2021 Audi A3 and S3 Sportback debuts alongside new outgoing-RS3 variant
The Audi A3 is the stepping-stone to the German giant’s range, if you ignore the Audi A1 that’s been discontinued in the GCC due to slow sales. For the new model year, Audi has unveiled the new generation of the Audi A3, albeit only in the hatchback guise first, with the sedan following a bit later. The 2021 Audi A3 Sportback is also accompanied by the hotter S3 Sportback as well. For those who want to pick up the ultra-potent RS3 will have to wait for a while to get their hands on the new-gen RS3 but you guys have a surprise from Audi.
The 2021 Audi A3 Sportback sports a design much squarer than the outgoing version. The face is contoured with sharp creases and cuts yet managing to look unquestionably template-Audi. The LED running-lights design will depend on the trim chosen. If thrown enough money in, they will fit the A3 with Audi’s famous LED matrix headlamps as well. The Audi S3 has not been completely revealed as it does sport some camouflage in the pictures, we can see that it gets a sportier bumper design. The A3 seems to have taken some leaves off the Audi E-Tron’s design book when it comes to the alloy wheels which can be as large as 19-inch. There are some roof rails on the roof, obviously good enough only for showing off. The car can be lowered by 10 mm if the optional suspension is added while the even more expensive Sports suspension will bring it down by 15 mm.
The 2021 A3’s cabin of gets thorough modifications like a new 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster which can be swapped for an optional 12.3-inch unit. A 10.1-inch screen serves as the infotainment system. The climate controls are still served by buttons, instead of a third screen like in the bigger models. A shift-by-wire transmission eliminates all the bulky cables and linkages, freeing up more room between the front seats.
Three engines are offered with the 2021 Audi A3. The base model is a 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit with 110 hp, followed by a 150 hp turbocharged 1.5-litre engine. The 1.5-litre engine is also offered in a mild-hybrid variant. The third engine is a 2.0-litre diesel engine with 116 hp and 150 hp states of tune. Al engines can be hooked up to six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearboxes. The mild-hybrid can also be fitted with the S-Tronic DCT.
For chaps hungry for more grunt, enter the 2021 Audi S3 Sportback. This gets its poison from a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, churning out 306 hp and 400 Nm of torque. This is a mere 10 hp increase over the outgoing S3 but for a hatchback of its size, it is plenty. This engine can be hooked up only with the 7-speed DCT gearbox. The S3 will be offered with Quattro all-wheel-drive system to effectively put this power down.
And for the craziest bunch of A3 enthusiasts, Audi has another surprise. If you cannot wait for the potent Audi RS3 to come around in its new avatar, Audi will spec up the current model specifically for you. As a swan song to the outgoing RS3 sedan, Audi has launched the 2020 Audi RS3 Nardo Edition. The RS3 carries a 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine with 394 hp and 480 Nm. This mill is also linked exclusively to the Stronic DCT and Quattro AWD. The RS3 Nardo Edition customers will also be able to enjoy a higher top speed of 280 kph, 30 kph higher than the regular RS3.
The RS3 Nardo Edition stands out of the crowd with a Nardo Grey exterior paint which is accented by black highlights on rear spoiler, mirror housings, black Audi ring, and badges. A diamond-cut 19-inch wheelset completes the package.
The 2021 Audi A3 will probably make it to the UAE and GCC market sometime early next year but likely only in its sedan guise. It will lock horns with the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and the CLA.