243 lb⋅ft 329 N⋅m The plug-in hybrid has an 8.8 kWh battery pack that delivers an all-electric range of 50 km 31 mi on the NEDC cycle, and a total of 940 km 584 mi. The plug-in hybrid can reach a top speed of 220 km/h 137 mph and can accelerate from 0-100 km/h 62 mph in 7.6 seconds. According to Audi the car has an average fuel efficiency of 188 mpg equivalent and CO2 emissions of 35 g/km.
In September 2013, at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Audi announced the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron would be available in Europe in the second quarter of 2014 at a price of €37.000 Euros US$45.500, GB£30.500, but it slipped to orders in the second quarter of 2014, with deliveries slated for the third quarter. On August 1, 2014, Audi announced the A3 Sportback e-Tron was on sale across Europe. The first 227 units were registered in Germany in August 2014. As of December 2015, global sales totaled 12.994 units, of which, 12.945 units were registered in Europe, and 49 units in the United States, where deliveries began in December 2015.
3.5. Third generation Typ 8V; 2012–2020 S3 2013–present
The third generation Audi S3 is powered by a 2.0 L; 121.1 cu in 1.984 cc TFSI turbo gasoline direct injection inline-four engine, with an output of 221 kW 300 PS; 296 bhp at 5.500 rpm and 380 N⋅m 280 lbf⋅ft of torque at 1.800-5.500 rpm, with its redline at 6.800 rpm. It features new pistons with stronger bolts and new rings, as well as reinforced connecting rods with new mounts transferring the power to the crankshaft. The cylinder head is made of a new lightweight aluminium alloy designed with high strength and temperature resistance in mind. It has a combined fuel economy of 23 mpg ‑US 10 L/100 km; 28 mpg ‑imp manual; and 24 mpg ‑US 9.8 L/100 km; 29 mpg ‑imp with S tronic.
The engine weighs in at 148 kg 326 lb, 5 kg 11 lb lighter than the previous generation. The S3 is capable of 0–100 km/h 62 mph in 4.8-5.2 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph 249 km/h.
3.6. Third generation Typ 8V; 2012–2020 RS 3 2015–present
Details for the RS 3 Sportback were revealed in December 2014. It went on sale in the first quarter of 2015 and featured a 2.5 litres 2.480 cc straight-5 engine with 367 PS 270 kW; 362 hp and 465 N⋅m 343 lbf⋅ft of torque. The RS 3 Sportback is equipped with 7-speed dual clutch S tronic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive system. Scott Keogh of Audi of America said in April 2015 that hes "confident" well see the car come to the United States.
In April 2015, the new 2015 RS 3 Sportback was promoted in the UK by a controversial commercial portraying an Audi R8 "giving birth" to it.
In 2017, the RS3 sedan or saloon was added into the line up. The RS3 can be ordered with a fixed suspension, or an adjustable magnetic damper. Depending on the country, the RS3 can be purchased with different optional packages. For example, the Black Optic package includes high-gloss black 19-inch wheels, high-gloss black outside mirror covers, and high-gloss black trunk lip spoiler, while the Dynamic package consists of titanium 19-inch wheels with summer performance tires, red brake calipers, and a sport exhaust system.
3.7. Third generation Typ 8V; 2012–2020 2017 facelift
After four years, the third-generation Audi A3 was given a facelift for the model year 2017, which also coincided with the 20th anniversary of the A3 name. The facelifted model was first unveiled through a set of official images in April 2016. The new A3 sedan was given significant cosmetic updates, which were in-line with the automakers new design philosophy. As a result, the 2017 Audi A3 sedan featured the Matrix LED headlamps that were earlier seen in the A8 flagship sedan and the R8 supercar. The front grille was also given a refreshed treatment that made the new A3 look like its elder siblings. Changes on the sides and rear were minimal, with only the taillights getting new LED treatment. There were multiple updates on the interiors as well, with a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster screen placed behind the steering wheel available as an optional upgrade. Sold in Europe and released in the United States for the 2017 model year.
3.8. Third generation Typ 8V; 2012–2020 Safety
Euro NCAP tested a third generation Audi A3, 3-door hatchback with front airbags, side airbags, seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters as standard and scored it accordingly:
4. Fourth generation 2020–present
The new Audi A3 was due to be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic and Switzerlands self-imposed limit on gatherings of over 1.000 people, the event was cancelled. However, it was presented online, and also in Ingolstadt to be watched live.
It was presented on the Sportback version. It presented an all new styling, sayed by Audi inspired on Lamborghini, LED headlights and taillights, with option of matrix LED. It shares the MQB-Platform with some other Audi models, and with the Volkswagen Golf Mk8, SEAT Leon Mk4, and Skoda Octavia Mk4. The sedan body is expected to be presented in the months to come, the 3.door hatchback wont be available, and the Cabriolet is still unsure.
Its 3 centimeters longer and wider now 4.34 and 1.82 meters, keeps the wheelbase length 2.64 meters now, trunk cargo space of 380 liters with the sits on, and 1200 lites with the sits off.With drag coefficient of 0.28, engines of 1.5-liter gasoline turbocharged with option of mild hybrid1.4-liter TSI + electric motor + six-speed automatic gearbox with 150 HP, 1.0-liter 3-cylinder with 110 HP, 2.0-liters TDI with 116 and 150 HP, or the RS3 with a 2.5 liter 5-cylinder with almost 400 HP. It gets a six-speed manual, seven-speed dual clutch automatic, or an electric S-Tronic gearboxes. It can be front wheel drive, but in the time to come, it will get Quattro all wheel drive, with
It also gets the new MMI infotainment system, with a 10.25 to 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and a second screen of 10.1-inches that controls the other settings of the car, and gets a few buttons for the main settings.
5. Awards and accolades
- 2000 Brazilian Car of the Year
- 1997, 1999, 2000 Auto motor und sport readers poll Best Car award
- 1997 Autozeitung "Auto Trophy" award
- 1996 Bild am Sonntag "Golden Steering Wheel" award
- 2013 What Car? Small Family Car of the Year
- 2006 South African Car of the Year
- 2014 World Car of the Year
- 2013 What Car? Car of the Year
Munnich Motorsport used an S3 in the FIA World Rallycross Championship and the FIA European Rallycross Championship
Robb Holland used an S3 Saloon to compete in the 2014 British Touring Car Championship season under the NGTC regs. Currently AmD Tuning field two S3 Saloons for Ant Whorton-Eales and Ollie Jackson.
In 2016, Audis motorsports brand, Audi Sport announced that it would be producing a RS3 LMS beginning in 2017. The car is built to TCR International Series regulations.