German car maker Audi is about to release an all new sedan for the Indian market. Based off the A4, the new A3 is a smaller, budget offering from the German manufacturer to rival the Mercedes Benz A-Class and the BMW 1 Series. Internationally the A3 rivals the CLA Class and 2 Series sedan, however, as BMW and Benz have not released their entry level sedans here in India, the compact sedan will compete against its hatches.
Audi has always made products that make sense for the Indian market. With the most number of models available in numerous segments, the German automaker has managed to claw its way to the top of the luxury car market. However, with Mercedes Benz launching their aggressive campaign to regain market monopoly, Audi needed another budget offering to take on the Three Pointed Star. Currently the Q3 sits at the bottom of the Audi price range. Despite being one of the best luxury compact SUVs on offer, the Q3 is still a pricey offering. The A3 however, with a expected price range of Rs. 24 – 29 lakhs (ex-showroom) has the makings of a bestseller.
Based off Volkswagen’s MQB platform, the new A3 sports the same innards found on the next generation Passat, current gen Octavia as well as a slew of other cars under VW. This new modular platform ensures lightweight construction, improved cost reduction which means all future cars will be cheaper and more economical. The new A3 is quite a classy looking car. With its typical Audi LED daytime running lights and the silhouette composed of sharp lines and creases, the A3 makes an extremely formal design statement as opposed to the youthful vigor emanating from the A-Class. However, some may argue that the A3 looks a bit too strikingly similar to the A4.
The executive sedan maybe smaller than the A4 but the cabin provides an aura of luxury. The all black cabin adds to the sporty appeal of the car. The dashboard and center console make good use of premium plastics and chrome accents to improve the A3’s upmarket feel. Despite the A3 sitting at the bottom of the Audi range, the sedan is packed to the brim with features such as a pop up display for the infotainment system and the German car maker’s latest MMI controller. The music system is a 180 W ten speaker system that sports traditional features such as AUX IN, USB, iPod and Bluetooth connectivity. The steering wheel comes with an array of mounted controls to make use of the music system and the user’s Bluetooth connected phone.
The international model of the A3 sees it in both petrol and diesel avatars. With the diesel variant powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged unit that produces 141 HP and 320 Nm of torque, the petrol variant makes use of a 1.8 L TFSI engine that puts out an impressive 177 HP and 250 Nm of torque. While both these engines are more than likely to arrive for the Indian market, Audi may introduce detuned variants of the same to improve fuel efficiency. Both engines are mated to a seven speed dual clutch gearbox (VW’s critically acclaimed DSG gearbox). The German car maker will not be introducing the A3 with a manual gearbox. In time however, Audi may also introduce a budget variant of the A3, similar to the Q3S that sports a traditional manual ‘box. The budget offering however may not sport the automaker’s signature LED lights as well, a feature quite popular among buyers these days.
The A3 will be brought in as a completely knocked down unit (CKD), however if customer response is good, then Audi may consider localization of production to cut costs down even further.
Image Source: Car and Driver
Although the A3’s main rivals are the 1 Series and the A-Class, Audi is hoping that A3 will trump both cars in terms of space and features. Needless to say, the A3 may be the A-Class killer.
Visit Audi’s India page: www.audi.in