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Following in the footsteps of the A3 Sportback, the sedan gets bold styling and a lot more tech
Audi just took the wraps of the new generation A3 sedan, a car that will be making its way to India next year. The new A3 is marginally bigger than the outgoing car, gets three drivetrain options including a mild-hybrid, retuned suspension and heavily reworked styling. It comes packing a fair bit of technology too and these updates are similar to the ones seen on the A3 Sportback that was revealed not too long ago.
The new front-end of the A3 is a big departure from the earlier generation car, but still retains some of its characteristic touches. The Matrix LED headlights are available on top-end trims contribute to the more aggressive appearance. They also serve to provide an intelligent beam of light that avoids blinding oncoming traffic by identifying traffic and blocking out the corresponding pixels in the headlight. The wider grille sits proudly at the front and the large air intakes make for a striking first impression. Along the sides, the shoulder line extends all the way to the taillights, a signature of the newer Audi models. The body under the shoulder line is concave, to make the bulged out arches look even more dramatic, another signature touch we are seeing with Audi’s new models. There are a set of new LED taillights at the rear, shaped similarly to the outgoing one’s. The rear bumper gets a set of faux vents on the lower half and yes, there are fake exhausts too. In terms of proportions the new A3 is marginally bigger than the outgoing car -- 40mm longer, 20mm wider and 10mm taller. It is now 4500mm long, 1820mm wide, and 1430mm tall. Apart from having more presence on the road, all this contributes to an A3 that is slighter larger on the inside too -- the increase in dimensions also contributes to more headroom and legroom inside the cabin which is welcome.
The interiors of the new Audi A3 Sedan are not what you would call old fashioned. There are sharp lines and angular surfaces everywhere and a plethora of buttons and screens spread out across the cabin. The A3 gets a 10.1-inch infotainment screen as standard which can recognise letters drawn by hand, and it can be controlled using natural voice commands. Of course, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are here too. A 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster comes standard which can be upgraded to a 12.3-inch unit that offers three additional views and sporty themes. Audi’s MMI is now powered by a new third generation platform that is claimed to be 10 times more powerful in terms of computing power than the previous generation. Audi’s connected technology allows the car to communicate with things like traffic lights to let you know when they turn green or help you find a free parking spot on the side of the road. Connected features also include the ability to lock or unlock the car via your smartphone (Android only), or even start the engine, among others. We’re not sure how many of these connected features will make it to our shores though since the infrastructure for things like smart traffic lights isn’t in place here.
The new Audi A3 Sedan will be powered by a selection of three powertrain options – a 1.5-litre TFSI petrol which putting out 147bhp and 250Nm of torque, mated to a new six-speed manual. The same 1.5-litre TFSI is also available with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic making 147bhp and 250Nm hooked to a 48V mild-hybrid system that should improve efficiency, and the third option is a 2-litre TDI that puts out 147bhp and 360Nm of torque mated to the same seven-speed DCT. All the above engines will deliver power to the front wheels. We expect Audi to bring only the 1.5-TFSI engine to India. This is an engine that is set to power a whole lot of VW Group vehicles — the T-Roc already has it, the Karoq will have it and so will the upcoming Taigun and Vision-IN SUVs from Volkswagen and Skoda respectively. Audi has also retuned the suspension on the new A3 to make it more sporty. Internationally, the A3 can also be specced with dynamic dampers though it is unlikely this will make it to India in the interest of keeping the price competitive.
The entry level luxury sedan segment seems to be heating up once again! We got a glimpse of the A3’s biggest competitor, the A-Class Limousine at the 2020 Auto Expo, and that is a car that has significantly evolved from its predecessor too. The A3 will go up in price considering the amount of additional tech on offer, but should be able to give the A-Class limo a good run for its money, especially with how aggressive it now looks!