The all-new 2021MY Audi A3 features revamped styling and a new 1.5-litre mild-hybrid TFSi engine
Audi AG has debuted the 2021MY avatar of its popular entry-level compact sedan. Compared to its predecessor, the all-new Audi A3 sedan boasts of several exterior and interior upgrades while getting better in terms of overall dynamics. The 2021 Audi A3 series started in a Sportback avatar while the Chinese market will get an ‘A3 L’ model soon. Audi India — which currently has only three models on sale — is expected to launch the sedan sometime around mid-2021.
Starting with the exterior design, there is a lot going on in modern-day Audi fashion. The sharp lines and cuts seem fitting on the Audi A3 Sportback but one might initially find the sedan’s design a bit hard to digest. In spite of getting edgier boundaries, extended fenders and fresh bumper components, the overall silhouette remains typically A3 — compact and coupe-ish.
At the base of the rear doors, there is a small Audi logo which could be a no-cost option. If regular Audi models start to look this radical, we cannot help but imagine how their RS versions would be like. The car has slightly grown in size compared to the outgoing model. Plus, the higher rear-end and larger diffuser has helped bring down its drag coefficient to 0.25. The suspension has been tweaked as well to achieve the best balance between comfort and dynamics.
On the inside, the design philosophy has made a massive leap. Physical buttons are minimum while features and equipment are aplenty. The 10.1-inch touchscreen is driver-centric and is surrounded by premium quality materials. It blends well with the centre console (which sports a Porsche-like gear lever) and is placed in close proximity with the updated 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit TFT instrument cluster. The latest version of Audi’s MMI system is claimed to have 10x faster processing capability.
The 2021 Audi A3 range was introduced with a new 1.5-litre ‘35’ TFSi petrol mild-hybrid powertrain. While the petrol unit makes 148bhp and 250Nm by itself, the 48V mild-hybrid unit can bump up the torque by 50Nm. In global markets, the engine is available mated to a 6-speed manual or 7-speed S-Tronic DCT. The other option is a 2.0-litre TDi motor good for 148bhp and 360Nm while mated to the 7-speed S-Tronic unit.
Skoda Auto Volkswagen India has ditched their diesel powertrains ahead of BS6 era. Even the BS6 Volkswagen Polo and Vento come with just petrol options. Hence, Audi India would bring the new A3 sedan in just its petrol format, with no mild-hybrid assist in the lower variants. The Audi A3 sedan primary rivals the Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine and BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe.