This thing better show up with the GTI 20R's motor in the A3 (not the S3) if they expect to make any headway.
In case you missed it we ran all of the Audi PR text materials earlier this evening right as the car was launched. We've finally had a chance to get back to the hotel room here in Geneva and format/upload all of the other remaining release photography. Below is a link to both the press release and the photo gallery. Enjoy.
Audi A3 Press Release
Audi A3 Photo Gallery
This thing better show up with the GTI 20R's motor in the A3 (not the S3) if they expect to make any headway.
The debut is a let-down...sort of like safe sex in that Audi took the feeling out of the car's design. It's been de-buffed and rounded and toned down from the concept in incremental ways to the point that it resembles the current A3 more than the Concept from which it's based.
I know that this is the 3-door, not the sedan but my God the Concept was drop-dead perfect. Why, when they had a perfect template did they screw with it?
One big tip off is in the press release that seems to go on and on about the interior and electronic goodies. Sorry- I'm not buying an i-Pad on 4 wheels. I want cutting edge exterior design with an engine that isn't an anemic gas saver- without busting the bank.
Audi had (yeah-past tense) a chance to absolutely own this segment. Now it's just another version of Audi's bland look alike design plan.
Last edited by brookside; 03-06-2012 at 07:55 AM.
I agree that the A3 concept had a bit more edginess in the design, but I think that what we have here is a pretty faithful interpretation in production form. Its like the Audi Sportback concept compared to the production A7 - it lost a bit of the aggressiveness but stayed very true to the concept.
Which thread? This one, or over at A3/8P?
First reactions: we'll have to wait to judge. In the USA we'll get the sedan first, and it's hard to say what will have changed from the Concept, engines especially.
Would be interesting if they went with the 1.8T. I've heard that VW plans to replace the current 2.5/5 with a 1.8T as their base engine. That would make it easy for Audi to do the same, and get a good boost in gas mileage. But if they really did that, they'd have to bring a higher-output engine too. So in a way, I'm hoping they go this route. Otherwise, a lower-HP 2.0T would likely be all we ever saw.
I like the side ridge actually - it's a little cleaner than the Nike whoosh we've seen lately from others. I like the butt too, though the lights are a little weird in the dark, the overall look is very clean.
I'm surprised it looks so much like basic 8P dimensions. In a way that's great, because I think my '07 won't quickly seem outdated (the upside of the slow model turnover). So they're gradually evolving the A3 design, and that's cool. Still there were some stunning concept designs that looked better, if more radical. So yeah, a bit conservative Audi.
Is there a difference between our current MacPherson strut in the front from the new one? They call it MacPherson/wishbone.
Regarding the electronics, all I can say is go for it. Pick a tech and throw everything you have at it. Thumbs up to Audi. Apologies to traditionalists, but these days saying bah-humbug to in-car electronics is like saying you like your landline telephone and answering machine. It should never replace vehicle dynamics, but modern electronics is a must-have, and it'll be interesting to see how the next generation of car-computers shake out.
I think this MQB A3 will be a crazy transition platform. Usually we get an engine, maybe two, and a couple facelifts. But this generation A3 may see TFSI, TDI, hybrid and full electric versions.
Not sure why people aren't stoked on this more. The car looks amazing and I see huge potential. I really hope that the USA will get a hatch version. 2 door or 4 door either way. Would be neat if we could get the 2.5l 5 cyl. Turbo but I doubt it will ever happen.
The sedan version is lame IMHO. Go buy a Jetta...
Want: Audi MQB RS3 Sportback, S-Tronic (DSG) in the USA.
Want: Mk7 Golf Sportwagon with DSG, HID/LED's, TDI and AWD (With potentially an R-Kit)
Want: Mk7 Golf R 4 Door with DSG
Want: More Hatchbacks/Sportbacks/Wagons in the US.
I have no problem with electronics being top of the line just don't want the price to go up signficantly to get them and at the same time it is really far down the list of things I care about in my next car.
I thought this was surprising -
The U.S. market will see the Audi A3 sedan in 2014, perhaps as a 2015 model. Variants will follow, and an Audi spokesperson indicated that any high performance versions, such as an S or RS model, would likely be based on the sedan.
Two more years of the current car? Seems like a long time from show to showroom.
Either way, though, that's a big gap.
I dunno ... I think it looks pretty awesome. You can see some of the detail in the overhead shots. Too bad it won't come to North America.
Inside Line has a quote from an Audi spokesperson that says we get it for the 2014 Model Year, which is in line with what we've been hearing here (2013 calendar year as a 2014 model).
http://www.insideline.com/audi/a3/20...odel-year.htmlIn response to a query from Inside Line regarding the U.S. introduction of the new A3, an Audi of America spokesperson replied, "It's looking like 2014."
It will be nice if we get some kind of confirmation by the time of the NY show in April.
Last edited by Dennis M; 03-07-2012 at 09:49 AM.
Schwarzenbauer was the one who threw out the 2014 year. Though he did not confirm whether he meant model year or calendar year I suspect he meant calendar year. I'll try to verify this though.
I have a little more intel on all of this from some private conversations I had with executives. Will post that as a story as soon as I get back. I'm flying home today so look for it Friday morning.
New York Times information -
The two-door hatchback shown here is not expected to come to the United States. Instead, Audi would ship a sedan version to America in 2014 as a 2015 model. A four-door hatchback, the only body style currently offered in the United States, was not shown here, but was expected to have its debut this year. Again, however, it would not be sold in America. That’s right: No more A3 hatch in the United States.
My current car has too many miles and age for me to wait two more years. Hopefully they are wrong or I will be looking somewhere else. Since the car show car was at Geneva last year, seems like waiting three years for the production version would be excessive.
Last edited by dmorrow; 03-08-2012 at 07:53 AM.
While we wait for more info from George, here's a story that was linked on Autoblog that came from The Detroit Bureau:
Audi Unveils New A3 Wagon – But US Version Still Under Wraps
Sedan, not wagon, for America, but US will share etron plug-in.
by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.07, 2012
The new Audi A3 wagon got its debut in Geneva, but it'll be a while before we see the U.S. sedan.
It required an act of aggression to get anywhere near the new Audi A3 during the opening day of the Geneva Motor Show, considering the size of the crowds at the luxury maker’s stands. But an intrepid effort uncovered a new model significantly updated from the compact luxury car currently in Audi showrooms.
The basic look of the new wagon on display at the PALExpo Convention Center is familiar, with the new Audi A3 sized, overall, about the same as before – though it features a longer wheelbase and more interior space. But the new car has a more refined and elegant feel, no longer looking like the cheap, throwaway member of the family.
Your Inside Source!
But Americans shouldn’t get too comfortable with the wagon on display. It likely won’t come to the States, a senior Audi official telling TheDetroitBureau.com that the Volkswagen Group brand has developed an entirely different model for the U.S. that won’t reach showrooms until late in 2013.
“We decided not to take it,” considering wagons simply don’t connect with U.S. buyers, noted Johan de Nysschen, CEO of Audi of America. Instead, the model coming to the States is a new sedan that “doesn’t share a single body panel with this car.”A U.S. fleet test of the plug-in etron gets underway this month.
The South African-born executive is so confident of the alternative model he is predicting Audi of America will boost A3 sales to about 30,000 annually – triple the demand for the current A3 wagon in U.S. showrooms.
That outgoing A3 wagon will remain in production through late next year, the new sedan debuting as a 2014 model.According to de Nysschen, it took a lot of effort to convince the corporate parent to develop the sedan, what with most other markets happy to stick with a wagon. Now that the design has been locked down, however, he hints that a number of other global markets want the 4-door, as well. “Now, everybody wants this car.
Like the European wagon debuting at the Geneva Motor Show, the American Audi A3 sedan will deliver a much more roomy and lavishly equipped interior than before. And one with a lot more technology, in keeping with Audi’s interest in connected car technology.
That includes the touchpad control system first introduced on the latest A8 flagship, with a big LCD video screen to check everything out on and an optional 17-speak Bang & Olufsen audio system in the option category.
The A3 will also get plenty of practical, high-tech hardware, from an advanced park assist system to active cruise control.
One of the features Audi is particularly proud of is the extensive use of aluminum and other lightweight materials in the new A3. The next-gen wagon weighs in with a 1.4-liter gas engine weighs in at just 2,590 pounds, or 176 pounds less than the outgoing model.
Powertrain choices will be extensive, depending on market, with a range of gas and diesel alternatives. Considering the current A3 TDI won the coveted Green Car of the Year trophy at the Los Angeles Auto Show a couple years back it’s no surprise to hear Audi of America CEO de Nysschen confirm the U.S. A3 sedan will also get battery power.
The American edition will also follow the Europeans in getting a new battery driveline. A fleet test of the so-called etron system is just getting underway in the States, in fact, using the outgoing wagon. (For more on that fleet test, Click Here.)
“It’s planned as part of the product cycle,” noted de Nysschen, “but there is no date behind it” yet.
While Audi is developing several different etron powertrains, including a full battery-electric driveline, “a plug-in is likely because it is more suitable than pure battery power” for the States. De Nysschen cautioned that the price premium for the technology is “likely to be a barrier” to strong demand, but it should be “easier in the luxury segment” to convince buyers to cough up the extra cash, especially the way U.S. fuel prices are trending.
Does anyone else find it intersting that the US A3 "won't share a single body panel" with the European A3? that must be expensive. I bet they'd have to have a dedicated plant to do that. It should probably be something relatively local to save on shipping costs, and ideally easy to set up for MQB chassis cars.....
$5 says they're going to build it in Puebla, Mexico right next to those horrible little Jettas that fall apart before you get them off the lot.
Factory is interesting. I still think Chattanooga is possible but Mexico is also an option. Mexico has had its issues but one issue it doesn't have is exportability. As I understand it there are tariff issues exporting from the US into some markets and it's why the middle east Passats (same as USA design) comes from China where it's also built.
Any more to the story?
I'm replacing a MINI S with an A3 hatch. I thought
No 2013 A3 for the US. So, how long do I have to place an order for a 2012 A3? Seems the dealers I talk to can't give me a straight answer. 21 A3's inbound to the US today. 20 already sold. I called on the remaining unsold unit this morning. SOLD.
The comment about there being no market for wagons in the US. I think that's a fair assessment. I don't want a wagon either. I want a refined, sporty, performance, hatchback. Apples and oranges comparison in my mind. I'm hoping Audi changes their mind, but I imagine that boat has already sailed.
So, again. How long, if at all, do I have to place a new car order for an old car in 2012?
Just got off the phone with my dealer. FWIW
You can still order the 2012 A3 for June delivery.
There will be a short 2013 A3 production run in Sept/Oct for a Nov/Dec delivery. Order for the 2013 needs to be placed in July.
Last edited by 72guy; 03-09-2012 at 05:45 PM. Reason: new info
Another solid effort by Audi. The exterior is playing it a little safe, but the interior is fantastic. I think the sweet spot in Europe will be the cyclinder deactivation 140hp manual. If Audi actually hires some decent suspension/steering people, the RS3 will be storming.
I own a 2007 A3 S-Line in blue. There is no way I will be buying a sedan over a hatchback. I had a sedan once and its impractical for the way I live. As nice as the A3 sedan concept car is I have 0 desire for a sedan.
I will just go buy a GTI...
While I'd prefer the wagon, the sedan is not a deal breaker for me in the slightest. What would be a deal breaker is having to wait until calendar year 2014 to buy one, along with the inability to spec a manual transmission.
Ideally I'm hoping we get a manual+quattro configuration. Frankly, I can do without a lot of the electronic gadgetry (lane monitoring, Drive Select, etc.), just give me a decently power bumped 2.0T quattro (220hp perhaps?) and I'll be happy as a clam.
Just thinking out loud here... I'm in the '06/'07 boat too. GF has a 2001 Beetle. Was thinking about replacing it with the A3 Sedan in 2013. Helps that we have 2 cars, so my A3 would become the hauler.
Now I'm toying with the idea of getting a 2012/13 TDI for her (A3 or Golf), and maybe in 3 yrs replacing the A3 with the sedan. I haven't read that the TDI will change much in the MQB generation.
I think I'll always want a wagon or HB or something to help on those IKEA runs. But I've also always loved that original A4. I'm a product of my culture - think the sedan looks classy.
And we can wait to get a car custom made for us, not just pick one that is already made.
It may take 2 to 6 months to get the car.
And we pay a lot more for them.
That's why we get all the options you don't.