As predicted last week, the car under the covers – for the launch of Audi MediaTV – is the new S3 Saloon, based on the A3 Concept, first shown at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.
As per the S3 Hatch and Sportback, the Saloon is powered by a turbocharged 296bhp 2.0-litre TFSI engine delivering up to 40.9mpg. It’s a bigger car then its A3 siblings with a length of 4,460 mm (up 150 mm over the Sportback), width of 1,796 mm (up 11mm) and height of 1,416 (9mm lower). It uses the same extended 2,636 mm wheelbase as the Sportback providing room for 4 passengers plus driver.
Boots space amounts to 425 litres – 45 litres more than the Sportback and the seats can be folded to increase the A3 Saloon’s versatility.
Like the A3 Hatch, the Saloon benefits from VAG’s lightweight modular transverse platform (MQB), such that the entry-level 138bhp 1.4 TFSI version tips the scales at just 1,205kg – 30kg more than the Hatch.
At launch there will be two TFSI petrol engines – 138bhp 1.4 TFSI and 177bhp 1.8 TFSI – plus a 148bhp 2.0 TDI diesel capable of 67.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 108 grams per km.
Audi describes the design of the new A3 Saloon as a cross between the classic three-box concept and a coupé, with short overhangs, pronounced curves and slightly flared wheel arches.
It will compete against the new Mercedes-Benz CLA and forthcoming BMW 2 Series, both of which adopt a more coupé-like profile of the hatchbacks on which they’re based.
The S-specific sports suspension lowers the body by 25 mm, adds electrically assisted variable ratio steering and high performance brakes with 340mm front discs.
First deliveries of the A3 Saloon will begin in late 2013, with the S3 following in early 2014.
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