After the introduction of the facelifted Audi Q3 in India, the German carmaker is set to revise its entry-level sedan offering, the A3. Slated to launch on 6th April, 2017, the new A3 will feature a new 1.4 litre TFSI petrol engine and the existing 2.0 litre TDI diesel unit. The turbocharged petrol engine will generate 150 hp of power from 5,000 rpm to 6,000 rpm and 250 Nm of torque between 1,500 rpm and 3,500 rpm. This engine will be mated to a 7-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission and Audi's Cylinder On Demand technology. This new piece of technology enables the engine to work on two cylinders automatically when the throttle input is light. Under spirited driving, all four cylinders will work for the added dose of power. The Audi A3 has been equipped with this technology in the interest of better fuel efficiency.
The 2.0 litre diesel engine, which would contribute to majority of the sales for Audi A3, produces 143 hp of power from 3,500 rpm to 4,000 rpm and 320 Nm of torque between 1,750 rpm and 3,000 rpm. This engine is paired to the company's 6-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch automatic gearbox. In its last iteration, the Audi A3 petrol contributed to only 10 percent of the total sales figures due to a thirstier 1.8 litre petrol engine. With a smaller 1.4 litre motor, the company is expecting better sales for the sedan.
The changes in the new Audi A3 are not limited to the powertrains but the exterior, as well as, the interior get a host of changed. On the outside, the 2017 model gets a revised front bumper design, new headlamp cluster and Audi's signature hexagonal front grille that is also seen on other new introductions from the company in India. However, for India, the A3 will not get the LED Matrix headlamp unit but instead will have a Bi-Xenon projector beam, that too for the top-end versions. The side profile remains largely the same but has a stronger shoulder line and the rear now gets sharper tail lamp cluster with dynamic turn indicators, another signature feature from the German carmaker.
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Move inside the cabin and the layout largely remains the same. The Audi A3 gets a retractable MMI infotainment screen, a dual-zone climate control, panoramic electric sunroof and a dual pod instrument cluster. Like some compromises on the exterior such as the Matrix LED headlamp, the virtual cockpit feature will also be missed on the India model which is a TFT LCD screen instead of the conventional instrument cluster. This screen can display navigation when needed and the driver need not look at the infotainment system screen for directions.
The current Audi A3 starts from Rs 27.10 lakh and the 2017 A3 sedan is expected to start from Rs 28.50 lakh (both prices are ex-showroom Delhi). Once introduced, the new sedan from Audi will compete with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz CLA.