Audi A3 Sportback


The original A3 (or Typ 8L) was introduced in the European market in 1996, marking Audi’s return to the lower market segments since the demise of the Audi 50. This was the first VAG model to use the PQ34 or “A4” platform, bearing a natural close resemblance to its contemporary, the Golf Mk. IV. The car was initially available only with a three-door hatchback body, in order to present a more sporty image than the Golf, in both front- and four-wheel drive. All engines had a four-cylinder configuration and were transversally mounted. After the A4, the Audi A3 was the second model in the Audi lineup to use five valves per cylinder.

In 1999, Audi expanded the range with the introduction of more powerful versions; a 1.8 Turbo with 180 PS (132 kW)) and a 1.9 TDI Diesel with pumpe-düse technology and variable geometry turbocharger. The four-wheel-drive A3 1.8T Quattro used either the 150 hp (110 kW) and 180 PS (132 kW) and the same Haldex-based all-wheel drive system as the Audi S3 and the original Audi TT. 1999 was also the year Audi was forced to bow to market demands and introduced a hastily conceived five-door body, that the company had never intended to produce.

In late 2000, the A3 range was revised with new light clusters, an improved interior, and the introduction of a six-speed manual gearbox, on the 180 PS 1.8 Turbo and the brand new 130 PS (96 kW) 1.9 TDI. Audi’s ESP (Electronic Stability Program) traction-control and brakeforce distribution computer became standard equipment.

Although the Audi A3 was replaced in Europe during 2003, the first generation model continues to be sold in developing countries. After production of the first generation model stopped in Brazil, the retail price increased from R$60,000(US$30,000) to R$100,000 (US$50,000).

1.6 L (1595 cc/97 in³) petrol, 75 kW (102 PS)
1.8 L (1781 cc/108 in³) petrol, 92 kW (125 PS)
1.8 L (1781 cc/108 in³) light-pressure turbocharger petrol, 110 kW (150 PS)
1.8 L (1781 cc/108 in³) turbocharger petrol, 132 kW (180 PS)
1.8 L (1781 cc/108 in³) turbocharger petrol, 154–165 kW (210–225 PS) (S3)
1.9 L (1896 cc/115 in³) VGT turbodiesel, 66 kW (90 PS)
1.9 L (1896 cc/115 in³) VGT turbodiesel, 74 kW (101 PS)
1.9 L (1896 cc/115 in³) VGT turbodiesel, 81 kW (110 PS)
1.9 L (1896 cc/115 in³) VGT turbodiesel, 96 kW (130 PS)

In the 2003 Geneva Motor Show, Audi launched the second-generation of the A3, the Typ 8P, designed by Walter de’Silva. Originally launched as a three-door hatchback only with four cylinder engines, it featured a new mechanical platform (the PQ35 platform), a redesigned and more spacious interior, new petrol engines with Fuel Stratified Injection and standard six-speed gearboxes (except on the base 1.6).

In mid 2003, the line was updated with two sports models, a 2.0 Turbo FSI version with 200 PS (147 kW) and a 3.2 VR6 engine (for the first time) with 250 PS (184 kW). Quattro four wheel drive and the S-Tronic semi-auto gearbox were introduced as optionals (quattro is standard on the V6) on every model 140 PS and over.

A new five-door body, dubbed Sportback, was introduced in June 2004. Unlike the previous generation, the new A3 Sportback is 8 cm (3 in) longer than the base three-door body, and includes improved rear cabin space and a larger luggage compartment (370 litres). It also received the new front grille originally introduced in the A8 W12.

In 2005, the S-Line trim level, with new sporty decorative elements, became available in certain models, and the 3-door received the same frontend as the Sportback. For the first time, the A3 became available in the North American market, exclusively with the Sportback body, with the base 2.0 TFSI introduced in 2005 and the 3.2 V6 quattro following in 2006.

In April 2006, the lineup was expanded with the introduction of a more powerful 2.0 TDI with 170 PS (125 kW). In August 2006, Audi announced the arrival of the S3 version, which became the new range topper. The 2.0 TFSI engine was uprated to 265 PS (195 kW), thanks to a higher turbo pressure of 1.2 bar, and is available with a standard 6-speed manual and Quattro. The second generation S3 is capable of accelerating to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.7 seconds. The springs and dampers were tuned for a harder setting, and ride height lowered by 25 mm (1 inch). 225/40 R18 tyres are standard.

In January 2007, the normally aspirated 2.0 FSI was replaced by a new turbocharged 1.8 TFSI engine, with 160 PS (118 kW). It is available in front-wheel drive only.

1.6 L (1595 cc), 75 kW (102 PS)
1.6 L (1598 cc) FSI, 85 kW (115 PS)
2.0 L (1984 cc) FSI, 110 kW (150 PS)
2.0 L (1984 cc) FSI turbocharger, 147 kW (200 PS)
3.2 L (3189 cc) V6, 184 kW (250 PS)
2.0 L (1984 cc) FSI turbocharger, 195 kW (265 PS) (S3)
1.9 L (1896 cc) VGT turbodiesel, 77 kW (105 PS)
2.0 L (1968 cc) VGT turbodiesel, 103 kW (140 PS)
2.0 L (1968 cc) VGT turbodiesel, 125 kW (170 PS)

Scribbled on December 29th 2006 in
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