Priced from £24,275 OTR, the first ever ‘three-box‘ A3 complements the familiar three-door and five-door Sportback models, and spearheads the Vorsprung durch Technik brand’s first foray into the world’s largest market segment – the compact saloon class.
Short overhangs and sharply sculpted lines give the new A3 Saloon a distinctly purposeful stance, and this is reinforced by its two-tier specification. A choice of either Sport or S line trim levels will be available in the UK, and at launch will be offered in conjunction with a total of three engines – two petrol units and one TDI.
Longer than the five-door A3 Sportback by just over 14 centimetres, wider by 11 millimetres and nine millimetres lower, the new compact four-door offers similarly ample passenger accommodation, complemented by 425 litres of luggage space with the rear seats in place – 45 litres more than its five-door counterpart.
Sport and S line versions sit low on their respective 17-inch and 18-inch alloy wheels thanks to sports suspension, but both can also be specified at no extra cost with more comfort-oriented standard suspension.
They also share features including sports seats, the Audi drive select adaptive dynamics system, dual-zone climate control, the MMI radio incorporating an 11 millimetre-thick powered folding screen and DAB digital radio, preparation for SD card navigation, Audi Music Interface iPod connection, a Driver Information System and the Bluetooth mobile phone interface.
Interior highlights of the S line specification include part-leather-upholstery embossed with the S line logo and an S line sports steering wheel with perforated leather grips and shift paddles where S tronic is fitted. Outside, 18-inch alloy wheels, S line body styling and xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lamps set the top model apart.
Full-LED headlights will also be available later in 2013 as an alternative to the xenon units in S line models and the halogen units in Sport versions. S line customers can also swap their sports suspension not only for the comfort-focused standard configuration, but also for an exclusive S line sports set-up which lowers the ride height by a further 10mm below the sports suspension for even greater handling poise.