Is there any chance the US will finally get a manual quattro combo option?
I'm looking at the bright (maybe unlikely) side of things. I think ANA will do it's best to get this launch right - with an emphasis on enabling the customer to choose from a wide selection of options and packages.
Manual/Quattro seems like a no-brainer in terms of giving people what they want.
It sure seems like that's the general flow of all retail business- more individual choices that end up with a product such as a car that can be tailored to exactly what the buyer is looking for with few compromises along the way.
I guess the question is- is the availability of manual/quattro a deal breaker?
I feel like there are certainly better chances for a Quattro/manual powertrain this time around with the U.S. getting a sedan rather than a hatch. There was probably a very small market for that powertrain with the previous car, especially after taking into account Americans preference for sedans over hatches. However, with the growth and increased cost of the A4 over the years, I see them selling a lot more of these new A3 sedans here, and so I'm hoping there is a business case for a Quattro/manual powertrain.
As for price points, my guess is that Audi is going to make the A3 sedan here in north america compete not based on price but on market segment. That is to say that the A3 sedan will likely come in slightly under the A4, but not by much, but will target a different buying segment than does the A4.
The differentiation is already well set: the A3 will be smaller and have a radically different interior from the more pedestrian A4.
Personally, I say that Audi would be wise to raise base prices of the A3 sedan by $1,500 but include Quattro as standard. But that's just me...
Considering you can get both the A4 and A6 with FWD the A3 will come with it also.
If nothing else, people want to see a low starting price even if most don't want to buy that car. For non performance people that live in areas that get little or no snow I can see a lot of them prefering the front wheel drive. Normally a little better gas mileage, lower price and fewer things to go wrong.
And as an enthusiast that considers value, I will be forced to strongly consider a FWD/manual car, if there is no Quattro/manual powertrain offered. If we look at powertrain options of the current car, the Quattro/S-Tronic powertrain demands a premium of $3580 over the same FWD/manual car. The FWD/S-Tronic car is of little interest to me as it's the same as what I currently have in my DSG MKV GTI.
The current car charges $1480 for S-Tronic, $2100 for Quattro, and $2000 to upgrade from Premium trim to Premium Plus. There is no savings for any certain combination. Hopefully they don't increase the base price too much, if at all, offer these options for the same/similar prices, and offer either transmission with either drivetrain.
Since its the idiots at Audi USA deciding who knows.
These are the same people who have repeatedly told me a tdi quattro would not get imported because it's too expensive for Americans, I presume because Audi sees its us customers as lazy and stupid. And yet they then also refuse to give you a tdi with a manual gearbox, or a quatro with a manual... Both being cheaper than the flappy paddle variants they only provide. UGH
DAMIT, if I want a manual tdi Quattro then why the hell not?
It's even stupider when you can get some of the combos in a VW Golf, but not the A3. And they are THE SAME CAR under the skin!
Drives me mad!
I'm waiting for the A3 sedan and the MKVII GTI. Suposedly, the MKVII Golf may debut at Geneva, alongside the A3 hatch debut that other markets will see. At least Geneva will give us a view of what the production front end looks like in person.
On a related note, the MKVII GTI is rumored to be receiving the next generation EA888 engine. As the GTI and A3 have shared engines in the past, perhaps it will debut in this car.
Based on how many A4 Avants, BMW wagons, and Mercedeces wagons I don't blame them for not bringing the wagons here. Same goes for the manuals, a far smaller percentage of them are sold over the automatic. Add in the limited number production for the A3 and I can see a good reason not to bring over every combination available. While I would be interested in a five door quattro manual I could see the market being pretty small for it.
Take these choices - (quattro, FWD), (sedan, 5 door), (manual, automatic), (diesel, gas) and without even getting into colors and trim levels you have 2X2X2X2= 16 combinations of cars. Add in 4 colors and 2 trim levels and you have 128 (16 x 4 x 2) ways to build the car.
If you were Audi and trying to maximize profit which ones of the above would you bring to the U.S.?
If you were the average dealer would you want to try to pick 3 cars to stock out of 128 build combinations? Most Americans won't special order and wait the months to get a car.
The good news: they've sold like gangbusters, at a very nice margin for AoA and for dealerships.
Each model that they sell in the US market has to have a specific role in the overall plan to increase sales or to test the market. The 8P A3 has been a grand experiment for Audi in North America and all in all I think it has shown them that premium small cars can indeed be sold here, but packaging and positioning is *critical*.
Until Audi is selling 200,000+ vehicles annually in North America it will be very hard to justify the niche models. My sincere wish is that they would federalize some of these models for custom order only. There are many of us who would gladly pay the premium.
Hop in the way-back machine to 2009 and the MLP A4 introductions: the moans and groans about how boring the car was were loud and clear. I don't think you'll hear the same for the new A3.
Of the 128 combinations, which ones should they build? I'm sure their Production Mgrs. and Suppliers need to have a reasonably good estimate of what they are going to build next year and every variation creates overall expense in the system.
Just throwing it out there.
VW brought to Canada the Golf R in ONLY AWD + manual. I have a feeling it will be an option, where the standard will come with DSG. VW obviously discerned that there is a market, and the market spoke selling out, can't find a Golf R anywhere.
So A3 / S3 sedan it is!