The two body types (five-door Sportback or the four-door sedan) have been retained and sadly, the ultra-stylish three-door A3 body style has been canned.
The 2021 A3 models feature compact proportions and a sporty design. The wide Singleframe and large air inlets at the front end highlight their dynamic character. The shoulder of the body extends in a smooth line from the headlights to the rear lights.
The digital daytime running lights of the optional Matrix LED headlights are a further innovation. On the S line model, they consist of a pixel array made up of LED segments in a three by five arrangement that creates special light signatures and make the new A3 immediately recognizable. The sporty design is continued in the interior with the new gear shift selector, aluminium or carbon inlays, striking wedge-like door handles, and an instrument panel with a black finish.
With the new S3 models, the vehicle displays a heightened dynamic design character from the very first glance, according to Audi. The front is dominated by the Single frame with its large rhombus-patterned grille and impressive air inlets, while the housings of the exterior mirrors offer an aluminium look. At the rear end, the large diffuser and the four exhaust tailpipes accentuate the vehicle’s sportiness. With quattro all-wheel drive, 19-inch wheels, red brake calipers and S model specific bumpers, suspension and other S details, the S3 models are impressive characters within the new A3 range.
The A3 35 TFSI (1.4 TFSI), with 110kW of power and an eight-speed Tiptronic transmission, serves as the entry-level. The larger petrol engine, A3 40 TFSI (2.0 TFSI) with 140kW, follows with seven-speed S-tronic transmission). The performance-bred S3 TFSI with quattro offers 213kW, 400Nm and a quick-shifting seven-speed S tronic, the selector lever of which is now designed as a compact shifter and available across the range.
The cockpit of the new A3 is wholly focused on the driver. It uses familiar elements from the brand’s full-size class models and is equipped with a 26cm touch display as standard, which is integrated in the centre of the instrument panel. The optional Audi virtual cockpit plus provides additional functions such as the large display of the navigation map. It measures 31cm and enables three different views, including graphics with a sporty look.
The MMI operating concept is powered by the new third-generation modular infotainment platform. Its computing power is ten times higher than that of its predecessor. It performs all tasks relating to connectivity, including telephony and the Audi connect services with LTE Advanced speed. Individual settings can be stored in up to six user profiles – from climate control and the seat position to frequently selected navigation destinations and frequently used media. The DAB+ digital radio is included as standard and the online or hybrid radio is available as an option. Route guidance is particularly easy and flexible. For example, the navigation offers predictions on the development of the traffic situation and high-resolution satellite images.
The Audi A3 model range also ushers in fully integrated connectivity, the Audi connect portfolio includes a host of online services which offer advanced infotainment, navigation and Car-to-X services which take advantage of the swarm intelligence to service, safety and convenience built into the connected A3.
RIDE AND HANDLING
The suspension of the new A3 models – with a four-link rear axle for engines from 110kW – is said to be sporty and balanced, combining pleasant ride comfort with good dynamics. In combination with the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, the suspension is available with adaptive damper control, which simultaneously lowers the body by 10mm.
Each damper permanently adapts to the road condition, the driving situation, and the settings in Audi drive select, creating a wide spread between highly comfortable roll motion and agile handling. With the sport suspension – standard in conjunction with the S line trim or optional with the Sports Package.
Equipped with the optional Audi Pre sense front, the parking assist, and the lane departure warning, the new A3 models help prevent accidents with other road users and offer a high level of safety. The 2021 Audi A3 range officially went on sale from 1 August 2021 and comes standard with a 5-year/100 000km Audi Freeway Plan that can be extended to 10-years/300 000km.