New sleek, sexy A3 oozes class

Bobby Cheetham

WHAT a big surprise the new Audi A3 Sedan is! We are all familiar with the A3 Sportback, but the sedan is not just a hatch with a boot.

In fact, Audi say there is not a single body panel on the sedan which is used in the Sportback.

The launch, which took place in Gauteng earlier this week, was a real eye-opener. The sedan is one of the sleekest, sexiest new Audis in a long time.

With impressive handling qualities and equipment, the four-door sedan combines sportiness, emotion and progressiveness, making it a typical representative of the A3 model line-up.

Its design is a cross between the classic three-box concept and the coupe philosophy. The “tornado line” design element forms a distinct light-refracting edge that runs over the entire side.

The four-door has a 2.64m-long wheelbase and an overall length of 4.46m.

The engine line-up consists of two petrol engines (1.4T FSI and 1.8T FSI) and one diesel engine (2.0 TDI), all in SE specification.

Completely redesigned, the engines bring together efficiency technologies from Audi – direct fuel injection, turbocharging, innovative thermal management and the start-stop-system.

With a 1.4 TFSI engine, the Sedan has a curb weight of just 1250kg.

Audi uses many hot-shaped steel parts in the passenger compartment for low weight and maximum strength, while the engine hood is made of aluminium.

The 1.4T FSI engine produces 92kW and 200Nm of torque (90kW for the S tronic), while the more powerful 1.8T FSI engine produces 132kW and 250Nm. The diesel engine offers 110kW of power with 350 Nm of torque. All three engines will be offered in a choice of manual or S tronic.

Inside, the instrument panel with its curved front is slender, and the centre console is slightly turned towards the driver.

The standard colour display of the driver information system shows images in detailed graphics. Due to the long wheelbase, rear passengers also enjoy ample space and comfortable entry.

The cargo capacity measures 425 litres which can be increased to 880l by folding down the rear seats.

Folding rear seats are available as standard across the range.

Like its siblings in the model series, the Audi A3 Sedan makes use of the new modular infotainment system (MIB).

The top system is MMI Navigation plus with an SSD hard drive offering 64Gb of storage, a DVD drive and whole-word voice control.

A high-resolution 7-inch-screen shows the map image in detailed 3D graphics.

The MMI Navigation plus system interfaces to cellphones and mobile players via Bluetooth.

The user terminal has a turn/push control designed as a “touchwheel” with MMI touch – the touchwheel’s top surface is a touch-sensitive pad for inputting letters, symbols and numbers.

The bad news from Audi is that the Sedan will only be on the market in early January, so if you’re interested in getting one, don’t blow your Christmas bonus yet, save it and get yourself this great sedan.

PRICES:

PRICING for the Audi A3 Sedan as at January next year is as follows, and includes all taxes and the standard five year/100000km Audi freeway plan.

1.4T FSI SE manual: R 323500;

1.4T FSI SE S tronic: R 340500;

1.8T FSI SE manual: R 341500;

1.8T FSI SE S tronic: R 358500;

2.0 TDI SE manual: R355500; and

2.0TDI SE S tronic: R372500.

The Audi S3 sedan is due for local introduction next year.

Further details on pricing and specification of this model will be released closer to its introduction.

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