The first generation of what is now the used Audi A3 began life in 1996 before a second generation version was launched in 2003.
It helped create a new category of vehicle – the premium compact class.
The A3 started out as a three-door model, followed by a five-door body in April 1999. The model series offered power units with outputs ranging from 101hp to 180hp with the majority being high-torque four-cylinder turbo engines.
From December 1998 onwards, the top engines were also available with quattro four-wheel drive technology.
The second generation was fitted with high-tech components such as the seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission and the shock absorber control system Audi magnetic ride.
Audi has turned out large numbers of the A3 with 230,849 vehicles were manufactured in 2007 alone.
At the end of 2008, the one millionth second generation A3 came off the assembly line.
The latest A3 and A3 Sportback offer daytime running lights as standard - if optional bi-xenon headlamps are fitted, this is implemented by means of seven LEDs
On the flanks, exterior mirrors with integrated indicators, modified door handles and powerful
wheels are included.
Modifications to the bumper and the lamps in the A3 Sportback sees innovative light guide rods form a flat corona which generates an unusual optical effect in the dark. In the three-door A3, the trunk lid has been provided with a new light edge. The design modifications have extended the A3 by 25 millimeters to a length of 4.24 meters, whilst the A3 Sportback has grown by six millimeters.
In the cabin the air vents, the light switch and the centre console have discreet chrome strips while the switches and controls beneath the audio system have been redesigned. The instruments display black dial faces and red pointers and there’s a gear change display in the driver information system.
The spectrum of seat coverings ranges up to Fine Nappa leather for the sports seats.
The luggage compartment is large offering between 350 to 1080-litres of space depending on the configuration of the seats. With a luggage space that large you might be forgiven for thinking you were inside a caravan.
These values are a few litres lower in the models with quattro drive due to the special rear axle.
In the front-wheel-drive versions a reversible load floor can be used as a drip tray for damp objects.
Roof railings and a panoramic sliding roof are also available for the versatile A3 Sportback.
Audi equip the A3 and the A3 Sportback with eight engines. Six of these are four-cylinder direct injection engines with turbocharging.
The range of gasoline engines is broad-based. The 1.6-litre has an output of 102hp, the 1.4-litre TFSI 125hp, the 1.8-litre TFSI 160hp, and the 2.0-litre TFSI 200hp while the 3.2-litre generates an output of 250hp from its six cylinders. There are three diesel engines with the 1.9-litre TDI producing an output of 105hp, the 2.0-litre TDI offering 140hp or 170hp depending on specifications.
In the two reengineered two-liter TDI engines there’s a new common rail injection system.
The 105hp diesel engine is also used to power the Audi A3 1.9 TDI e, which has a combined fuel consumption of 52.27mpg.