Audi A3 TDI – Click above for high-res image gallery
Audi has added a pair of new 1.6-liter TDI diesel engines to its home market A3 lineup with fuel economy up to 57.4 mpg (U.S.) on the EU combined driving cycle. The engines are available in 90 hp and 105 hp forms with both of them getting new common rail injection systems. The lower power engine gets a fuel economy rating of 52.3 mpg (U.S.) and drives the A3 to 62 mph in a sedate 12.9 seconds with CO2 emissions of 118 g/km.
For the 105 hp version, Audi also includes an automatic start/stop system and brake energy regeneration. The latter function uses a smart alternator that loads up during deceleration and coasting to add to the engine braking and charge the battery. Under other conditions the alternator load is reduced and electrical systems in the car are driven off the battery. This variant achieves 57.4 mpg (U.S.) and CO2 emissions of just 109 g/km. Both engines are available in Euro A3s this month although we won't get them in the U.S. American buyers will have to make do with the 2.0 TDI late this year.
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Further efficient engines added to the Audi A3 range
* 1.6 TDI engine with output of 66 kW (90 hp) or 77 kW (105 hp)
* 1.6 TDI with 77 kW: 4.1 l/100 km of diesel (57.37 US mpg), equivalent to CO2 emissions of just 109 g/km (175 g/mile)
* Market launch in early June
With its new 1.6 TDI engines, Audi demonstrates once again that driving pleasure and efficiency are not mutually exclusive. With consumption of just 4.1 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers (57.37 US mpg), the A3 1.6 TDI with an output of 77 kW (105 hp) emits a mere 109 grams of CO2 per kilometer (175 g/mile). These excellent figures are made possible by efficient technologies such as the start/stop system and energy recovery. Performance is also impressive. The version with an output of 77 kW (105 hp) allows the Audi A3 to reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in 11.4 seconds and powers it quickly up to a top speed of 194 km/h (121 mph). The smaller 1.6 TDI delivers 66 kW (90 hp) and transmits 230 Nm (170 lb-ft) of torque. The A3 1.6 TDI can be ordered at once; the basic price is 22,550 euros for the engine with 66 kW (90 hp) and 23,550 euros for 77 kW (105 hp).
The new 1.6 TDI engine, delivering 77 kW (105 hp) in the Audi A3, reinforces the enhanced efficiency and customer benefits of downsizing: vastly superior fuel efficiency and performance comparable to engines with higher displacement.
For Audi, downsizing means offering customers vehicles with a turbocharged engine and smaller capacity as well as excellent efficiency and handling. Audi achieves this by blending several components of the modular efficiency platform. The standard start/stop system is especially effective during city driving. As soon as the vehicle comes to a stop, the shift lever is in neutral, and the driver removes their foot from the clutch pedal, the system turns the engine off. The engine then turns back on as soon as the clutch pedal is depressed.
Yet fuel savings begin before the A3 even halts at traffic lights. Aided by the energy-recovery system, the alternator works hard to convert kinetic energy to usable energy during a vehicle's coasting and braking phases before temporarily storing it in the battery. Upon driving off or accelerating the vehicle, the battery supplies this stored energy to electrical components – thus reducing the load on the alternator. This saves as much as three percent fuel.
In conjunction with the TDI's common-rail high-pressure injection technology, these systems work together to facilitate fuel consumption of just 4.1 liters per 100 kilometers (57.37 US mpg). This equates to just 109 grams of CO2 emissions per kilometer (175 g/mile).
The 1.6 TDI with an output of 66 kW (90 hp) also offers good performance and fuel efficiency. With its high torque of 230 Nm (170 lb-ft), this engine version propels the Audi A3 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 12.9 seconds and a top speed of 180 km/h (112 mph). Even without a start/stop system or energy recovery, it sips a mere 4.5 l/100 km of diesel (52.27 US mpg) – thereby emitting just 118 grams of CO2 per kilometer (190 g/mile).
Both versions of this new four-cylinder turbocharged diesel with common-rail technology further cement Audi's reputation as a pioneer. Despite lower displacement, fuel consumption is lower while handling remains as outstanding as ever.
The Audi A3 1.6 TDI is also available as the A3 Sportback. The extra charge for the Sportback versions is 900 euros. The basic price is 22,550 euros for the version with 66 kW (90 hp); the model with an output of 77 kW (105 hp) starts at 23,550 euros.