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Posts Tagged ‘a3’

Audi A3 debuts in Geneva – first appearance of VW MQB platform

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Audi has debuted the all-new A3 at the ongoing Geneva Motor Show. The new Golf-based 1 Series rival is the first vehicle to feature the next generation highly-flexible MQB vehicle platform that will underpin various mass market vehicles of the Volkswagen Group.

Styling predictably complies to the design language featured in the current crop of Audi vehicles – classy and sophisticated. The LED-lined light clusters and single frame grille leaving little doubt that this is yet another through and through modern Audi. The C-pillar is purposely designed low to give that now-favoured sporty coupe appearance, but at what cost to rear headroom, we wonder.

Deliberate care was taken with the A3′s choice of materials to keep weight down. The bonnet and fender panels, for example, are made of aluminium, saving 9kg in the process. In its entry-level 1.4 TFSI guise, the A3 weighs just 1,175kg. Compare this to the Ford Fiesta‘s 1,153kg or the MINI Cooper S‘ 1,155kg, both vehicles which are one size down from the A3. Even Audi’s own A1 1.4 TFSI S-line seems overweight at 1,190kg.

More options will inevitably follow, but for starters, Audi serves the A3 with only a three-door body and three engine options – 1.4 TFSI, 1.8 TFSI, and 2.0 TDI, with power outputs ranging between 122hp and 180hp. The 1.8 TFSI gets the 7-speed S-tronic dual clutch gearbox as standard, whilst the other two engines are offered with 6-speed manual transmissions. The A3 is currently FWD only, but quattro AWD will eventually follow, as will a 1.6 TDI and 1.4 TFSI engine with cylinder de-activation.

The 1.4-litre TFSI engine is not the same EA 111 twin-charged engine that we currently see throughout the VW line-up. Displacing 1,395cc, this new turbocharged engine produces 122hp and 200Nm, with the latter available from 1,500rpm onwards. Audi claims a century sprint time of 9.3 seconds and top speed of 203kph for the A3 in this guise. Fuel consumption is rated at a pleasing 5.2 litres/100km with CO2 emissions at 120 g/km.

Meanwhile, the 1.8 TFSI is substantially faster with 180hp and 250Nm on tap – good enough to hit 100kph from rest in 7.2 seconds and max out at 232kph. Increase in consumption and emissions are pleasingly minimal, with 5.6 litres/100km being the price of performance and 130 g/km the critical number at the tail pipe. On the 2.0-litre diesel version, we have 150hp and 320Nm, and the vital stats are 8.6 seconds, 216kph, 4.1 l/100km and 106 g/km.

The mechanical bits of this new A3 also previews that of the next generation Golf and the ingredients are promising. Suspension is independent all-round with MacPherson struts up front and multi-link at the rear. Steering assist is electrical, and in the event of an accident, the brakes are automatically activated to prevent secondary collisions – a feature which also be standard in the next generation Golf, we understand.

Of course, despite sharing mechanical bits, Audi can’t quite sell the A3 at a premium if there’s a Golf running around offering all of the same at lower prices. Unique to the A3 will be Audi’s latest MMI infotainment system that integrates an MMX board. No, we are not talking about the old Intel Pentium MMX, but rather this is Audi’s Multi-Media eXtension module that features a T20 graphics processor from Nvidia. Top version of this system features a rotary push-button with a touch-sensitive surface for drivers to input letters and numbers by finger movement.

The new Audi A3 will go on sale in the spring, and first deliveries to customers will be this summer. The base price of the A3 with the entry-level engine, which will follow around the end of the year, will be 21,600 euros in Germany.

KON

Pictures: Official Audi release.

See also: VW Group unveils MQB platform for next generation models

Further Details: Audi car prices & specifications in Malaysia

Test drive the Audi RS 3…. in your iPhone!

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

The Apple iPhone is quite simply, a marvel both in the engineering sense and the marketing sense. Here in Malaysia, an iPhone costs as much as many people’s monthly paychecks, and yet you see these gadgets all over the place. If you have friends, chances are at least one of them have an iPhone, if you yourself don’t possess one.

One of the key attractions of the iPhone are its plethora of applications, or apps, as most people like to call it these days. Whenever somebody whips out an iPhone in a gathering, someone else is bound to want to take a look and explore the various apps that have been downloaded by the user. All iPhone apps, even third party developed ones, free or charged, require vetting and approval by Apple before they are released to the market via the App Store.

asphalt audi rs 3 - 1

The next time you browse through what’s available in the App Store, keep your eyes open for the Asphalt Audi RS 3 app, a free racing game available for download after 3 March 2011. Released in conjunction with the unveililng of the Audi RS 3 Sportback in Geneva, the Asphalt Audi RS 3 app allows players to ‘test drive’ the RS 3 Sportback in two tracks – Bahamas and Tokyo.

After its German debut, the RS 3 Sportback will hit German roads at a price of €49,900 (about RM210k on current exchange rates). For that money, customers are getting a 2.5-litre TFSI motor able to unleash 340hp at full pelt. Between 1,600 and 5,300rpm, the driver has access to some 450Nm of torque, sent to all four wheels by the 7-speed S tronic dual clutch gearbox.

audi rs 3

The Asphalt Audi RS 3 game will be available for download in German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese and Korean versions. After installing the program players can use all of the content of the app with an active Internet connection. The game is designed for the iPhone, but also functions on an iPad and iPod touch.

There is a worldwide online contest running from 3 to 16 March 2011 where the player who clocks the fastest time after three rounds at the Bahamas track wins an Audi A3 Sportback 2.0 TFSI quattro S-Line. Don’t get too excited yet though, contest is only open for Germany, Australia, Belgium, China, France, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Japan, Canada (except for Quebec), Mexico, the Netherlands, Austria, Russia, Switzerland, Spain, South Korea and the United States (including the District of Columbia). Participants must be of full legal age and possess a valid driver’s license. We get to play, but we most certainly ain’t getting the car.

asphalt audi rs 3 - 2

KON

Next-gen Audi A3 to feature sedan variant?

Friday, February 25th, 2011

So, you’re looking to buy an Audi, but you find the A4 to be too big. You then look at the A3, or even the A1, and then you decide, “I still want something with four doors.”

The natural recommendation at that stage for you would be to look at other brands, but if you’ve spent your life as an Audi loyalist, it is unlikely that a Volkswagen Jetta would float your boat. Not a problem, Audi has answered your prayers.

a3

Or should we say, they are likely to be answering your prayers. In the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, Audi will be showcasing an A3 Concept with a sedan bodystyle which previews the next generation Audi A3.

Only sketches are released at this stage for a car which Audi describes as a ‘four-seater notchback sedan’ which ‘offers a glimpse of the future expansion of the A3 family’. In plain English, it means ‘we are making this’.

a3-2

The A3 Concept occupies a footprint measuring 4.44m by 1.84m. Height is measured at 1.39m. Under the concept’s hood will be a blown five-pot tuned to produce 408hp paired the 7-speed S-tronic dual clutch gearbox and quattro all-wheel drive. For the production models, we can safely expect a bigger variety with the usual assortment of petrol and diesel motors from the VW Group.

So, here we have it, another new niche explored by Audi. We wonder if Mercedes and BMW would respond. B-Class or 1 Series sedans, anyone?

a3-3

KON

Pictures: Official Audi release

Three new Audis set for Frankfurt debut

Friday, September 4th, 2009

The upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) will see Audi present three new models said to embody ‘Audi’s conviction that dynamics and efficiency are not mutually exclusive’. Unlike past editions which saw the debut of the Q7 (2005), B8 A4 (2007), and C6 RS6 (2007), Audi’s pavilion in IAA 2009 will see cars with familiar bodies housing new engine combinations. The model ranges of the A3, A4, and A5 will each be joined by one new variant – the A3 1.2 TFSI, A4 3.0 TDI, and S5 Sportback respectively.

A3 1.2 TFSI & A3 Sportback 1.2 TFSI

The new 1.2-litre petrol engine brings the total number of engine options available in the A3 to ten. Designed from scratch, the new engine’s crankcase is constructed from aluminium, endowing it with a slim 89.5 kilos of mass. Its four cylinders displace 1,197cc, with entry and exit from the combustion chambers regulated by eight valves and a single overhead camshaft.

Air and fuel are fed by means of a turbocharger and common-rail injection, giving it output figures exceeding 1.6-litre NA engines. Its 105hp power output is impressive, but its torque, 175Nm @ 1,500 – 3,500rpm is nothing short of astonishing. Result, the speedos of both the A3 and A3 Sportback in this engine enter three digits in a little over eleven seconds, with a top speed of 190kph (claimed figures, of course). Consumption is claimed to be 5.5 litres/100km, while CO2 emission stands at 127 g/km.

Sales will commence in Q1 2010, with front-wheel drive and a 6-speed manual transmission the only available drivetrain combination in the initial stages.

S3080020
A3 range to be joined by new 1.2-litre TFSI variant.

A4 3.0 TDI

While the A3 received a smaller, perkier motor, the A4 got itself one extracted from the Q7 SUV shoe-horned into its engine bay together with the quattro system and the 6-speed Tiptronic transmission. The figures of interest? Six-cylinders, 2,967cc, 240hp @ 4,000 – 4,400rpm, and a glorious 550Nm @ 2,000 – 2,250rpm. Migrating from the massive Q7 to the compact A4 has allowed the engine to slash both its consumption figures and 0-100 sprint times, with Audi claiming those said numbers at 6.7 litres/100km and 6.2 seconds respectively.

A4090004
A4 receives 3.0-litre TDI motor from Q7.

S5 Sportback

There are two variants of the S5 – Coupe and Cabriolet. They may wear the same badge, but not exactly the same heart. The S5 Coupe features a 354hp 4.2-litre V8 powerplant, but the Cabriolet makes do with 120cc and two cylinders less. Powering the topless S5 is a 3.0-litre TFSI engine taken from the S4. It produces the same 440Nm of torque like the Coupe’s V8, but has 21 fewer horses. Now, a third brother joins the picture in the form of the S5 Sportback.

Going into the engine bay of the S5 Sportback is the motor from the Cabriolet, paired with the 7-speed S-tronic twin clutch (DSG) transmission and quattro all-wheel drive as standard. Optionally available is a sport differential, which varies power distribution between the rear wheels during cornering. At the corners, 245/50 tyres wrap around 18″ aluminium wheels. Speed-dependent servotronic power steering is included as standard equipment.

The new S5 Sportback will go on sale by Spring 2010.

S5090007
Audi S5 Sportback

KON

Insurance Institute of Highway Safety’s Top Safety Picks of 2009

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

Some hours ago, someone in a press room in Stuttgart put together a news release to announce to the world that the W204 Mercedes-Benz C-class was named in as one of 2009′s Top Safety Picks by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), adding another star to the C-class’ cap after receiving a five star rating by EuroNCAP. In essence, the IIHS’ crash test IS the United States’ answer to the EuroNCAP.

In the IIHS crash tests, cars are subject to frontal and side crashes, besides a rear impact test where evaluations to the cars’ protection against neck injury are evaluated. According to Mercedes, the W204 scored ‘top marks’ for each of the criteria, but whether the term is defined to mean maximum marks or highest marks among competitors could not be ascertained.

The US spec C-class which was tested had seven airbags, belt tensioners, belt force limiters and NECK PRO crash-responsive head restraints fitted as standard. Buyers can also opt for an anticipatory occupant protection system (dubbed PRESAFE) which pre-activates certain safety systems when it anticipates a collision to be imminent – a system that Mercedes claims would reduce the impact on occupants by as much as 40%.

Merc C-class, one of 72 Top Safety Picks of 2009
Merc C-class, one of 72 Top Safety Picks of 2009

But, I was not going to just take Mercedes’ side of the story, and thus I went on to examine the claims at the IIHS’ official website (link here) where they listed no fewer than 72 Top Safety Picks for 2009 with another 26 ‘also-rans’. Here they are: (cars sold in Malaysia highlighted in bold)

Large cars
Acura RL
Audi A6
Cadillac CTS
Ford Taurus
Lincoln MKS
Mercury Sable
Toyota Avalon
Volvo S80

Midsize cars
Acura TL, TSX
Audi A3, A4
BMW 3 series 4-door models
Ford Fusion
with optional electronic stability control
Honda Accord 4-door models
Mercedes C class
Mercury Milan
with optional electronic stability control
Saab 9-3
Subaru Legacy
(previously sold in Malaysia)
Volkswagen Jetta, Passat

Midsize convertibles
Saab 9-3
Volkswagen Eos
Volvo C70

Small cars
Honda Civic 4-door models (except Si) with optional electronic stability control
Mitsubishi Lancer with optional electronic stability control
Scion xB
Subaru Impreza
with optional electronic stability control
Toyota Corolla with optional electronic stability control
Volkswagen Rabbit (VW Golf)

Minicar
Honda Fit with optional electronic stability control (Honda Jazz)

Minivans
Honda Odyssey
Hyundai Entourage
Kia Sedona

Large SUVs
Audi Q7
Buick Enclave
Chevrolet Traverse
GMC Acadia
Saturn Outlook

Midsize SUVs
Acura MDX, RDX
BMW X3, X5
Ford Edge, Flex, Taurus X
Honda Pilot
Hyundai Santa Fe, Veracruz
Infiniti EX35
Lincoln MKX
Mercedes M class
Nissan Murano
(only unofficially availabe in Malaysia)
Saturn VUE
Subaru Tribeca
Toyota FJ Cruiser, Highlander
Volvo XC90

Small SUVs
Ford Escape (new generation not sold in Malaysia)
Honda CR-V, Element
Mazda Tribute
Mercury Mariner
Mitsubishi Outlander
Nissan Rogue
Subaru Forester
Toyota RAV4
Volkswagen Tiguan

Large pickups
Ford F-150
Honda Ridgeline
Toyota Tundra

Small pickup
Toyota Tacoma (Toyota Hilux)

ALSO-RANS
These 26 vehicles earn good ratings in front and side crash tests. They have ESC, standard or optional. They would be 2009 Top Safety Pick winners if their seat/head restraints also earn good ratings:

Chevrolet Malibu
Chrysler Sebring, Sebring convertible, Town & Country
Dodge Avenger, Grand Caravan
Infiniti G35, M35
Kia Amanti
Lexus ES, GS, IS
Mazda CX-7, CX-9
Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder, Endeavor
Nissan Altima, Pathfinder, Quest, Xterra
Saturn AURA
Smart Fortwo
Toyota 4Runner, Camry, Prius, Sienna