New Audi A3 gets more aggressive look and latest in-car technology
4 March 2012

These are reported to be the first pictures of the all-new Audi A3, which is scheduled to be unveiled at the Geneva motor show.

The pictures, which have leaked on to the web and which have not yet been verified by Audi, show the new Audi A3 with a more aggressive look than the current model, with slimmer headlights and a deep front bumper featuring large airvents. The sides feature a pronounced swage lines and an acute C-pillar kink.

The interior shots also reveal that the dashboard closely resembles that of the Audi A1 supermini.

It has already been confirmed that Audi’s MMI terminal has been completely redeveloped, and is now narrower to fit the slim transmission tunnel of the forthcoming A3. The system centres around the touchwheel, which combines the wheel function of the current MMI with the touchpad functionality fitted to the A6 and A8. It enables the operator to ‘write’ characters by finger movement.

Two rocker switches are ahead of the touchwheel; one operating the telephone and navigation and the other controlling the media and radio systems. Four softkeys to the side of the wheel navigate through the menus and two behind the wheel directly access the main menus. A separate volume control with skip function completes the interface.

The structure of the menu system has been revised. The player and media centre are clearly separated and song titles, albums and artists can be located via a free text search.

Information is displayed on a new monitor, which slides out of the dashboard. The iPhone-influenced screen features LED backlighting and in an industry first, delivers 3D graphics.

The new MMI has been designed to remove risk of obsolescence by incorporating a new Multi Media eXtension (MMX) board, which uses flash memory to make updating easy. The board itself can also be replaced.

Optionally available will be Audi Phone Box, which utilises contactless technology to improve phone connectivity. In the future, Audi hopes to introduce contactless charging.

A head-up display will be offered, projecting key information to appear 2.3 metres ahead of the driver. Future displays will project navigation data in the correct position in the real world environment. As a driver approaches a junction, the HUD will display a transparent route arrow precisely at the real junction. At a distance of 10 metres, the arrow will appear the same size as a physical arrow on the pavement.

Other developments will enable the car to show the direction the road will take after a hillcrest, the distance to the car ahead and the direction pedestrians in the road are heading.

An electromagnetic parking brake replaces the manual handbrake on the current car.

Our Verdict

Audi A3

Third generation Audi A3 has been given a mild facelift, more equipment, some new engines, a new hot model, but is the three-door version the cream of the premium hatch crop?

Join the debate


22 February 2012

Evolutionary, as with most new cars. I prefer the side profile to the current version of the A3. Not a fan of the 'Sport back', so hope they can improve the looks of that version as well.

Should be another pretty good car, regardless of the Audi cynics! - Wonder if they've improved the ride etc..?

22 February 2012

It's got the same sort of "sad eye" style headlights as the new BMW 1 series - and it doesn't look any better on this!

Other than that, it isn't anything special and dare I say a little too conservative and boring. Still, if that's what sells.....



It's all about the twisties........

22 February 2012

Forgive my eyesight, but it's just an A1, isn't it?

22 February 2012

[quote Fidji]

Forgive my eyesight, but it's just an A1, isn't it?

[/quote] Certainly not groundbreaking, but it will sell.....

22 February 2012

[quote Autocar]all-new Audi A3[/quote]

Do they have to pay anyone for use of all those Austin Allegro design elements?

22 February 2012

[quote saaby]groundbreaking, but it will sell[/quote] Estate Agents presumably!

22 February 2012

[quote saaby][quote Fidji]

Forgive my eyesight, but it's just an A1, isn't it?

[/quote] Certainly not groundbreaking, but it will sell.....[/quote]

Of course it will. Audi is becoming a bit like Apple. It just makes the same thing rebadged. I'm sure this Audi is a capable car, but I can't help but feel that it is more of a fashion accessory than anything.

22 February 2012

How utterly predictable! It may well sell......but it's only so many times you can do this before the public start to perceive your products as boring and unadventurous.

22 February 2012

[quote grandslamms]How utterly predictable! It may well sell......but it's only so many times you can do this before the public start to perceive your products as boring and unadventurous.[/quote]

When these things go out of fashion, they'll go out fast. Audi had better had something up its sleeve for when this happens. Things could go downhill if they're not careful...

22 February 2012

Wow, that looks exactly the same as the last one.


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