The New Audi A3 | Part Two (2003)

At launch in the UK, the range of advanced new petrol engines will include a highly cost effective 2.0-litre FSI direct fuel injection unit, which provides the A3 with performance and refinement befitting its 150PS output, combined with fuel economy and CO2 emissions more akin to a diesel engine. A potent new 3.2-litre V6 delivering 250PS and 320Nm of torque will follow in November of this year. Also available from launch will be a new 2.0-litre TDI engine delivering 140PS. With the same 320Nm torque output as the 3.2-litre petrol V6, it will highlight the combination of responsiveness and refinement for which Audi TDI engines are already famous. A 1.9-litre TDI with 105PS and 250Nm of torque will not be far behind. These engines will be allied as standard to either five or six-speed manual gearboxes, with the new six-speed version of the renowned Audi tiptronic automatic transmission available as an optional extra.
Revolutionary New Dynamic Shift Gearbox (DSG)
The most powerful petrol and TDI versions of the new Audi A3 will also be available with Audi’s ground breaking new Dynamic Shift Gearbox (DSG). Inspired by motor racing technology, this remarkable new transmission system offers all the advantages of a sporting close ratio manual gearbox and a slick shifting automatic, with none of the pitfalls of either. Featuring twin automated clutches, it permits exceptionally rapid, 0.02 second manual gear changes via the gear lever or steering wheel paddles, with no interruption to the flow of engine power, yet it can also behave like a more traditional automatic shift for more relaxed urban driving. Unlike traditional automatics, though, the DSG does not sap power or impact on fuel consumption, because it avoids the use of a torque converter. It will also help to ensure that the A3 3.2 quattro has one of the lowest CO2 outputs in its segment, benefiting company car users.
New Suspension For Even Greater Precision And Refinement
Sophisticated new independent four-link rear suspension combined with comprehensively revised front McPherson struts balances the A3 perfectly through corners, and irons out rough tarmac with impressive refinement. In line with the majority of models in the Audi range, the A3 is available with the added reassurance of quattro permanent four-wheel-drive for optimum all-weather control and composure. Audi not only remains unique in the premium compact hatchback segment in offering this option, but also builds the widest range of fourwheel-drive models in the compact hatchback sector as a whole.
New Electromechanical Power Steering
Varying its level of assistance to suit the prevailing road speed, the electromechanical power steering system fitted to the new Audi A3 combines optimum response to steering inputs with impressive resistance to vibration and kickback from the road surface. It also consumes considerably less energy than a conventional power steering system. Audi UK delivered just under 11,000 examples of the previous A3 in its last full year, and predictions suggest that there is potential to double this figure in the first full year of production of the new car.
Audi A3 | Part Three
Published 16 June 2003 Melanie Carter
 
 

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