Audi’s smallest sedan, the A3 has been due for an update. Ever since Audi’s line-up was buzzing with new tech and styling, the A3 was raking up a significant amount dust from being dated and dare I say it, boring!
Now, it is finally here, the 2021 Audi A3 has been officially unveiled, and boy, has it evolved. The older A3 sported a more conservative look which was not too adventurous and just a tad bit dull. But, the new A3’s look is aggressive yet elegant and we
like love it. The car in entirety has seen changes. From its interiors, exteriors to the power-trains, THIS is the kind of facelift that should revive the A3 and its sales figures. Lets dive into all that has changed, and how these changes make a difference.
The 2021 A3 has grown up, literally!
In comparison to it the older A3, the newer one is longer by 40mm, but this does not make a difference in its overall wheelbase. In terms of breadth and height, it has increased in both respects by 20mm and 10mm respectively. Yes! You can infer that it is a tad bit roomier and a little bit higher which is a good thing as this increase in height would protect the underside of the car from huge speed breakers. Another consequence of these revisions is, the fact that the headroom in the new A3 has increased, so your tall friends can sit in the car quite comfortably without bumping their heads on the roof.
What is new on the outside?
The 2021 A3 has not changed much from the previous generation A3. That being said, a few updates have been added on the front and rear, to differentiate it from the older A3.
The front of the 2021 A3 looks quite sharp, with the updated trapezoidal headlamps, and in the top spec model of the A3, the lights are made of 15 LED segments which can be initiated individually. Thus, it sets each 2021 A3 different from the others.
Furthermore, the area where the fog lamps are housed, now has silver inserts which give an aura of sportiness to the car. One of the most polarising changes made to the A3 is that of the grille which a massive hexagonal mesh like design, and within this mesh lies the Audi symbol.
The bonnet has 2 distinct lines running up to the end, which makes the car look rather aggressive, and this is a welcome addition. On the rear things have not changed much, just a few LED highlights have been added.
Audi also claims that the side profile, which is THE BEST angle to view this car, has sheet metal designs inspired from the Lamborghini Countach. Hmm! Nope, don’t see one bit of that but, yeah! It’s much more exciting and flamboyant than an Audi from 2015 which was basically a slab of metal. So, I can give them props for that.
The interiors (WARNING: Your phone might feel insecure)
Now this is where the 2021 A3 has completely changed from the older generation A3. Audi’s cabin has always been very contemporary and sports the highest of technologies, and the new A3 continues to follow that philosophy.
In all honesty, this interior could very easily give competition to the interiors of much more expensive sedans. The interior has been designed keeping the driver as the main subject, and rightly so, and this can be seen as the new 10.3 inch infotainment system, is angled towards the driver. In fact, this is where Audi says that the interiors are inspired from the Lamborghini Urus and I can see that somewhere along the AC vents and the whole “driver focused cockpit” thing.
Audi have also inspired (read: copied) the auto gear selector from the Porsche 911 and that’s a GREAT thing. See, the benefits of being owned by one gargantuan German automaker! Although, since Hyundai seem to copy Audi and Audi are now taking bits from Lambo and Porsche, should we expect a Lambo like theme on future Hyundai cars? (Gasps!)
The instrument cluster is also updated and is now a digital 12.3 inch display which also houses Audi’s well acclaimed Virtual Cockpit system. Audi seems to have done away with their pop-up infotainment system, and even though that added a minimalist touch to the interior, I say it , will not be missed, as it would not feel right in an interior as modern as this. A heads-up display has also been provided which presents turn by turn navigation or the speed of the car. In terms of technology, an LTE network is added into the car, which would allow the users of the car to stream the internet while on the go.
Android Auto and Apple Car Play are offered as standard in the 2021 A3, and while talking about phones, the new A3 has something called the ‘phone box’ which, you guessed it, is a box where you can place your phone, and whilst being there it, it can be charged wirelessly. More about phones, following the trend which most cars seem to have, using your android phone, you can power the car on/off at the touch of a button. As we said before, your smartphone might feel obsolete in there.
The new power-trains
The 2021 A3 will be powered by 3 engines, 2 petrol TFSI ones, and a diesel TDI. Starting with the petrol, the 35 TFSI is a 1.5 litre engine, strong enough to make 150 ps. This engine is mated to a new 6 speed manual or a smooth and quick 7 speed S-tronic automatic.
For the ones who like to accelerate their cars hard (basically every BMW owner), this engine can do 0-100 in 5.0 seconds which could make this a great option to drive on straights. An interesting bit about the S-Tronic transmission is that it uses a 48 volt mild hybrid system which allows it to recover energy during deceleration.
The diesel on the other hand is a 2.0 TDI which also produces 150 ps and is mated to a 7 speed S-Tronic Automatic transmission. Both these engines have been built in such a way that they can be used to hit the triple digits with ease, but at the same time they are quite fuel efficient as well. What is surprising is the fact that a hybrid or plug-in electric version of the new A3 has not been offered, in the current age and time, it’s quite common to have such variants being offered and I hope in the future Audi plans to add these variants as well.
Safety is paramount (No one can question that right now)
Audi has ticked all the boxes when it comes to safety, as the new A3 sports quite a few driver assist systems such as Pre-Sense Front System (the camera behind the interior mirror uses the front radar to avoid collisions), Standard Collision Avoidance, Adaptive Cruise Assist, Efficiency Assist, Exit Warning, Cross-Traffic Assist, and Surround View Cameras. These systems will make the inhabitants feel just a little bit safer, and amongst all the new features, these features matter the most.
The new A3 should be launched by the end of this month in European markets, and the 35 TFSI would cost €29,800, and a cheaper gasoline variant will be added with a price of €27,700. The new A3 will be taking on the Mercedes Benz A Class and the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe. These 3 are one of the most able compact luxury entry options, and the competition between them has just heated up with the 2021 A3 being unveiled.
You can expect the India pricing to be a little bit higher than European prices. It will range from Rs. 30-42 lakhs. Now that India is expecting the new Merc A-class and BMW’s 2-series, Audi seems to have geared up for that battle too. But, which one is actually going to reign the segment, we will find out in 2021.