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Audi's new A3 Sportback. (copyright image)

The 2013 Audi A3 Sportback. (copyright image)

Audi A3 Sportback with S-Line equipment. (copyright image)

The Audi A3 Sportback will be released in Australia in April 2013.

Audi A3 Sportback debuts in Europe

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20th November, 2012

The new A3 Sportback has made its international debut around the famous roads of Monte Carlo. The compact five-door model with the spacious luggage compartment is exceptionally light, thanks to ultra lightweight technology. The engines are powerful and highly efficient. The infotainment with the intuitive connect technology and the driver assistance systems available in the new A3 Sportback set new standards in the premium compact segment. The overall design language concentrates on the essentials, with each individual design element making a confident aesthetic statement.

A lightweight car is a prerequisite for sportiness and efficiency. Ultra lightweight technology from Audi reduces the weight of the new Audi A3 Sportback by as much as 90 kilogrammes compared with the previous version. Equipped with the 1.4 TFSI engine, the five-door model has a kerb weight of just 1,205 kilogrammes. Hot-shaped steels are used in the occupant cell of the new A3 Sportback to reduce the weight. The complete occupant cell is 37 kilogrammes lighter overall than in the previous model. Significant weight reductions were also achieved in the interior and with the engines. Audi, worldwide pioneer in lightweight construction, has reversed the weight spiral and once again set a new record.

The body of the new Audi A3 Sportback is long and lean for a compact car. While the length (4,310 mm), width (1,780 mm) and height (1,425 mm) of the new model are only slightly greater than on the previous model, the wheelbase is now significantly longer at 2,636 mm, an increase of 58 mm.

The front end is low; the roof arch spans a dome that extends beyond the subtle roof spoiler to the 'muscular' tail end. The design with the three side windows is taut, with every detail precise and expressive. The large wheel wells underscore the sporty aspirations of the new Audi A3 Sportback.

The distinctive, Stone Grey single-frame grille with the angled upper corners is the distinguishing element at the front of the vehicle. Its horizontal slats and the Audi rings are highlighted three-dimensionally. The flat headlights are works of art and give the new Audi A3 Sportback a determined gaze. Full LED headlights will be offered at a later time.

The interior of the new A3 Sportback is elegant, airy and cleanly designed. It carries over the dynamics of the exterior. The instrument panel with its curving front is slim and low. Together with the centre console oriented toward the driver, it appears to float slightly.

Large, round air nozzles in jet design, the elegant user interface panel for the climate control system and sculpturally styled trim set the tone – with their polish they bring the quality of the full-size class into the new A3 Sportback. The seats and steering wheels are new developments, and the car’s user controls are clear and intuitive. The compact five-door model offers a generous luggage capacity of between 380 and 1,220 litres (with the rear seats folded flat).

Customised on-line services, which the brand offers in Europe via Audi connect, network drivers to the Internet and rapidly supply the driver with key information – in an easy-to-comprehend format. The connection to the Internet is established via Audi connect, an extension of the MMI navigation plus system. Passengers can surf and e-mail freely with up to eight mobile devices via the integrated WLAN hotspot.

In Europe, the system delivers Internet services tailored for the driver to the car – from navigation with Google Earth images and Google Maps Street View to Audi on-line traffic information to services such as social web sites. Audi connect recently added flight and train information, and the City Events service provides information on current happenings. Audi connect offers drivers for the first time the ability to have e-mail read aloud and to dictate text messages (SMS). Audi connect technology is planned for an Australian debut in the new A3 Sportback when it arrives in 2013. The on-line and networking features available through Audi connect for the local market will be confirmed closer to launch.

Audi is bringing its assistance systems from the full-size class to the premium compact segment for convenience and a superior driving experience. They range from adaptive cruise control to Audi side assist and Audi active lane assist to the safety system Audi pre-sense basic. The driver information system with rest recommendation is standard.

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The new Audi A3 Sportback is launching in Europe with two TDI and two TFSI engines, all of which are new developments. Their engine displacements range from 1.4 to 2.0 litres and their power from 77 kW to 132 kW. Technologies from the modular efficiency platform help to reduce their fuel consumption by an average of nine per cent compared with the previous model. Additional diesel and petrol engines will follow later, as will the TCNG engine, which can be operated on Audi e-gas or natural gas.

The new Audi A3 Sportback also underscores its technological leadership role in power transmission. At its launch, the 1.8 TFSI is being offered with a seven-speed S tronic; in combination with the vehicle dynamics system Audi drive select, it offers a free-wheeling function that reduces fuel consumption. The 1.4 TFSI and 2.0 TDI are paired with a manual six-speed transmission. quattro permanent all-wheel drive will follow shortly.

The chassis and the long wheelbase (2,636 mm) of the new Audi A3 Sportback combine sporty driving enjoyment with high levels of comfort and impressive stability. The power steering system with sensitive response and direct gearing has an efficient electromechanical drive. The ESC stabilisation control system integrates an electronic limited slip differential – this makes handling even smoother and safer in fast driving through curves.

The optional Audi drive select system lets the driver vary the operating of engine management, the power steering system and S tronic in different modes. The system also incorporates Audi magnetic ride, adaptive or standard cruise control, adaptive light and the air conditioning system. Wheel sizes range from 16 to 18 inches in diameter, and sport suspension can also be optioned.

Australian availability

The new Audi A3 Sportback is scheduled to arrive in Australia in April 2013. The full model and engine line-up, including pricing and specification details, will be announced closer to launch.



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