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New Audi A3 1.6 TDI Models Reach 99 gCO2/km Mark; Start-stop and Energy Recovery

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.



The Audi A3 is about the size of a Chevy Aveo...very marketable car in the US although it would be expensive vs the competition. The US CAFE standards desperately need updating...passenger car standard left unchanged for years at 27.5 MPG. This Audi plus the Ford Focus posted last week show its perfectly feasible to set the US standard to at least 50 MPG in five years or so.

Nick Lyons


The Aveo is a little smaller than the A3 (about 450# lighter) and gets mediocre mileage for all that--it could certainly do much better with a decent drivetrain.

A 50mpg standard for all cars would be great, but seems unlikely for anything short of a plug in when it comes to larger vehicles. I've driven an Aveo, and whereas that size might work as a daily commuter, my family (including dog) will be taking the minivan on our next road trip. I don't see how the Honda Odyssey of 2014 can get 50mpg. We get 25mpg on the highway with our 2000 model (100mpg/person, not counting the dog.) A diesel version might get 35, I suppose.

Moving the fleet average to 50mpg is possible, eventually--implying a much larger proportion of small cars sold.



A different vehicle mix with more HEVs, PHEVs and BEVs + lighter more efficient vehicles could do it.

Wouldn't be surprised if Fiat and many other EU manufacturers come close to it (i.e. 50+ mpg). Many Honda and Toyota models may also do over 50 mpg by that time.

Nick Lyons


I'm all for it--where's my 35MPG micro-hybrid diesel minivan?


Any car maker can do it.

Any car maker could do it 10 years ago.

Any car maker could do it 30 years ago.

Wait very high MPG (little) cars have been available for 30 years.

No car maker can sell many if the public doesn't want them.

The public buys the cars they want.

THAT'S part 1 that is changing slowly.

Part 2 is we make incremental, affordable improvements in ton miles per gallon with ICEs and cost reductions for batteries.

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