The Audi A3 is already famed for offering the finish and feel of an executive car, and as if to emphasise the point, it now has the boot to complete the impression.
The new A3 Saloon range will be available for order this summer, closely followed by the 300HP, quattro all-wheel-drive S3 Saloon. The first ever booted A3 begins the Vorsprung durch Technik brand’s foray into the world’s largest market segment – the compact saloon class.
The A3 Saloon slickly integrates more seats-up load space than the A3 Sportback, with similar ample passenger accommodation and performance, the latter helped by Audi ultra lightweight construction processes that trim weight to as little as 1,205kg. Prices will be confirmed before ordering opens at the end of the summer.
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 overhangs are short. The four-door car has a 2.64-metre-long wheelbase and an overall length of 4.46 metres. At the front, the bonnet contours, bumper and air intake design and the single frame grille have been redefined for the newcomer, while at the rear, lights with broad and low cuts emphasize the car’s horizontal lines and an integrated “kicked-up” boot spoiler lends a purposeful air.
The boot carrying capacity amounts to 425 litres with the seats up – 45 litres more than the A3 Sportback. This capacity can be increased by folding down the split rear seat backs. The boot lid fully swings upward when unlocked.
The strict dictate of Audi ultra lightweight design is evident in the 1,205kg kerb weight, which applies to the A4 1.4 TFSI Saloon that initially kicks off the range. Audi uses many hot-formed steel parts in the passenger compartment for low weight and maximum strength, and the aluminium bonnet and front suspension sub-frame also help to lighten the load.
The low 100kg weight of the 1.4-litre TFSI 140HP engine is also notable for its efficiency-focused Cylinder on Demand technology. At low engine load, the system deactivates two cylinders to minimise mechanical effort and cut fuel consumption. As a result, combined economy tops out at a TDI-rivalling 3.9l/100km, while CO2 is pared back to 109g/km which will sit in VRT band A3.
Just a few months after the launch of the new saloon model series, Audi will introduce the top model – the S3 Saloon. The 2.0-TFSI produces 300HP and 380 Nm of torque. Its high-performance four-cylinder engine combines highly advanced efficiency technologies – dual fuel injection, exhaust manifold integrated in the cylinder head, the Audi valvelift system and a rotary valve module for thermal management.
This version of the Audi S3 Saloon, paired with the S tronic, accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds; with the manual transmission it takes 5.3 seconds.
Orna Conway, general manager of product and marketing at Audi Ireland commented: “The arrival of these models will be hugely important to Audi, both on a global scale and to Audi Ireland, as they will mark the entrance of the brand in to the largest segment for the first time.
“Those interested in the all-new A3 Saloon will be able to place their order this summer, with the S3 following a few months later, and we expect both models to make a significant impact in the Irish market.”