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Audi AG Press Release-
The new Audi A3

The new premium sports model in the compact class has now reached the starting line: Audi is launching its second-generation A3. With powerful four- and six-cylinder engines developing up to 177 kW (241 bhp), quattro drive, the new automatic-shift DSG sports gearbox and highly dynamic running gear, it offers all the driving pleasure suggested by the sporty lines of its body. The equipment and trim once again reach the exclusive standard in the compact class that is also typical of the larger models in the Audi range.

The new Audi A3 has every prospect of repeating the unique success of the previous A3 model. The second generation, with its distinct sporting character, highly advanced technologies and the most dynamic design of any car in its class, qualifies again for the pole position that went immediately to the first-generation A3 when it appeared in 1996.

One of the achievements of the previous A3 when it appeared was to define a new automobile segment – the premium compact class – and then to dominate it until production ceased. The Audi A3 was always a leading competitor on the national and international scene: this was confirmed not only by the large number of awards it received but also by its sales figures.


Emotion and precision: these two characteristics determine the exterior design of the new A3 and also give it the 'family resemblance' that identifies it as a member of the current Audi model family. The entire body is now tauter and more athletic in appearance.

With a wheelbase lengthened by 65 millimeters (2.6 inches) and 30 millimeters (1.2 inches) of additional body width, but lower by 10 millimeters (.4 inches) in overall height, the proportions of the new Audi A3 approach those of a classic coupe. This impression is enhanced by the shorter body overhangs, the distinctly greater slope of the C-posts and the shallower windows. At the same time the occupants benefit from distinctly larger interior dimensions at both front and rear and, as a result, from a higher standard of comfort in every respect.

Striking features of the new A3's front-end styling are the marked inward taper of the sides and the dynamic shaping of the clear-glass headlights, the upper edges of which draw the eye toward the center of the car and give the A3's front end, with its characteristic Audi double grille, a confident, forceful character.

The rear end of the body is notable for a significant reduction in joint lines and a clear, graphic division of the surface areas. This is an evolution in the formal idiom that nonetheless confirms its relationship with the previous award-winning model. A bold visual element at the rear are the exposed exhaust tailpipes – either single or double according to the chosen engine.

The interior design also expresses sporting character and elegance, a feeling enhanced by a lower seated position than in the previous model and by many other visible details such as the circular aluminum-look ventilation outlets, the high center console with ergonomically ideal gear lever position and the sports-car-style floor-mounted accelerator pedal. The instrument cluster is compact in its dimensions, with the clear layout of a chronometer.

The definite growth in space available for all the occupants is a major step forward in the new-generation model. Those seated at the rear profit in particular from much-improved knee room and width at shoulder level. Space-saving design of the handbrake makes it possible to install two additional cup-holders in the center console where they can also be reached by rear-seat occupants.


The extensive choice of engines for the A3 includes three new options. The Audi engineers have increased the size of the highly popular TDI engine to two liters; in addition, this engine now has four valves per cylinder. The 2.0 FSI and 3.2 V6 were recently seen for the first time in the A4 and the TT. All these engines transmit their power either to the front wheels or, as an option, by way of the quattro driveline permanently to all four wheels. Here are details of the complete range of engines:

- 3.2-litre V6, 177 kW (241 bhp), 320 Nm (236 ft-lb.) torque
- 2.0-litre FSI, 110 kW (150 bhp), 200 Nm (147.5 ft-lb.) torque
- 1.6-litre, 75 kW (102 bhp), 148 Nm (109.2 ft-lb) torque
- 2.0-litre TDI, 103 kW (140 bhp), 320 Nm (236 ft-lb.) torque.
- 1-9-litre TDI, 77 kW (105 bhp), 250 Nm (184.4 ft-lb) torque

Depending on the chosen engine, a 5- or 6-speed manual-shift gearbox is fitted; tiptronic is a further option. With six forward speeds, this automatic transmission is an unmatched offer in the compact car category.

As an alternative to the manual gearbox, the most powerful petrol and TDI versions can be ordered with the new direct shift sports gearbox DSG. This innovative transmission, inspired by motor racing technology, has twin automated clutches that permit exceptionally rapid gear changes with no break in the flow of power from the engine – and thus pure sports-car style driving pleasure.

The driver changes gear either sequentially with the gear lever or at the steering wheel paddles. An additional bonus is that the DSG offers the convenience of automatic, electronically controlled gear shifts if preferred. However, since it operates without the power losses associated with a torque converter, cars equipped with DSG have the dynamism and lower fuel consumption associated with a conventional manual gearbox. The DSG versions will be available from mid-2003 onwards.

Still with no equivalent in the premium compact class; quattro permanent all-wheel drive. Even the power developed by the highest-performance versions of the new A3 can be converted ideally into forward motion with this system, which serves as a basis for dynamic driving and active safety at the same time.


Running gear

The second key to the new Audi A3's excellent dynamics on the road is its highly effective suspension, with a refined version of the McPherson strut layout at the front and the new four-link independent suspension at the rear.

This running gear is designed for sporty, agile handling allied to high stability, and makes cornering a pleasure whether the car has front-wheel drive or the quattro system. The anti-roll bars are directly attached to the suspension strut in order to minimize body movement around the longitudinal axis. An additional bonus is a standard of ride comfort that would do credit to a car in a much higher category.

16- or 17-inch alloy wheels (the 17-inch wheels are standard in Ambition models) improve performance on the road and also contribute a sporty visual accent. The brake system, with discs of increased diameter, has been matched to the increased power of the engines.

Electro-mechanical steering with the amount of power assistance dependent on road speed is a new feature on the Audi A3. It combines optimum feedback from steering movements with a low level of sensitivity to vibration caused by the road surface, and also consumes much less energy than a conventional power steering system.

Equipment and trim

Like its precursor, the new Audi A3 sets the standard with an equipment and trim specification in accordance with its premium status. Three equipment lines – Attraction with its abundant character, Ambition for those who prefer a particularly sporty effect and Ambiente for a highly exclusive style – enable every A3 to be supplied in accordance with the owner's personal preferences.

Standard items on Attraction models include 'Easy Entry' front seats, electric front windows and central locking with radio-operated remote control. The driver's seat has height adjustment as a standard feature and – new to this class – heated rear seats can also be ordered. Another option for greater occupant comfort is a sun screen for the rear window.

The new A3 naturally incorporates such safety features as the Electronic Stabilization Program (ESP), new front seats with crash-active head restraints and the sideguard head-level airbag system.

In addition to the items of equipment available in the various lines, a wide range of other options awaits the A3 owner. Some are designed for added comfort and convenience such as the high-quality audio systems; these can be combined with a BOSE sound system. Electronic climate control is available with separate controls for the driver and front passenger. This and the navigation system, with TV tuner option, raise the A3 to an equipment level such as would normally be expected only in cars in a higher category. Another new feature: the optional CD changer is now in the glove box, for particularly easy access.

The through-loading system with removable ski bag, which can even accommodate two snowboards, and the sensor that switches on the low-beam headlights automatically are further evidence that the second-generation Audi A3 can again claim to be setting new trends in the premium compact car segment.

At a glance:


The new Audi A3

- Three-door body with new, emphatically sporty design and plenty of interior space

- length 4,203 mm (165.5 inches)
- width 1,765 mm (69.5 inches)
- height 1,421 mm (60 inches)
- wheelbase 2,578 mm (101.5 inches)
- Luggage capacity: 350 liters (12.4 cu.ft.)
- Fuel tank capacity: 55 liters (14.5 gallons)

- 3.2-litre V6, 177 kW (241 bhp), 320 Nm (236 ft-lb.) torque. 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph): app 6.7 s; top speed app. 245 km/h (152 mph)(from mid-2003 onwards)
- 2.0-litre FSI, 110 kW (150 bhp), 200 Nm torque (147.5 ft-lb.). 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph): 9.1 s; top speed 211 km/h (131 mph)
- 1.6-litre, 75 kW (102 bhp), 148 Nm (109.2 ft-lb) torque. 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) 11.9 s; top speed 185 km/h (115 mph)
- 2.0-litre TDI, 103 kW (140 bhp), 320 Nm (236 ft-lb.) torque. 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph): 9.5 s; top speed 207 km/h (129 mph). New: four-valve cylinder head
- 1.9-litre TDI, 77 kW (105 bhp), 250 Nm (184.4 ft-lb) torque. 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) 11.4 s; top speed 187 km/h (116 mph)
- 5- or 6-speed manual gearbox, alternatively 6-speed tiptronic
- For 3.2 quattro and 2.0 TDI as an optional extra: direct shift gearbox DSG with twin clutches (from mid-2003 onwards)
- Front-wheel drive; quattro permanent all-wheel drive is standard on the 3.2 and available as an option on the 2.0 TDI

- Running gear: refined version of McPherson front suspension with triangular lower wishbones; new four-link rear suspension for agile, sporty handling
- New electro-mechanical steering with the degree of power assistance dependent on road speed
- Either 16- or 17-inch alloy wheels

- Three equipment lines: Attraction, Ambition, Ambiente
- Standard equipment includes Easy Entry function for the front seats, electric front windows, central locking with radio-operated remote control, new front seats with crash-active head restraints, sideguard head-level airbag system, ESP

2001 CL Type S
2001 Lexus RX300 Silversport

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Hmm, I like the engine choices [8D] The interior is a mix of the TT and A4, but I like. I've never been a fan of the hatchback, but it might grow on me. Looks cool.

2003 G35 Coupe (on order)
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