The 2012 Audi A3 has arrived at Geneva 2012, and it looks like the VW Group is starting to learn from Porsche’s designers; the new A3 is a new car but, unless you look hard, it could be the old A3.
Sitting on a longer wheelbase than the current A3, which promises more room inside, and a bit wider too, the new A3 gets Audi’s square-cornered frill with large air intakes and the now familiar Audi headlights with LED running lights. There are wide wheel arches, a sloping roof and a diffuser in the back bumper, all of which give the new A3 a coupe-like look.
Audi has used the new MQB Platform for the A3 which will soon be proliferating across the VW group, and Audi ash been keen to keep weight down by using aluminium for the bonnet and bumpers and lots of high-strength steel, the result of which is a new A3 that’s bigger than before but weighs 80kg less than the current ar.
Inside the dashboard has a bit of an A1 look going on and Audi say the back can now accommodate three adults. Materials look to be the usual Audi quality and the more detailed instruments in the A3 include a folding touch screen. The front seats are lower than before – which means more headroom – and the A3 can create a wireless hot-spot in the cabin.
At launch the new A3 will get a choice of two petrol and a single diesel engine – the 1.4 litre TFSI with 120bhp, 9.3 seconds to 62mph and 54.3mpg, a 1.8 TFSI with 178bhp, 7.2 seconds 0-62mph and 50.4mpg – and the single diesel engine is the 2.0 litre TDI with 141bhp, 0-62mph in 8.6 seconds and 68.9mpg.
Soon after launch a second diesel engine will be offered, a 1.6 litre TFI with 99g/km emissions an d 74.2mpg follwed by a new entry-level 1.2 litre TFSI. The S3 will get a 2.0 litre TFSI with 260bhp and quattro 4WD.
Entry-level models get a six-speed manual ‘box as standard and the 1.8 TFSI gets a 7-speed S Tronic box with a quattro option to follow.
We expect the new Audi A3 to go on sale in the UK in the autumns. Audi has not yet released prices for the new A3 in the UK.
2012 Audi A3 Photo Gallery
(43 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)