(By Tom Lohnes) – The Audi A3 line, the most convincing entry-level luxury sedan, has been in the same generation for quite a while. Well, the next generation is coming, and it’s considerably improved.
With the base model A3 boasting the basic chassis and engine from the beloved Golf GTI, it has 245 horses and 250 lb-ft of torque, all linked up to a 7-speed DCT, with power going to all 4 wheels through Audi’s famed Quattro AWD system. This will be the volume model of the 3 lineup, with prices starting at roughly $37,100, it is more expensive than the Mercedes-Benz CLA250 or BMW 228i Gran Coupe.
Step up to the faster S3 however, and you get a bargain of a car. With 306 horses out of the same 2.0-liter Turbocharged 4-pot, the S3 gains an extra gear ratio and can do 0-60 in 4.5 seconds. The S3 is very surprisingly the value model with both two competitors considered, starting at $44,000. Of course, this is quite a bit to pay for a subcompact sedan, but it is quite fast for what it is.
The good news is, there’s more to come. Expect a 450-hp RS3 to appear sometime in the next year with 5-cylinder power.