They ogle it, touch it, give it the fine-toothed comb treatment and all that, plus at the business end of the review it is reveled that they actually drove the thing. And it seems to live up to the stats, which look darn snazzy on paper, especially new peppier 2.0 liter turbo engine that will propel the base model $25,000 A3. It pulls from about 1,500 rpm and feels more awake than an A4 sedan. Most of the figures are recycled stuff that you've already committed to memory in recent weeks, but here are a few surprises: first, the 2.0 liter turbo isn't significantly slower than the other engine choice, the 3.2 liter V6 of TT fame. In fact, the editors think it's hard to justify the leap in price to the 3.2 when one only gains 7/10ths in 0-60 times (the 2.0 does it in seven flat). Secondly, there's the strange plan to bring the A3 to the States without Quattro, at least initially, which kind of seems like a bad idea since that's what Audi's image is largely based on in the U.S. market. Plus a similar engine will be available in VW's Golf V for less dough. In any case, the car looks quite sharp and (bumper aesthetes, take note) the waterfall grill just plain works, at least for me.




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