2017 Audi A3 previewed
A revised Audi A3 has just been unveiled in Europe and while U.S. sources have yet to comment on details, many of the key cosmetic and tech enhancements introduced on the Euro-spec iteration will be found on the 2017 Audi A3 coming our way.
Available in Sedan, Convertible and Sportback e-tron plug-in forms, exterior changes to the 2017 Audi A3 reflect thinking seen on the new A4 and are most evident on the nose and tail. Up front, the look has a more prominent take on the automaker’s signature single-frame grille theme, bolder intakes and redrawn headlamps, including the available full LED units that will offer Audi’s trick “active” matrix LED upgrade in Europe. Out back, the A3’s LED taillamps also feature a new horizontal graphic and are set off a redesigned diffuser. The car also gains new 16-inch to 19-inch wheel/tire fitments, a broader range of colors and will offer S-line and Design packages to complement the Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige trim grades.
Introducing the Virtual Cockpit
Beyond normal trim tweaks and a new multifunction steering wheel, the biggest news inside the 2017 A3’s cabin is the availability of Audi’s Virtual Cockpit instrument display with its 12.3-inch configurable TFT screen. The standard versions of the updated A3 feature a 7.0-inch dash mounted infotainment screen and a more user-friendly menu system for the MMI infotainment control interface. This update will offer enhanced voice control as well as a touch-sensitive pad on the main rotary element capable of recognizing drawn characters and multi-finger gestures. Optional navigation and Audi Connect also add more online capability.
The new Euro A3 also offers an upgraded Active Lane Assist system as well as Audi Pre Sense Front with predictive pedestrian protection. Our sources indicate many of the latest active/passive safety advances introduced on the new Audi A4 and Audi Q7 will be found on the 2017 A3, as well.
In Europe, buyers have a choice of engines including a new 1.0-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder, a 1.4-liter turbo four with cylinder-on-demand tech and a 1.4-liter CNG-fired TFSI four as well as diesel-burning TDI alternatives and the gas/electric Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrid. Here in the U.S., we expect the 2017 A3’s powertrains to carry over, with the base engine remaining a 1.8-liter/170-horsepower turbo four in the front-drive A3 1.8T and a 220-horse/2.0-liter TFSI engine in all-wheel drive A3 2.0T Quattro models. The hot S3 Sedan (and hopefully an S3 Cabriolet) should retain the potent 292-horse/2.0-liter and the A3 Sportback e-tron keep its 1.4-liter TFSI four/electric motor combo that collectively churns out 204 ponies.
More details and pricing is expected closer to the U.S. launch of Audi’s 2017 lineup.
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