Audi’s new A3 Sedan learns a few tech tricks from its bigger siblings

Audi’s new A3 Sedan learns a few tech tricks from its bigger siblings

When Audi introduced the fourth-generation A3 Sportback online in March 2020, I knew I wouldn’t have to wait long to see its sedan sibling break cover. The model made its digital debut with new tech features inside and out and a sharper design. It will again be positioned at the bottom of the Audi range when it lands in the United States.

As has historically been the case, the Sedan shares its basic front-end design with the Sportback, which is Audi-speak for hatchback. The headlights are more angular than before, while the grille is shorter and wider. The roofline gently flows into a rear end characterized by horizontal lights with LED inserts. All told, the changes bring the A3 in line with other recent additions to the Audi range, like the second-generation Q3 introduced in 2019.

Stylists redesigned every part of the interior, too, but the most significant changes are related to technology. Audi’s newest MMI infotainment system trickles down from bigger and more expensive models. It brings with it 10 times the computing power of the system found in the previous model for quicker response times and better connected services. Motorists can connect the software to the internet to access real-time traffic information and the latest news, plus information about points of interests like photos, opening times, and user reviews.

Putting quicker software in the A3 enables Audi to make swarm intelligence-based car-to-x services available, too. The sedan can share information like the presence of road hazards and temporary speed limits with compatible cars. It can also, in some cities, help the driver find a free parking spot by communicating with parking garages. Navigation directions automatically get transferred to your smartphone via the MyAudi app, so you can continue walking to your destination without getting lost.

Audi hasn’t released America-specific technical details yet, so we’ll need to be a little more patient to find out what will be under the A3’s hood when it lands on our shores. The big news on the global specifications sheet is the availability of 48-volt mild-hybrid technology that harvests the kinetic energy generated while the car coasts to a stop and injects it back into the driveline when the driver steps on the gas again. This system makes the A3 peppier when pulling away from a stop sign, for example, by generating up to 37 pound-feet of additional torque.

It’s not too far-fetched to assume we would have seen the American-spec variant of the A3 Sedan at the 2020 edition of the New York International Auto Show, but the event was delayed from April to August due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Audi hasn’t revealed when the public and the press will get the opportunity to discover the newest addition to its range, but its debut will take place before the end of 2020, and sales will begin shortly after.

Pricing information will be released in the weeks leading up to its on-sale date. For context, the current-generation A3 Sedan starts at $33,300. Its rivals include the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe and the Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan.

Looking ahead, the range will grow when the German firm introduces the midlevel S3 and the hot-rodded RS 3, which is expected to keep its five-cylinder engine. We could see a plug-in hybrid variant in showrooms, too.

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Published at Tue, 21 Apr 2020 16:17:58 +0000

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