2015 Audi A3 and S3 Preview

Jeff Youngs | Mar 29, 2013
  • Sedan body style for A3 and S3
  • A3 Sportback E-tron plug-in hybrid
  • Five powertrain choices
  • Available Audi Drive Select dynamic calibration
  • Debuts new Modular Infotainment System technology
  • Optional Audi Connect services with new 4G/LTE network connection
  • Optional adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go functionality
  • Optional Bang & Olufsen audio system
  • Optional park-assist technology
  • Optional full LED headlights


The redesigned 2015 Audi A3 lineup serves as the entry point to the Audi brand and is offered in three distinctly different varieties. The 2015 A3 Sedan will likely be the highest-volume variant, equipped with a choice among three drivetrain options. The 2015 S3 Sedan is the performance-tuned version. The 2015 A3 Sportback E-tron is a 5-door hatchback equipped with a plug-in hybrid powertrain.

Exterior Features

Designed in accordance with existing Audi themes, the new 2015 A3 models are instantly recognizable as belonging to the automaker's lineup. A range of aluminum wheel designs and sizes are offered, depending on the model selected, and the vehicle can be equipped with adaptive xenon headlights or full LED headlights. The 2015 Audi S3 Sedan receives styling modifications appropriate for a more sporting machine, and the 2015 A3 Sportback E-tron is equipped with a handful of special design details in addition to its 5-door hatchback body style.

Interior Features

The 2015 Audi A3's dashboard design evokes the Audi TT in terms of its simplicity and large, round air vents. A standard Audi Multi-Media Interface (MMI) radio screen rises from the top of the dashboard when in use, and Bluetooth connectivity is standard equipment. Interior colors include black, gray, beige, and brown.

The A3 Sportback E-tron is equipped with more standard features than a standard A3 Sedan, as well as instrumentation and information displays specific to its plug-in hybrid powertrain. The S3 Sedan features standard sport seats, gray gauge faces, black headliner, and more.

Optional Features

Audi Drive Select is optional for the A3 Sedan and standard for the S3 and E-tron models. It allows the driver to tailor driving dynamics to Auto, Dynamic, Comfort, and Individual programs.

A new Modular Infotainment System incorporating Audi MMI Navigation Plus, a 64-gigabyte hard drive, voice-control technology, and a high-resolution 7-inch screen with 3-D graphics is optional. It includes a new MMI controller with an MMI Touchpad for manually inputting letters, numbers, and symbols when using the system.

Audi Connect mobile services now runs on a 4G/LTE network, providing a faster Wi-Fi Internet connection for up to eight different devices paired to the system. A new Audi Phone Box feature wirelessly connects a smartphone to an antenna embedded in the A3's rear window, boosting cellular coverage as necessary.

Additional options include a Bang & Olufsen surround-sound system with 14 speakers, keyless passive entry system with push-button ignition, full LED headlights, premium leather seat upholstery with Alcantara inserts, and more.

Under the Hood

The 2015 Audi A3 Sedan is equipped with a standard turbocharged, 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine generating 170 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. Power flows to the front wheels through a 6-speed S-tronic dual-clutch automated manual transmission with paddle shifters, and Audi says this version of the A3 accelerates to 60 mph in approximately 7.2 seconds.

The A3 Sedan can be optioned with a turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine bolted to Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system and the S-tronic transmission. Final horsepower figures will be available closer to the A3's arrival in showrooms; currently this engine delivers 211 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque spread across a broad section of the rev range.

A new TDI Clean Diesel 2.0-liter 4-cylinder will also be available, generating 150 horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. of torque, propelling the A3 TDI to 60 mph in about 8.6 seconds, according to Audi.

The 2015 Audi S3 Sedan is equipped with a turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine delivering 300 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque to all four wheels through a standard Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Acceleration to 60 mph takes about 4.8 seconds, according to the automaker, and the S3 Sedan can hit 155 mph. In keeping with its mission to provide performance, the S3 is equipped with a standard sport suspension, larger brakes, bigger wheels, high-performance tires, and progressive variable-ratio steering.

Thanks to its plug-in gas-electric hybrid powertrain, the A3 Sportback E-tron can travel up to 31 miles on electricity before switching to its turbocharged, 1.4-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine, according to Audi. Three driving programs allow the driver to choose whether to use electricity exclusively, gasoline only, or a combination of both. Audi says the A3 Sportback E-tron can be recharged in 2.5 hours, and that the system generates 204 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque.


In addition to 7 standard air bags, the new 2015 A3 models are equipped with Audi Pre-Sense Basic technology, which identifies when a collision may be imminent and prepares the cabin and its occupants for an impact. Furthermore, the A3's braking system is designed to limit secondary collisions following a primary impact, the manufacturer says. Audi Side Assist, a blind-spot monitoring system, and Audi Active Lane Assist, a lane-departure warning and keeping system, are optional.


In addition to serving as a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot and a smartphone connection, Audi Connect supplies Google Earth 3D and Google Maps Street View imagery to the navigation system, provides an Audi Music Stream application, and delivers voice-controlled access to social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Drivers can also convert text messages to spoken messages, and can reply to text messages with prepared responses.

The 2015 Audi A3 models are also offered with an adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go system, which can bring the vehicle to a complete stop without requiring the driver to use the brake pedal. The system resumes speed with a touch of the accelerator pedal.

A new park-assist system is also available for the new Audi A3, automatically steering the vehicle into parallel and perpendicular parking spaces while the driver operates the pedals and transmission.
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