lb-ft @ 1600-5300 rpm
163.2 hp per liter
mph (electrically limited)
(from Audi Press
Release) Concentrated technical expertise – all in the Audi A3
concept technical study
Audi is set to unveil an attractive technical study – the A3 concept
– at the Geneva Motor Show. The four-seat notchback sedan integrates
the full breadth of the brand’s technological expertise – from the
improved MMI operating system, to the high-tech infotainment system,
to the drivetrain. A five-cylinder turbo developing 300 kW (408 hp),
a seven-speed S tronic and quattro permanent all-wheel drive ensure
thrilling dynamics along with high fuel efficiency.
Design and body
The Audi A3 concept is a
four-seat notchback sedan. It measures 4.44 meters (14.57 ft) long
and 1.84 meters (6.04 ft) wide, but just 1.39 meters (4.56 ft) high
– proportions that underscore its dynamic character.
The design represents the typical Audi language of sporty elegance.
The single-frame grille is integrated into the front end, giving it
a sculptured look. Its frame is made of carbon-fiber-reinforced
plastic (CFRP), and the transversely mounted, three-dimensional
aluminum louvers create a visual effect that emphasizes the
showcar’s width. The headlights merge with the beveled upper corners
of the single-frame, forming a transition that marks the starting
point of the prominently accentuated lines of the engine hood.
The headlights represent a new stage of evolution in LED technology,
a groundbreaking innovation from Audi. They become broader as they
extend outward, and a line underneath them makes them seem to float
on air. Above the front spoiler is a full-length air intake, also
made of CFRP, framed by a metal clasp. The spoiler features a
splitter that raises the downforce on the front wheels.
When viewed from the side, too, the A3 concept is recognizable at
first sight as an Audi. Harmonious proportions, taut, muscular
surfaces and a low roof dome with fluid lines flowing into a flat,
coupé-like C-pillar. The shoulder area transitions elegantly into
the tailgate. Characteristic of Audi design, the greenhouse accounts
for one-third of the height, while the sheet metal makes up the
Powerfully flared fenders hint at the power of the engine. Two
prominently elaborated lines accentuate the flank: the undercut
tornado line beneath the window edge and the dynamic line above the
sills. The outside mirrors, made of aluminum and CFRP, are perched
on the top shoulder, just like on a sports car. The door handles
with their brushed-aluminum clasps are recessed flush with the door.
When the driver touches them, they power-extend.
The intelligent interplay between surfaces and lines also defines
the tail end of the A3 concept. The broad, flat tail lights are
sculptured and culminate in a point on the inside, and the tailgate
bears an elegant spoiler edge. The rear apron includes a diffuser
insert of CFRP and metal, which in turn surrounds the two large
tailpipes for the exhaust system.
Ultra-modern components, design methods and joining techniques keep
the body weight low. One example of this are the custom tailored
blanks (panels of various thicknesses) in the floor area. The doors,
engine hood and tailgate are made of aluminum. The extra stiff body
provides the basis for the sedan’s precise handling, excellent
vibrational comfort and low weight – the Audi A3 concept tips the
scales at just 1,540 kilograms (3,395.12 lb).
The interior of the
showcar is generously proportioned. The long wheelbase measuring
2.63 meters (8.63 ft) – a best-in-class figure in the premium
compact segment – gives rear passengers on the two individual seats
a pleasing amount of knee room. The front sport seats with prominent
side bolsters are slim and elegant.
The cockpit also gives an impression of lightness and airiness. The
horizontal lines emphasize its design. The instrument panel draws
the driver in – typical of Audi. Defined in three dimensions, the
large trim strip is made of solid aluminum and includes control
functions. The high-quality sound system in the doors and on the
rear shelf has aluminum trim panels. When the audio system is turned
on, they extend a few millimeters, thus orchestrating a visual
accompaniment to the system’s excellent sound.
On the center console four large, round air vents echoing a jet’s
design catch the eye. The air flow is adjusted by pulling and
pushing on the center axis of the vents. The control knobs for the
automatic air conditioning system are located in the lower section
of the center console on a boldly protruding dedicated control
panel. Visually, they are reminiscent of airplane turbines.
Located behind the compact, flat-bottomed, three-spoke multifunction
steering wheel are two analog dial instruments with black dials and
red needles, complemented by additional kidney-shaped displays.
Engraved rims made of brushed aluminum underscore their classy look.
In between the two large round dials is the large, eight-inch
display for the driver information system. The display is
user-programmable – the driver can select the content to be
displayed from an extensive menu.
The control panel for the MMI multimedia system is located on the
center tunnel console. The surface of its large rotary pushbutton
includes the touch pad, MMI touch. This new solution, which makes
the already exemplary operation even more intuitive, will soon be
introduced in series production at Audi. The ultra-thin MMI monitor
power-extends out of the instrument panel, another feature taken
from the full-size car class.
In terms of infotainment, the Audi A3 concept shows why the brand is
leading the competition. A UMTS model provides full access to the
Internet, allowing the car to retrieve convenient services from
Google. Thanks to the WLAN hotspot, passengers can surf and send
e-mail to their hearts’ content. Holders for iPads are installed on
the back of the front seat backrests.
A classic notchback sedan, the Audi A3 concept boasts a large
luggage compartment with a volume of 410 liters (14.48 cubic ft) and
a low loading lip.
The A3 concept has a
five-cylinder engine under the hood that combines the Audi
technologies of turbocharging and FSI gasoline direction injection.
It develops a hefty 300 kW (408 hp) from a displacement of 2.5
liters. Its peak torque of 500 Nm (368.78 lb-ft) is available over a
broad rev range between 1,600 and 5,300 rpm.
The five-cylinder powerplant unleashes a rousing soundscape – its
typical sound pattern calls to mind the Audi sound of the 1980s and
the huge motorsport successes of that period. Its performance is a
complete homage to tradition: The A3 concept catapults from a dead
stop to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 4.1 seconds, and its electronically
governed top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph) is merely the official
In terms of fuel consumption, the four-seater requires just 9.1
liters of fuel per 100 km (25.85 US mpg) and emits 212 grams CO2 per
km (341.18 g/mile). A regulated oil pump, the intelligent Audi
thermo-management system and a energy recovery system – technologies
from the brand’s modular efficiency platform – all contribute to
this high efficiency.
A compact seven-speed S tronic serves as the transmission. It
comprises two transmission structures, which are operated by two
clutches. Gears are alternately shifted by the two clutches – at
lightning speed, comfortably, and without any perceptible
interruption of traction.
The driver can operate the seven-speed S tronic in one automatic
mode and one manual mode, using the paddles on the steering wheel to
shift gears manually. Elegant touch control buttons on the center
tunnel console are used to select drive positions R, N and D. These
are backlit in red when it gets dark. Drive position P is
automatically engaged when the electric parking brake is applied.
The launch control system manages the sprint from a dead stop,
furnishing explosive turbo power with minimal tire slip.
Power is effortlessly transmitted to the road via quattro permanent
all-wheel drive. Its centerpiece is an electronically controlled
multi-plate clutch at the end of the propeller shaft. When slip
occurs at one of the axles, the clutch redirects the majority of the
torque input to the wheels with the better grip.
Derived from the current
RS 3 Sportback, the chassis of the Audi A3 concept is fully capable
of handling the power from the drive system at all times. The four-seater
masters any type of curve with speed, stability and composure,
turning spontaneously into corners going in and providing superior
traction going out. Its self-steering response remains essentially
neutral all the way up to the lofty handling limits.
The front suspension – a McPherson construction with a separate axle
support – has a track measuring a full 1,572 millimeters (61.89 in).
To a large extent, its components are made of aluminum. The
rack-and-pinion steering is extremely efficient because its
electromechanical drive system requires no energy when driving
The four-link rear suspension with its 1,542-millimeter (60.71-in)
track is likewise fixed to a subframe. Its control arms made of
high-strength steel enable the suspension to absorb longitudinal and
lateral forces separately. The shock absorbers and coil springs are
mounted separately from each other.
The Audi drive select dynamic handling system gives the driver five
modes from which to select the engine characteristics, power
steering and the seven-speed S tronic. The modes are comfort, auto,
dynamic, individual and efficiency, the last of which is designed
for maximum economy.
The imposing light-alloy rims measure 20 inches in diameter. In five
twin-spoke design, they are made of CFRP and aluminum. The slender,
recessed rims optimize ventilation. The tire format is 245/30 at the
front and rear. The front brake disks are gripped by four-piston
calipers. The ESP stabilization system has a Sport mode and can be
completely deactivated. The parking brake is actuated