New A3 Sportback aims for segment-topping sales
The new model continues its predecessor’s range setup, with the Sportback offering extra leg and boot room as a result of a 35mm longer wheelbase than the three door. While there will be no A3 Avant, Audi will introduce an A3 saloon at the end of next year and new additions will also include the carmaker’s first plug-in hybrid due in 2014 and likely to be based on the 1.4 TFSI engine.
Engines at launch comprise 1.4 and 1.8-litre TFSI units with 120 and 182bhp respectively, and the new 2.0 TDI with 148bhp and CO2 emissions of 108g/km which is expected to be the biggest seller. These will be joined by a 99g/km 103bhp 1.6 TDI and more powerful 2.0 TDI shortly after launch, as well as the 138bhp 1.4 TFSI which can run on two cylinders when not under load.
Rob Morris, UK product manager for the A3, said this could start to tip fleet sales back in favour of petrol: ‘On paper it’s a much better engine for the fleet driver, as there’s no 3% diesel levy which could equate to around £1,000 difference in tax. But a lot of fleets have a diesel-only policy, so it could be a bit of time before we see the sales mix change.’