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Audi introduces 2015 Audi A3 and S3 sedans; A3 Sportback e-tron PHEV confirmed for US

A3 Sedan. Click to enlarge.

Audi of America, Inc. announced that the all-new 2015 Audi A3 sedan will arrive in US showrooms in the first quarter of 2014. Audi of America also confirmed that it will offer the A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in gasoline electric hybrid (PHEV) model in the US market later in 2014. Audi recently revealed the A3 Sportback e-tron at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. (Earlier post.)

At launch, the engine line-up will consist of four four-cylinder engines: 170 hp (127 kW) 1.8 TFSI; low- and high-output versions of the 2.0 TFSI; and 150 hp (112 kW) 2.0 TDI clean diesel. Completely redesigned, the engines bring together direct fuel injection, turbocharging, innovative thermal management and the start-stop-system. The line-up of engines and transmissions will grow further, and will include two new basic engines.

Horsepower figures for the 2.0 TFSI engines will be available closer to launch. All engines are mated to the standard 6-speed S tronic transmission.

New to the A3, the Audi drive select allows the driver to adjust throttle response, shift points, and the electromechanical steering effort. Similar to other Audi models, Audi drive select has four settings that include Auto, Dynamic, Comfort and Individual.

A3 Sportback e-tron. The A3 Sportback e-tron shown in Geneva displayed a powertrain with 150 kW (204 hp) of system power and 350 N·m (258 lb-ft) of system torque. In electric mode, the A3 Sportback e-tron has a range of about 50 km (31 miles).

The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron uses a parallel hybrid design. The combustion engine is a modified 1.4 TFSI, which develops 110 kW (150 hp) and 250 N·m (184 lb-ft) of torque. The TFSI operates in tandem with an electric motor that generates 75 kW and 330 N·m (243 lb-ft) of power.

Driver Assistance. The Audi A3 sedan now offers several advanced technology features which are new to the entry luxury segment, including the standard Audi pre sense basic system which helps detect when an emergency maneuver is being made and prepares the vehicle and its occupant restraint systems in advance of a possible collision. The Audi A3 also offers an optional driver assistance package, which includes Audi side assist, and adaptive cruise control with stop and go.

Audi connect. The modular infotainment platform in the Audi A3 also brings several upgrades to the industry leading Audi connect service. Audi’s connected vehicle strategy targets features and services that enhance the driving experience for Audi drivers and their passengers by providing the benefits of access to information and content, when needed, through interfaces designed for the in-vehicle environment.

With 4G/LTE technology in the Audi A3, customers will be able to connect with a network capable of supporting data rates of up to 150 Mbit/s downstream and considerably faster response times. Using the existing Wi-Fi connectivity for up to 8 devices, passengers can now view high-definition videos and make video conference calls from the vehicle.

Adding to the existing Google Earth 3D satellite imagery and intelligent POI search with Google Voice Local Search, the Audi A3 introduces a new Picture Navigation service. Here the driver can save photos of destinations, which are linked to geo-navigation data (GPS), in the “photo box” of MMI Navigation plus. These may be the driver’s own photos or scenes from Google Maps Street View. Photos can be imported via an SD card or a myAudi account.

European versions. In Germany and many European countries, the four-door car will be available at dealers late this summer. The base price for the 1.4 TFSI is around €25,000 (US$32,000). When the Audi A3 Sedan launches in Germany and Europe, the engine line-up will consist of three four-cylinder engines: 1.4 TFSI; 1.8 TFSI; and 2.0 TDI.

  • Key performance parameters of the 1.4 TFSI are 103 kW (140 hp) and 250 N·m (184 lb-ft). At low engine load, the COD (cylinder on demand) system deactivates two cylinders. The 1.4-liter engine gives the car a combined fuel consumption of just 4.7 liters fuel per 100 km (50 mpg US); its CO2 emissions are 109 grams per km (175g/mile). It takes 8.4 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph), and the car’s top speed with this engine is 213 km/h (132 mph).

  • The 1.8 TFSI produces 132 kW (180 hp) and 250 N·m (184 lb-ft) of torque. It utilizes an extensive package of high-end technologies, including dual injection into the combustion chambers and the induction manifold. It takes 7.3 seconds for the standard sprint to 100 km/h and reaches a top speed of 235 km/h (146 mph). Its combined fuel consumption is 5.6 liters per 100 km (42 mpg US), equivalent to 129 grams CO2 per km (208 g/mile).

  • The 2.0 TDI produces 110 kW (150 hp) and develops 320 N·m (236 lb-ft) of torque. It accelerates the A3 Sedan from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.7 seconds and takes it to a top speed of 220 km/h (137 mph). Its combined fuel consumption is 4.1 liters per 100 km (57.4 mpg US) for a CO2 equivalent of 108 grams per km (172 g/mile).

Depending on the engine, either a manual six-speed transmission or the S tronic is used. The dual-clutch transmission shifts the gears without any noticeable break in propulsive power. It is controlled by either the selector lever or paddles on the steering wheel.

The D shifting map is laid out for maximum fuel efficiency, while the rev levels are somewhat higher in the sporty S mode. In cooperation with the Audi drive select vehicle dynamics system, the S tronic offers a free-wheeling function in its efficiency mode which further reduces fuel consumption.

Just a few months after the launch of the new sedan model series, Audi will introduce the top model—the S3 Sedan. The 2.0 TFSI produces 221 kW (300 hp) and 380 N·m (280 lb ft) of torque. Its high-performance four-cylinder engine combines highly advanced efficiency technologies—dual fuel injection, exhaust manifold integrated in the cylinder head, the Audi valvelift system and a rotary valve module for thermal management.

This version of the Audi S3 Sedan, paired with the S tronic, accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds; with the manual transmission it takes 5.3 seconds. The car’s top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h (155 mph). The four-cylinder turbo has a combined fuel consumption of 6.9 liters per 100 km (34 mpg US) or 7.0 liters (33.6 mpg US) (with S tronic or manual transmission), respectively—for a CO2 equivalent of 159 or 162 grams per km (256 or 261 g/mile).



Notice how the new 2.0L TDI (=diesel) engine has start/stop and is rated at 57 mpg.

There is a question of whether 57mpg is for the EPA driving cycle, but in any case Audi/VW do not have a reputation for exaggerating their MPG numbers.

Note also how much higher 57mpg is than the current Jetta TDI (a very similar car with the same platoform, I think).

Audi could easily get this car to 70+ mpg by adding a hybrid motor with a smallish (say 2kWh) battery. VW should quickly follow.

Then we are really talking something revolutionary!

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