The A3 sedan is Audi’s answer to Mercedes-Benz CLA and the BMW 1 Series sedan. The sedan was unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show and made its Indian debut at the 2014 Auto Expo. It will slot in below the A4 as one of the entry-level models for the German marque. It has been spotted testing in India on multiple occasions in both the 1.8-litre TFSI petrol and 2.0-litre TDI diesel variants.
At 4.46 metres, the A3 sedan is shorter than the A4 by full 0.3 metres. It has MQB underpinning like most other new models under the VW umbrella. The overall appearance is typical Audi and most design elements are similar to that of the A4 sedan and this includes lights, lines on the side and the stance of the car. Audi says that the new model is a cross between coupe and three-box design. Internationally the car is mainly sold as a hatchback but this model is not expected to be launched in the Indian market.
This sedan is smaller than the A4, so the space will also be relatively less. Its overall design is very close to the A4 but there are small elemental changes like the shape of the AC vents, pop-up digital display and the trim options.
The front seat space won’t be much of an issue, however, the rear is likely to be on the smaller end of the segment standard. The boot space, at 425 litres, will be sufficient for most occasions and is comparable to most of its rivals. The features list is expected to include Audi MMI and all the safety bits including ABS-EBS, ESP and airbags.
Engine and gearbox
The A3 sedan will be available in both petrol and diesel guise in India – the petrol version will be the 1.8-litre TFSI unit developing 177bhp and 250Nm, the oil burner is the 2.0-litre TDI mill with an output of 141bhp and 320Nm. Both the engines will power the front wheels via a seven-speed DSG gearbox.
Price and competition
The Audi A3 sedan is expected to be launched in August 2014. It is expected to be launched as a CKD directly and will compete with the BMW 1 Series and the Mercedes-Benz A-Class.