Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Convention Centre; the Third-Generation Audi A3 Offers a Lighter Way to Enjoy the Premium Compact Hatch. JONATHAN CROUCH Drives It

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Convention Centre; the Third-Generation Audi A3 Offers a Lighter Way to Enjoy the Premium Compact Hatch. JONATHAN CROUCH Drives It

Article excerpt

WE all like the idea of good things in sensible-sized packages. Perhaps that's why Audi's A3 has been so successful here; it's a compact car that goes large on quality, refinement and maturity.

Especially in third-generation guise, where it's lighter, more efficient, more powerful and cleverer than ever before. Which is just as well given that there are Volkswagen Group products using many of the same ingredients and plenty of tempting high-profile segment rivals. In other words, this MK3 model will have to work harder than ever to win sales.

Fortunately for Audi, it seems well up to the task. For many years, ultra-lightweight construction has been one of the strongest pillars upon which the Audi brand is built. Ingolstadt has, after all, been building cars out of aluminium since 1994.

Though this one's mainly made out of steel, in this respect it's as revolutionary as any model the marque has made, a premium compact hatch that weighs the same as a supermini, 80kg lighter in third-generation form than it was previously. That's equivalent to losing the weight of an adult person, with obvious benefits in terms of performance and efficiency.

Engine-wise, there's a petrol 1.8 TFSI option and a 2.0-litre version of this engine in the 300PS and 367PS S3 and RS3 hot hatches.

However, almost all British A3 buyers will choose either a 1.4-litre petrol variant or a diesel. The 1.4 petrol comes with 122PS or, if you go for the 140PS derivative, clever cylinder-on-demand technology that cuts out two of the four cylinders at low-to-medium engine speeds for greater efficiency.

There's also a green-fingered version of the petrol 1.4 using a frugal petrol/electric plug-in hybrid e-tron drive system, a car that makes a good alternative to the 2.0-litre diesel.

Diesel-wise, there's a 110PS 1.6 or a 2.0-litre TDI unit with either 150 or 184PS and the option of quattro 4WD.

Being lightweight has all kinds of automotive advantages and, with enhancements like the use of aluminium for the front wings and bonnet meaning savings of up to 80kg on the previous-generation model, this MK3 A3 is certainly as lean as it can be. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.