Audi plans to bring the 2015 editions of its A3 compact sedans to the U.S. in the first quarter of 2014. The automaker said the all-new 2014 A3 will offer new powertrain options and a new level of craftsmanship and attention to detail. Audi added that the A3S Sportback will come in a plug-in hybrid model, the A3 Sportback e-tron Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle.
Starting with performance, Audi said the 2015-MY A3 will offer three powertrains, a 1.8L TFSI, a 2.0L TFSI, a 2.0 TDI clean diesel engine, and a high-performance 2.0 TFSI for the S3 model. For the plug-in hybrid A3 Sportback e-tron, the vehicle can produce a combined 204 hp and 258 ;b.-ft. of torque. For these engines, the 1.8 TFSI can produce 170 hp, the 2.0L TDI can produce up to 150 hp, and the automaker has yet to offer hp and torque numbers for the 2.0L TFSI.
Audi said all engines are paired with a standard six-speed S tronic transmission. New on the A3, Audi said its Audi drive select allows the driver to adjust throttle response, shift points, and steering effort. Audi drive select has four settings, including Auto, Dynamic, Comfort and Individual.
The automaker hasn’t yet announced fuel economy numbers for these powertrains.
For MY-2015, Audi said it completely redesigned the A3 and tailored it for the U.S. market. The 2015 A3 is 175.5 inches long and has a 103.4-inch wheelbase. It is 70 inches wide and 55.7 inches in height. The vehicle comes equipped with LED headlights and a signature Singleframe grille design up front.
Inside the 2015 A3, Audi said the compact sedan has a wraparound dash design that incorporates a three-dimensional inlay concept around the driver and front passenger. A LED interior light package is available and illuminates the center console, door panels, cupholders and optional Bang & Olufsen Sound System. For seating, the A3 features standard leather seats.
Audi said the 2015 A3 will come with its MMI infotainment system. It features a 7-inch display that can automatically extend out of the center of the dash console. The new MMI controls are positioned behind the gear shift, and they now offer a touch pad that’s incorporated into the rotary MMI control wheel. Audi said the 705 watt 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen Sound System is optional.
Next, the displays in the vehicle use an NVIDIA GPU to generate three-dimensional images used in all of the vehicle’s online, voice control, media navigation and telephone functions.
Another new feature is what Audi calls the Audi phone box, which is a compartment under the center armrest that boosts a mobile phone’s cellular coverage. It wirelessly couples the device to a specialized antenna in the rear windshield to achieve this.
For connectivity, Audi said the all-new version of the A3 features upgrades to its Audi connect service. The automaker said it features 4G/LTE, allowing a data transfer rate of 150 Mbit/s downstream and faster response times. The existing WiFi connection can connect to up to 8 devices, and passengers will be able to view high-definition videos and make video conference calls from the vehicle.
Audi said it enhanced the Google Earth 3D satellite mapping system with new point-of-interest search capabilities. Vehicle occupants will be able to use Google Voice Local Search and a new Picture Navigation service. Drivers can import pictures via an SD drive to what Audi calls the “photo box” in the MMI Navigation Plus system. The driver can also use his or her myAudi account to import photos.
Next, a new app integration interface allows music streaming and access to other connected device apps, voice-controlled access to social media networks, and a completely redesigned MMI user interface that lets the driver and passengers access devices without having to pick them up.
For safety, Audi said the 2015 A3 features the standard Audi pre-sense basic system, which prepares the vehicle and its occupant restraint system if its sensors detect a possible collision. Audi also offers an optional driver assistance package, which features side assist, and adaptive cruise control with stop and go.
For handling safety, the vehicle features electronic stability control equipped with an electronic differential lock. When driving through curves, Audi said the vehicle can brake the inside front wheel slightly to minimize understeer and improve traction.