South Africans wanting to get their hands on the new Audi A3 Sedan and its Sportback hatch sibling will have to wait until at least the second quarter of 2021.
And it’s certainly going to be a busy year for the Ingolstadt based brand, with 12 new model introductions scheduled for 2021, although many of these are facelifts rather than outright redesigns.
But the 2021 Audi A3 models are brand spanking new, and we now get to have a closer look at them in these new pictures that were released to coincide with their European launch.
Although they continue on the VW Group’s MQB platform, the Sedan and Sportback have a completely new look inside and out, while also growing in dimension. The sedan, for the record, is 150mm longer than the Sportback, and compared to its predecessor, the four-door has grown 40mm longer, 20mm wider and 10mm taller.
The new Sedan’s increased height and a lower seating position have given front-seat occupants an extra 20mm of headroom, while the additional width directly translates into improved elbow room. The boot retains the same capacity as before, at 425 litres.
While the South African engine line-up will only be confirmed closer to launch, European customers get five options, including three TFSI turbopetrol motors and two TDI turbodiesels.
The petrol range kicks off with an 81kW 1.0 TFSI, which is paired with a six-speed manual gearbox, and the bigger option is Audi’s 1.5 TFSI with 110kW, mated to either manual or S Tronic dual-clutch transmission. Audi is also offering a mild hybrid (MHEV) version of the 1.5 TFSI.
On the diesel front there’s a 2.0 TDI that’s available in two output guises: 85kW and 110kW. Initially, only front-wheel drive derivatives will be offered, but Audi has promised to add some AWD quattro models to the mix further down the line.
Buyers have a few options to play with when it comes to the suspension set-up, with adaptive damping and a 10mm lower sports suspension system being available as options.
The A3’s interior changes are quite radical, to say the least, with a bigger and more central infotainment system and Lamborghini-like air vents that protrude above the dash top.
And the tech certainly sounds impressive.
For starters, the new MMI operating system has ten times more computing power than its predecessor. In addition to a beefed-up navigation system with high-resolution Google Earth images, the system offers car-to-infrastructure services (in Europe) that allow the vehicle to communicate with traffic lights and find parking spots.
Owners will also be able to lock and unlock the car, as well as start the engine, through their Android phone when the Audi Connect Key is specified.
Watch this space for more localised information when it becomes available next year.
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