The new facelift on Audi A3 Sportback and Saloon

A sportier design, selectable daytime running light signatures, extended standard equipment, and new materials. Updated plug-in hybrid will be added to the line-up at the end of the year.

An extensive upgrade for a successful model: The car with which Audi established the premium compact class in 1996, the A3, is sportier, more comfortable, and more digital than ever, thanks to its more progressive design, significantly extended standard equipment, and new materials. Apps that can be used directly in the vehicle display, selectable daytime running light signatures, and the ability to add vehicle functions on-demand at any time enable a high degree of customisation. Orders for the updated A3 will begin in mid-April, when full UK pricing and specifications will be confirmed. 

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Sportier than ever: the exterior of the Audi A3
More dynamic, more progressive, and more emotional: This is the character of the A3 Sportback and Saloon models following the upgrade. The frameless Single frame features a new structure from S line trim and is noticeably flatter and wider. It dominates the front end and, in addition to the large angular side air intakes, clearly symbolises the compact models’ sporty character. The striking front spoiler connects the two intakes and makes the Audi A3 appear lower. The same is true of the rear, which is particularly sporty with its new bumper and distinctive diffuser. Partly inspired by the RS models, the progressive design elements are particularly effective when combined with the S line exterior. The new, expressive metallic finishes, District Green and Progressive Red emphasise the dynamic look. 

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Selectable: up to four selectable daytime running light signatures
For the first time in the A3 series, it is now possible to select and switch between up to four different digital daytime running light signatures in the MMI. “This gives our customers a higher degree of customisation. They can change the appearance of their model at any time. The signatures interpret confidence and agility in different ways,” says Cesar Muntada, Head of Design Light Experience at AUDI AG. “This is also true for the coming home/leaving home scenarios, which were designed individually for each signature.” The LED and Matrix LED headlights create the digital daytime running lights using 24-pixel elements in three rows on the upper edge of the housing. With their wedge-shaped, flat form and wide light graphics, the headlights emphasise the sporty character of the A3 models. 

Significantly sharpened: the Interior
To match the more striking exterior, the interior has also been significantly sharpened. Innovations include the shifter design, air vents, decorative fabric inlays, and new interior lighting. All these elements are precise and detailed, emphasising the vehicle’s progressive and technical look.

The new blade design, finished in chrome on the outer surface, makes the air vents appear thinner, emphasising the width of the cockpit. The centre console has been redesigned and given a new finish. The inside door handles feature a new effect finish as well. In addition to convenient cup holders, the centre console also comes with an armrest that adjusts in length and angle. The compact shifter, which provides convenient control over the functions of the S tronic, also features a new look. Thanks to its flatter design, it blends seamlessly into the centre console.

The standard interior lighting adds accents to the doors and footwell. Additional lighting elements and contour lighting on the switch panel and door sills are available as options. With the model upgrade for the A3, contour lighting runs around the centre console, and the cup holders are illuminated. Five segments are illuminated by a light source in the door panel. Their different sizes create a dynamic flow of light, which is also displayed when locking and unlocking the vehicle. The 30 different light colours are selectable via the MMI, allowing for a high degree of customisation. The large speakers for the new optional Sonos sound system are located in the lower part of the doors, making for an immersive listening experience with 3D sound. The A3 now features a new decorative fabric inlay: a technical textured fabric that is also made from 100 percent recycled polyester.

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Highly connected: integration of apps and functions on demand
The A3 is digital and connected, thanks to numerous connect services, functions on demand, and an app store. The standard equipment features DAB+ digital radio and the 10.1‑inch touch display, along with the Audi virtual cockpit plus and an inductive smartphone charger. In addition to the two USB‑C charging ports in the centre console in the front, two additional ports in the rear also come standard.

Other features include MMI navigation plus, along with the complete connect portfolio and access to the app store, which allows the driver to use a wide range of applications via the vehicle’s display. By embedding the store, customers can directly and intuitively access popular third-party apps on the MMI touch display by means of a data link in the vehicle. The selected apps are installed in the vehicle’s infotainment system without taking a detour via the user’s smartphone. Users can also interact with their apps via voice commands. Amazon Alexa can be used to stream music and also to operate smart home devices.

Functions on demand ensure a high degree of flexibility. In the UK, two individual infotainment and comfort functions can be added online via the myAudi app, even after the vehicle has been purchased. Functions include adaptive cruise control and high-beam assist. They can be booked for one month, six months, one year, three years, or permanently, depending on the customer’s individual needs. If, for example, a long holiday is planned with the A3, adaptive cruise assist may be a useful addition for relaxed travel on long stretches of motorway.

Smart aids: assistance systems for city use and long drives
To enhance safety Audi pre-sense front, collision avoidance and turn assist, and lane departure warning are fitted to the A3. Adaptive cruise assist, which is available via functions on demand or as part of the optional Technology Pack in the UK, has been supplemented by an assisted lane change function, which enhances driving comfort. The system handles acceleration, braking, and steering at speeds of up to 130mph, and also assists with lane changes at speeds above 56mph on faster roads. Activated via the MMI, the system uses data from the rear radar to indicate whether and in which direction it is possible to change lanes through white arrows in the instrument panel and head-up display. If the driver initiates the lane change by tapping the turn signal, the system actively assists the driver in steering.

In city traffic, park assist with parking system plus helps the driver in parking and backing out of parking spaces through precise steering manoeuvres. Lane change warning, exit warning, and rear cross-traffic assist use the rear radars to monitor traffic behind and alongside the vehicle for even more safety and comfort.

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Orders begin in April: engines and transmissions
In the UK, the A3 models will initially be available in two engine/transmissions. The 35 TFSI with a 1.5-litre mild-hybrid petrol engine has an output of 148bhp and is offered with a seven-speed S tronic at launch. At a later date, it will also be available with a six-speed manual transmission. The 35 TDI with a 2.0-litre diesel model has an output of 148bhp and is paired with seven-speed S tronic. Additional petrol and diesel versions of the A3 Sportback and A3 Saloon will follow later in the year. An updated plug-in hybrid model will be added to the line-up at the end of 2024.

FCD Summary

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