Audi is set to broaden its market reach in North America with the addition of a new price-leading sedan to its third-generation A3 lineup. So we were not surprised when yesterday they released the first images and launch video of the new 2014 Audi A3/S3 compact sedan that will go head-to-head to with the Mercedes-Benz CLA.
Though the redesigned A3′s world debut is scheduled for next month at the Shanghai Motor Show, Audi gave an exclusive preview to journalists on the eve of the New York International Auto Show’s press days. The third-generation three-door hatchback and Sportback five-door versions went on sale in Europe last year and will now be joined by the four-door sedan. Audi has redesigned the A3, which will be sold in the U.S. primarily as a sedan for the first time. Another first, it will come in an S3 performance version.
A base model will use a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 170 horsepower and more than 180 lb-ft of torque, a new unit unrelated to the old 1.8 turbo that has been shoe horned into Audis of the last decade. In addition a 2.0-liter clean turbo diesel will be used for the TDI models and will remain unchanged at 150 hp and about 250 lb-ft of torque.
The high performance S3 will be powered by a 2.0-liter TFSI engine with 296 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque allowing the S3 to accelerate to 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds which is way faster then the manual transmissions 5.3 seconds. The top speed of the S3 will be electronically limited at 155 mph. Fuel consumption is expected to be around 34 mpg combined.
Regardless of the engine or driven wheels, the only transmission on offer is a six-speed dual-clutch automatic. A six-speed stick, available on the base trim of the outgoing A3, is off the books for the new sedan. Keep your fingers crossed that, should Audi offer a conventionally powered A3 Sportback in the U.S., a manual transmission appears on its options list. North American deliveries of the Audi S3 Sedan will begin in summer of 2014.
You can watch the online preview video below: