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2015 Audi A3 Sedan Provides New Entry Point to Four-Ring Ownership

2015 Audi A3 Sedan Provides New Entry Point to Four-Ring Ownership

By Jeff Youngs, March 28, 2013
When the redesigned 2015 Audi A3 goes on sale, it will have a traditional 4-door sedan body style, preparing it to compete against a number of compact entry-luxury sedans priced around $30,000, including the Acura ILX, Cadillac ATS, Lexus IS, Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class, and others. Additionally, Audi will offer a 2015 Audi A3 Sportback E-tron plug-in hybrid model, as well as a high-performance 2015 Audi S3 Sedan model (see separate articles).

"The Audi A3 will set the new benchmark among entry-level luxury sedans," said Scott Keogh, president, Audi of America. "This A3 lineup redefines the standards of its class in dynamics, efficiency, technology, craftsmanship and performance." According to Audi, the new 2015 A3 Sedan is about the same size as the original Audi A4 from the mid-1990s.

In the United States, the volume-selling version of the vehicle will be the 2015 Audi A3 Sedan. The standard engine is a direct-injection, turbocharged, 1.8-liter 4-cylinder unit generating 170 horsepower and an estimated 184 lb.-ft. of torque, plenty for a vehicle with a base curb weight between 2,800 and 2,900 pounds. An S-tronic 6-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission with paddle shifters and a Sport mode delivers the power to the front wheels. Audi claims that this engine will propel the 2015 Audi A3 Sedan from zero to 60 mph in about 7.2 seconds.

A turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine is also available, paired with a Quattro all-wheel-drive system and the S-tronic transmission. Audi says official horsepower and torque ratings will be finalized closer to the Audi A3's arrival, but this engine currently delivers 211 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque, enough to get a heavier Audi A4 to 60 mph in about 6.5 seconds, according to the automaker.

A turbocharged, 150-horsepower, 2.0-liter Clean Diesel TDI engine is also planned for the redesigned 2015 A3 Sedan. Thanks to its 236 lb.-ft. of torque, this turbo-diesel engine accelerates the A3 Sedan to 60 mph in about 8.6 seconds, according to Audi. It, too, is paired with an S-tronic transmission.

When the A3 launches in Europe it will have standard automatic stop/start technology to help conserve fuel. This feature has not been confirmed for the U.S. market. Audi does say that its Audi Drive Select technology will be an option, offering Auto, Dynamic, Comfort, and Individual calibration for the vehicle's throttle response, transmission shift character, and steering effort level.

The new 2015 A3 Sedan rides on a MacPherson strut front and 4-link rear suspension, and the optional sport suspension drops its ride height by 25mm. Electric steering, 4-wheel-disc brakes with ventilated front discs, and a stability control system equipped with an electronic differential lock that brakes the inside front wheel to minimize understeer and improve traction all come standard. Audi plans to offer a range of aluminum wheels from 16 inches to 19 inches in diameter.

Technically a 5-passenger vehicle, the 2015 A3 Sedan is more suited to 4 passengers. A wrap-around dashboard design employs what Audi calls a "three-dimensional inlay" concept, and the new A3 Sedan is equipped with standard leather seats and a panoramic glass sunroof. Interior colors include Black, Titan Gray, Pashmina Beige, and Chestnut Brown. Depending on the model selected, a 4-spoke or sportier 3-spoke steering wheel is installed, and buyers can choose a flat-bottomed steering wheel, front sport seats, premium Nappa leather with Alcantara inserts, and LED cabin lighting as options. Audi reports that the A3 Sedan's trunk measures 15 cubic feet in size, which is generous for this class of vehicle.

The new A3 Sedan is equipped with standard Bluetooth and a Multi-Media Interface (MMI) radio display that rises from the top of the dashboard when in use. It can be upgraded with what Audi calls a Modular Infotainment System including MMI Navigation Plus, 64GB hard drive, DVD drive, and voice-control technology. With this upgrade, the high-resolution color 7-inch screen includes 3-D graphics, the system pairs with smartphones, and the MMI controller on the center console includes an MMI Touch pad on the top for inputting letters, numbers, and symbols using a finger. The A3 also has an Audi Phone Box, which wirelessly connects a smartphone to an antenna embedded in the vehicle's rear window to boost cellular coverage if necessary.

Audi Connect is also offered for the 2015 A3 Sedan, now including 4G/LTE technology powerful enough and fast enough to stream video and participate in video conferences from the vehicle. Up to 8 different mobile devices can use the new A3 as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Audi Connect also provides Google Earth 3D and Google Maps Street View imagery, Google Voice Local Search capability, an Audi Music Stream mobile application, voice-controlled access to Facebook and Twitter, text-to-speech conversion and prepared text response technology, and more.

Additional options for the 2015 Audi A3 Sedan include a 705-watt Bang & Olufsen surround-sound audio system with 14 loudspeakers, passive entry with push-button ignition, adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go functionality, and a park-assist system that steers the vehicle into parallel and perpendicular parking spaces while the driver operates the pedals and transmission. The A3 Sedan can also be optioned with adaptive xenon headlights, full LED headlights, Audi Side Assist, and Audi Active Lane Assist.

Standard safety equipment includes 7 air bags and an Audi Pre Sense Basic, which the automaker says readies the A3 Sedan's cabin and occupants for a collision when sensors detect that the driver is taking emergency evasive actions.

The new Audi A3 launches in Europe this summer, and arrives in the United States during the first quarter of 2014.

Additional Research:

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