Audi’s new-generation small-car range will arrive within months, with two engine options, plenty of standard equipment, and higher prices.
The new 2022 Audi A3 Sportback hatch and sedan range is slated to launch in Australia by the end of 2021 with two engine options – plus a go-fast S3 flagship.
Details published on the Australian Government’s Road Vehicle Certification System (RVCS) website indicate the new A3 will be offered with two petrol engines, when it hits Audi Australia showrooms later this year: a 110kW/250Nm 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder (badged 35 TFSI), and a 140kW/320Nm 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder (branded 40 TFSI).
Both engines are available across Sportback hatch and sedan body styles, and are paired to seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmissions – but whereas the 35 TFSI is front-wheel drive, the 40 TFSI adds an on-demand all-wheel-drive system.
While those options will seem familiar to buyers of the previous-generation A3 range, the 2022 35 TFSI’s 1.5-litre unit is new, replacing the less-efficient 1.4-litre mill fitted to the outgoing 2021 car – and while not confirmed, expect to see a direct fuel efficiency improvement of at least 0.2L/100km versus the outgoing model.
The new A3 is one of few Volkswagen Group vehicles to use the newer 1.5-litre unit in Australia, joining the smaller A1 city car – with the Audi small car’s Volkswagen Golf and Skoda Octavia twins under the skin sticking with the older 1.4, paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The A3 models will be joined at launch by a performance-focused S3 hot hatch, pairing a 228kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder (up 15kW/20Nm over the old model) with a seven-speed dual-clutch auto and all-wheel drive.
While pricing and specifications for the A3 range will be revealed over the coming months, equipment lists exclusively revealed by Drive in June for the S3 hot hatch provide a hint at what to expect for the 35 TFSI and 40 TFSI.
Items shared between the A3 and S3 are likely to include a 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and digital radio, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, dual-zone climate control, parking sensors, wireless smartphone charging, and keyless entry.
Available safety systems, either fitted as standard or as an option, will include autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection (and support for intersections), adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, lane-following assist, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and semi-automated parking.
The RVCS listing indicates 18-inch alloy wheels and a centre airbag between the front occupants will be standard-fit, with 19-inch alloys and a sunroof available as options on both variants. It also appears the S Line package will be standard, which adds sportier styling inside and out, and a sharper suspension tune.
The S3 is set to be fitted as standard with matrix LED headlights, 19-inch Audi Sport wheels, adaptive dampers, electric sports seats with four-way driver lumbar, nappa leather upholstery, a 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, metallic paint, and multi-colour interior lighting.
Pricing for the A3 is yet to be confirmed, though an increase over equivalent versions of the outgoing range – priced from $40,700 before on-road costs for the A3 Sportback 35 TFSI (non-S Line), to $54,500 before on-road costs for the A3 40 TFSI S Line sedan. The price-leader $36,600 before on-roads A3 Sportback 30 TFSI won’t receive a replacement.
Dealer estimates indicate S3 prices will start from $70,000 before on-road costs for the Sportback hatch, and $73,000 before on-road costs for the sedan – increases over the $64,200 to $65,800 span of the current range.
Full details of the 2022 Audi A3 and S3 hatch and sedan ranges will be announced in the coming months, ahead of an Australian launch by the end of 2021 – assuming no further COVID-19 or semiconductor delays.