The revised A3 line-up also receives a number of new safety systems, such as a semi-autonomous traffic jam assist function.
The update also adds two new petrol engines to the line-up: a 113bhp turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit and a 187bhp 2.0 four-pot turbo.
The S3’s turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine gains an added 10bhp, taking it to 306bhp. In combination with an optional S-tronic dual-clutch automatic gearbox, it also receives an additional 15lb ft of torque, at 295lb ft.
Buyers can choose between a standard six-speed manual gearbox or a newly developed seven-speed dual-clutch S tronic ’box on most engines. There’s also the choice of either front or four-wheel drive on selected engines, including the new 2.0-litre petrol turbo unit in the A3 2.0 TFSI.
In keeping with previous generations of A3, the styling changes are mild. At the front, there are new headlights with optional matrix LED operation, a more angular single-frame grille and a reprofiled bumper.
The rear adopts revised tail-lights and a lightly modified bumper, both of which are said to provide a greater emphasis on perceived width.
Audi has also introduced new equipment lines. Most models continue to be offered with 16in wheels as standard, although buyers can specify optional 17, 18 and 19in rims. In addition, there are six new exterior colour schemes for the standard A3, along with a grey pearl-effect finish available with the optional S line styling package.
Inside, the facelifted A3 receives the optional virtual cockpit technology already available in the larger A4. It consists of a 12.3in screen that lets drivers choose between two different digital layouts: a so-called classic view or infotainment mode.
Safety systems include a developed version of Audi’s active lane assist and presense front functions, which now come with predictive pedestrian protection at city speeds. A new cross-traffic assist function warns the driver about cars approaching from the sides when backing out of a parking space.
Also available on the facelifted A3 is traffic jam assist, which works together with the optional adaptive cruise control to keep the new Audi at a safe distance from the car in front in stop-start traffic and, in combination with the optional S tronic dual-clutch gearbox, automatically sets the A3 in motion again when it comes to a stop. At speeds up to 40mph, the new system provides autonomous steering for short distances.