AUDI South Africa has launched its new A3 Sportback in South Africa, a car that has already proven itself quite popular with local buyers.
The Audi A3 Sportback first arrived in the local market in 2005, and the following year it snatched the South African Car of the Year title. This is a proven track on which this model continued to build its reputation, culminating in the latest edition this year.
So what’s new? Well, the 2013 version is a little bigger than the outgoing model. The longer wheelbase, of 2.63m, means more space for the rear seat passengers including more head and legroom compared to its predecessor. The luggage compartment now offers 380 litres of space in the basic configuration, with the capacity being expandable to 1 220 litres with the seats folded down.
The front boasts a distinct single-frame grille while the back of the car offers LED rear lights in combination with the xenon plus headlights, plus an adaptive brake light that pulses at high frequency during hard braking.
Depending upon the engine that a buyers opts for, the exhaust system ends in either one or two tailpipes on the left side of the car.
The new A3 Sportback is available with a choice of one TDI and two TFSI engines. Audi’s 1.6 TDI is the most efficient engine in the model lineup, as this compact diesel motor delivers a claimed combined-cycle fuel usage figure of just 3.9 litres per 100 km when paired with the S tronic transmission. The 1.6-litre engine accelerates the Audi A3 Sportback from 0-100 km/h in just under 11 seconds on its way to a top speed of 194km/h.
The new 1.4 TFSI in the A3 Sportback produces 90kW and 200Nm of torque, accelerating the manual model from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.5 seconds on to a top speed of 203km/h. This powerplant delivers average fuel consumption of 5.3 litres per 100km.
When paired with an S tronic transmission the 1.4 TFSI engine performs slightly better, with a 0 to 100 km/h figure of 9.3 seconds and a combined fuel consumption of only 5.0 litres per 100km.
The new 1.8 litre TFS is the most powerful petrol engine in the lineup as it produces 132kW and 250Nm of torque. With S tronic and front-wheel drive, the 1.8T will sprint to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds and has a top speed of 232km/h, with an average fuel consumption of 5.6 litres per 100 km.
During August 2013 the engine choices for the S3 Sportback range was scheduled to be expanded further to include a 1.2T FSI, as well as the option of a manual transmission or a quattro drivetrain on the 1.8T FSI purchase.
Also launching in August is the 3-door version of the Audi S3.
Equipment and trim
Standard equipment now includes Bluetooth with voice control and audio streaming.
Although all the models sport a version of Audi’s new MMI (multi-media interface) infotainment system, the top-of-the-line version of this system is the MMI navigation plus with MMI touch. It features a media centre with 60GB of storage capacity, DVD drive, voice control, and a 7″ monitor.
Pricing (including VAT)
Audi A3 Sportback 1.2T FSI manual S: R283 000
Audi A3 1.4T FSI manual S: R290 500
Audi A3 1.4T FSI S tronic S: R307 500
Audi A3 1.6 TDI S tronic S: R319 500
Audi A3 1.8T FSI manual SE: R322 000
Audi A3 1.8T FSI S tronic SE: R339 000
Audi A3 1.8T FSI quattro S tronic: R370 000
Pricing for the Audi A3 Sportback includes a standard five year or 100 000 km Audi Freeway plan.