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Audi_A3

Audi A3

The Audi A3 is an entry-level luxury car/small family car produced by the German automaker Audi since 1996. Two generations of A3 exist, both based on the Volkswagen Group A platform, which they share with several other models such as the Audi TT, Volkswagen Golf, Caddy and Touran as well as Škoda Octavia and SEAT León.

First generation A3 (8L): 1996–2003

The original A3 (or Typ 8L) was introduced in the European market in 1996, marking Audi's return to the lower market segments since the demise of the Audi 50. This was the first Volkswagen Group model to use the "PQ34" or "A4" platform, bearing a natural close resemblance to its contemporary, the Volkswagen Golf Mk4. The car was initially available only with a three-door hatchback body, in order to present a more sporty image than the Golf, in both front- and four-wheel drive. All engines had a four-cylinder configuration and were transversely mounted. After the A4, the Audi A3 was the second model in the Audi lineup to use five valves per cylinder.

In 1999, Audi expanded the range with the introduction of more powerful versions: a 1.8 Turbo with 180 PS (132 kW)) and a 1.9 I4 TDI Diesel with pumpe-düse technology and variable geometry turbocharger. The four-wheel-drive A3 1.8T quattro used either the 150 hp (110 kW) or 180 PS (132 kW) engine and the same Haldex Traction-based all-wheel drive system as the Audi S3 and the Audi TT. 1999 was also the year Audi was forced to bow to market demands and introduced a hastily-conceived five-door body that the company had not previously intended to produce.

In late 2000, the A3 range was revised with new headlights and rear light clusters, other minor cosmetic changes, an improved interior, and the introduction of a six-speed manual gearbox, on the 1.8 Turbo and the brand new 130 PS (96 kW) 1.9 TDI. Audi's ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) traction-control and brake force distribution computer became standard equipment.

Although the Audi A3 was replaced in Europe during 2003, the first generation model continues to be sold in developing countries. After production of the first generation model stopped in Brazil, the retail price increased from R$60,000(US$30,000) to R$100,000 (US$50,000).

Engines

The engines used are the same as for many other cars in the Volkswagen Group.
Model Engine code Engine type Displacement Power Torque Years
Petrol engines
1.6 L AEH / AKL / APF I4 SOHC 8V 1996-2000
1.6 L AVU / BFQ I4 SOHC 8V 2000-2003
1.8 L AGN / APG I4 DOHC 20V 1996-2003
1.8 L AGU / ARZ / ARX / AUM I4 DOHC 20V Turbocharged 1996-2003
1.8 L AUQ / ARY I4 DOHC 20V Turbocharged 2000-2003
1.8 L (S3) AMK I4 DOHC 20V Turbocharged 1999-2000
1.8 L (S3) BAM I4 DOHC 20V Turbocharged 2000-2003
Diesel engines
1.9 L AGR / ALH I4 SOHC 8V TDI with electronically regulated distributor-type injection pump 1996-2000
1.9 L ATD / AXR I4 SOHC 8V TDI with unit injectors 2000-2003
1.9 L AHF / ASK / ASV I4 SOHC 8V TDI with electronically regulated distributor-type injection pump 1997-2000
1.9 L ASZ I4 SOHC 8V TDI with unit injectors 2000-2003

Second generation A3 (8P): 2003–present

In the 2003 Geneva Motor Show, Audi launched the second-generation of the A3, the Typ 8P, designed by Walter de'Silva. 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-orientated models, a 2.0 Turbo-FSI version with , and a 3.2 VR6 engine (for the first time) with . Haldex Traction-based quattro four wheel drive, and the S-Tronic semi-auto gearbox were introduced as optionals (quattro is standard on the VR6) on every model and over.

A new five-door body, named "Sportback", was introduced in June 2004. Unlike the previous generation, the new A3 Sportback is 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.

North American launch

In 2005, the "S-line" trim level, with new sporty decorative elements, became available in certain models, and the 3-door received the same frontend as the Sportback. For the first time, the A3 became available in the North American market, exclusively with the Sportback body, with the base 2.0 straight-4 TFSI introduced in 2005 as a 2006 model and the 3.2 V6 quattro following in 2006. In the Spring of 2005, Audi began a massive alternate reality game to advertise for the A3, known as The Art of the Heist.

New engine options

In April 2006, the lineup was expanded with the introduction of a more powerful 2.0 TDI with . In August 2006, Audi announced the arrival of the S3 version, which became the new range topper. The 2.0 TFSI engine was re-engineered and uprated to , and is available with standard quattro and a 6-speed manual gearbox. The second generation S3 is capable of accelerating to in 5.7 seconds. The springs and dampers were tuned for a harder setting, and ride height lowered by . 225/40 ZR18 tyres are standard.

In January 2007, the normally aspirated (non-turbo) 2.0 FSI was replaced by a new turbocharged 1.8 TFSI engine, with . It is available in front-wheel drive only.

In late 2007, Audi introduced a new 1.4L TFSI engine for the A3, replacing the 1.6 FSI engine, and a new diesel "e"-model. The "e"-model, Audi's equivalent of Volkswagen's BlueMotion, is available with the 1.9L TDI engine, and offers a more ecological car, with a CO2 emission below 120 g/km.

2008 revisions

In 2008, Audi introduced a number of changes to the A3 and S3. These include revised nose and tail styling, with a modified grille and the new "trademark" daytime running lights, common rail 2.0 TDI engines, 7-speed S-tronic automatic transmission availability for the smaller engines, and optional "magnetic ride" adaptive shock absorbers. In addition, the range now includes an S3 Sportback model.

Engines

The engines used are the same as for many other cars in the Volkswagen Group.
Model Engine code Engine type Displacement Power Torque Years
Petrol engines
1.4 TFSI CAXC I4 DOHC 16V
FSI Turbocharged
2007-present
1.6 BGU / BSE /
BSF / CCS
I4 SOHC 8V 2003-present
1.6 FSI BAG / BLF / BLP I4 DOHC 16V FSI 2003-2007
1.8 TFSI BYT / BZB I4 DOHC 16V
FSI Turbocharged
2007-present
2.0 FSI AXW / BLR / BLX /
BLY / BVY / BVX / BVZ
I4 DOHC 16V FSI 2003-2007
2.0 TFSI AXX / BPY / BWA / CAWB I4 DOHC 16V
FSI Turbocharged
2004-present
2.0 TFSI (S3) BHZ I4 DOHC 16V
FSI Turbocharged
2006-present
3.2 FSI AXZ / BUB VR6 DOHC 24V FSI 2003-present
Diesel engines
1.9 TDI BJB / BKC / BXE / BLS I4 SOHC 8V TDI
with unit injectors
2003-present
2.0 TDI BKD I4 DOHC 16V TDI
with unit injectors
2003-present
2.0 TDI BMM I4 SOHC 8V TDI
with unit injectors
and particulate filter
2006-present
2.0 TDI BMN I4 DOHC 16V TDI
with unit injectors
and particulate filter
2006-present

Awards and accolades

  • (2008) Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick in midsize cars
  • (2007) Audi 2.0T FSI named International Engine of the Year
  • (2006) International Car of the Year Entry-Level Car of the Year – “Most Spirited”
  • (2006) Auto Interior of the Year in popular-priced category
  • (2006) Named overall best New England Winter Vehicle by the New England Motor Press Association
  • (2006) Best Luxury Small Car Pick by BusinessWeek Magazine
  • (2006) South African Car of the Year
  • (2005) Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Double Best Pick for frontal-offset and side-impact tests
  • (2000) Brazilian Car of the Year
  • (1998) Federal German Prize for Product Design
  • (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

See also

References

  1. "A7, A5, and A3 Joins Even Numbers", an article in the "News" section on page thirty-eight of the June, 2004 issue of Motor Trend
  2. Audi A3 Owner's Manual (English/UK edition) (2000 Audi AG)

External links

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