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Refreshed 2017 Audi A3 here at the end of the year

The refreshed 2017 Audi A3 arrives here at the end of the year and when it does it’ll be wearing a sleeker body, new engines, and driver assistance systems.

THE REFRESHED 2017 Audi A3 arrives in Australia later this year with new petrol engines and a host of safety and infotainment technology borrowed from its big-car range.

While the dimensions of the new Audi A3 are almost identical to the current car (4.24m long and with a wheelbase of 2.60m), the designers have made some minor styling tweaks. These include a slightly wider singleframe grille, cinched in and flatter headlights and a wider tailgate. Twelve paint colours are available to choose from, including the five new colours Ara blue, Cosmic blue, Nano gray, Tango red and Vegas yellow. Daytona grey pearl effect paintwork is reserved for the S line exterior package.

Exterior tweaks aside, the majority of work has taken place beneath the skin. There will be six engines on offer in the new A3 locally, including three petrol and three diesel engines. For the first time in the ranger there’s a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged four-cylinder produces 81kW and 200Nm of torque from 2000-3500rpm.

The 1.4 TFSI COD ultra features cylinder-on-demand efficiency technology, turning off two cylinders when the corresponding output is not required – it produces 110kW and 250Nm of torque. The all-new 2.0 TFSI produces 140kW and 320Nm of torque from 1500-4200rpm.

The new entry-level diesel engine is a 1.6 TDI with 81kW and it can be mated to either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual clutch S tronic transmission. A 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel is available in two states of tune, producing either 110kW and 340Nm at 1750-3000rpm, or 135kW and 380Nm at 1750-3000rpm.

The 2.0 TFSI engines are joined by a fully newly developed seven-speed S tronic with wet clutch. It replaces the previous six-speed dual clutch transmission with dry clutch. The majority of models in the A3 range are front-drive, with only the 140kW 2.0 TFSI available with quattro all-wheel drive. With the optional sport suspension, the body sits 15 millimetres lower, and 25 millimetres lower with the S line sport suspension.

The new A3 is available as a Sportback, a Sedan and a Cabriolet.

The biggest change on the inside of the new A3 is the Audi Virtual Cockpit which has, until now, been reserved for Audi’s larger vehicles. A high-res 12.3-inch TFT screen can offer two views, displaying both sat-nav and the tachometer and speedometer display. The default setting is to display the tachometer and speedometer. The seven-inch MMI terminal has had its menu structure redesigned; it’s now based on smartphones. The display is controlled via a rotary dial although there are shortcut menu buttons for faster navigation. Speaking of navigation, the cost optional MMI navigation and MMI navigation plus allows online accessibility to things like Google Earth and Google Street View for navigation in real-time.

Key safety features for the new Audi A3 include Audi active lane assist and Audi pre sense front, including predictive pedestrian protection, traffic jam assist, which works together with Audi adaptive cruise control (ACC) and its Stop&Go feature which offers an element of autonomous drive ability.

Pricing and the full specifications for the local line-up will be revealed closer to the time of launch at the end of the year.

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober