Audi’s new A3 1.6 TDI diesel models (A3 and A3 Sportback) have dropped below the 100 g/km mark, emitting 99 grams of CO2/km (159 g/mile), corresponding to fuel consumption of 3.8 liters of diesel per 100 km (61.9 US mpg US). The four-cylinder TDI engine delivers 77 kW (105 hp) at 4,400 rpm from a displacement of 1,598 cc and 250 N·m (184 lb-ft) of torque between 1,500 and 2,500 rpm. The three-door A3 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 11.4 seconds and on up to a top speed of 190 km/h (118 mph); the A3 Sportback reaches 100 km/h in 11.7 seconds.
In addition to the efficiency of the engine, the low fuel consumption results from the leverage of technologies from Audi’s Modular Efficiency Platform, including a start-stop system and energy recovery. (Earlier post.)
The start-stop system turns the engine off as soon as the vehicle comes to a stop, the shift lever is in neutral, and the driver has removed his or her foot from the clutch pedal. Start-stop then turns the engine back on as soon as the clutch pedal is depressed.
During braking and coasting phases, the energy-recovery system intelligently controls the alternator to recover energy, which is temporarily stored in the battery. This energy is then fed back into the electrical system during acceleration, thus reducing the load on the alternator and saving fuel. The energy-recovery system and the start-stop system deliver the greatest benefit under city-driving conditions.
Both new models in the A3 series use a manual five-speed transmission featuring a final drive ratio longer by some seven percent. A gear-change indicator in the instrument cluster helps the driver to select the ideal gear.
The new Audi A3 1.6 TDI models with 99 g CO2/km are slightly lower to the ground. This reduces the frontal area and—in conjunction with specially designed elements on the body and the underbody—aerodynamic drag, as well. The vehicles use 195/65 R 15 low rolling resistance tires.
Audi will begin selling the A3 1.6 TDI and the A3 Sportback 1.6 TDI in the first half of 2010. Prices will be similar to those models already on the market which offer the same performance.