REVIEW: Audi A3 and A6 Avant

The Audi A3 Sedan in Manhattan grey. (Pic: Audi AG)

by Seán Creedon

Later this year we will see new cars from Audi in Irish showrooms, the A3 and the Avant A6.

The A3 Saloon is expected to be in Irish dealerships in the autumn. This compact four-door model is digitally and fully connected, from the infotainment through to the assist systems.

Beneath the elegant body, new drives and refined suspension tuning ensure a driving experience that is as efficient as it is dynamic.

The new A3 Saloon is presented in a sporty, elegant look. Compared with its predecessor, it is now 4cm longer at 4.50 metres, while its wheelbase remains unchanged. Its width has increased by two centimetres to 1.82 metres and it’s now one centimetre taller at 1.43 metres.

These improvements have yielded an increase in headroom, two centimetres in the front thanks to the lower position of the driver seat and some additional elbow room. At 425 litres, the luggage capacity is exactly the same as in the predecessor model.

The front of the car is dominated by a large single frame honeycomb grill that is flanked by striking headlights. Together they form trapezoidal angles that are drawn downward.

The roof line slopes down from the B-pillar dynamically, just like on a coupe and finishes in a striking spoiler on the tailgate.

Optionally available in carbon, this provides a visual accent and, in so doing, emphasises the powerful appearance of the four-door model.

Interior of the Audi A3 Sedan. (Pic: Audi AG)

The cockpit is all about the driver, beginning with the interior design and ending with the display and control elements. The instrument panel with the central MMI touch display is tilted slightly towards the driver.

At launch the new A3 Saloon will be available with a choice of two TFSI engines and one TDI engine. The 35 TFSI, a 1.5-litre direct injection engine, produces 150 PS and is available in two versions, with a newly developed six-speed manual transmission and with a quick-shifting seven-speed S tronic.

The popular Audi A6 Avant

Also on the way is a new version of the popular Audi A6 Avant which will be available as a plug-in hybrid with zero local emissions. Avant is the name Audi give to their station wagons or estate cars.

The Audi A6 Avant PHEV will have comprehensive range of standard equipment on board, including the S-line exterior package, Matrix LED headlights as well as sport suspension and sport seats.

The Audi A6 Avant TFSI e quattro. (Pic: Tobias Sageister)

The electric range of the Audi A6 Avant 55 TFSI e quattro is up to 51km in the WLTP cycle. The A6 Avant will get you from zero to 100 km/h in 5.7 seconds. Its top speed is 250 km/h in electric-only mode, while the plug-in hybrid can reach a speed of up to 135 km/h.

The drive concept of the Audi PHEV model is designed so that customers can do most of their daily driving electrically and therefore with zero local emissions.

They can choose between the three drive modes ‘EV’ for all-electric driving, ‘Hybrid’ for the efficient combination of both drive types and ‘Hold’ to conserve the electrical energy available at any given time.

The lithium-ion battery, which is located in the rear of the car, stores 14.1 kWh of energy. It is integrated so that the luggage compartment still provides a level and convenient luggage space.

The luggage capacity is 405 litres as standard. This means that large and bulky goods can be loaded. When the rear seat backrest is folded down, the luggage capacity is up to 1,535 litres.

Pricing for both cars will be announced closer to the launch dates which may depend on how quickly the car industry recovers after the Lockdown is lifted.