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Audi A3


Audi A3

a3 96

Manufacturer Audi
Parent company Volkswagen Group
Production 1996—2012
Class Entry-level luxury car/Small family car
Layout Front engine, front-wheel drive/quattro four-wheel drive
Platform Volkswagen Group A platform series
Transmission(s) 6-speed automatic and manual

The Audi A3 is an entry-level luxury car/small family car Manufactured by the German automaker Audi since 1996. There are two generations of A3 that exist, both based on the Volkswagen Group A platform, which they share with a number of other models such as Audi TT, Volkswagen Golf, Caddy and Touran in addition to Škoda Octavia as well SEAT León.


  • 1 First generation (Typ 8L, 1996–2003)
    • 1.1 Engines
  • 2 Second generation (Typ 8P, 2003–present)
    • 2.1 North American launch
    • 2.2 New engine options
    • 2.3 2008 revisions<
    • 2.4 Engines
  • 3 Awards and accolades

First generation (Typ 8L, 1996–2003)

Audi A3 (8L)

A3 8L

Audi A3 5-Door (post-facelift)
Also called Typ 8L
Production 1996–2003
Assembly Ingolstadt, Germany;
Curitiba, Brazil
Body style(s) 3-door hatchback
5-door hatchback<
Platform Volkswagen Group A4 (PQ34) platform
>Engine(s) 1.6 L I4
1.8L I4
1.8L Turbo I4
1.9L TDI I4
Wheelbase 2516 mm (99.1 in)
Length 4165 mm (164 in)
Width 1752 mm (69 in)
Height 1420 mm (55.9 in)
Related Audi TT (8N)
VW Golf Mk4
Škoda Octavia Mk1
VW Jetta Mk4
Volkswagen New Beetle


a3 3 door
Audi A3 3-Door (pre-facelift)

The first A3 (or Typ 8L) was introduced in the European markets in 1996, Audi's return to the lower market segments since the dropping of the Audi 50. This was the initial Volkswagen Group model to use the "PQ34" or "A4" platform, bearing a close resemblance to its contemporary, the Volkswagen Golf Mk4. The vehicle was at first offered only with a three-door hatchback body, in an effort to represent a far sportier image in comparison to the Golf, in both front- as well as four-wheel drive. All engines had a four-cylinder configuration and were transversely positioned. Following the A4, the Audi A3 was the 2nd model within the Audi line to utilise five valves per cylinder.

In 1999, Audi extended the variety with the introduction of much more powerful variations: a 1.8 Turbo with 180 PS (132 kW)) and a 1.9 I4 TDI Diesel with pumpe-düse technology and variable geometry turbocharger. The four-wheel-drive A3 1.8T quattro used either the 150 hp (110 kW) or 180 PS (132 kW) motor and the identical Haldex Traction-based all-wheel drive system just like the Audi S3 and the Audi TT. 1999 was also the year Audi was forced to bow to market demands and introduced a hastily-conceived 5 door body which the company had not previously intended to produce.

In late 2000, the A3 series was modified with the use of new headlights and rear light clusters, other small cosmetic alterations, an improved interior, and the introduction of a six-speed manual gearbox, for a 180 PS (178 hp/132 kW) 1.8 Turbo and the brand new 130 PS (96 kW) 1.9 TDI. Audi's ESP (Electronic Stability Program) traction-control and brake force distribution computer ended up being standard equipment. Sadly the A3 was never supplied with more powerful 1.9TDI motor, the 150bhp unit available in the VW Golf GTI and SEAT Leon FR.

Despite the fact that the Audi A3 was replaced in Europe during 2003, the first generation model continues to be sold in developing countries. Right after production of the 1st generation model ceased in Brazil, the retail value increased from R$60,000(US$30,000) to R$100,000 (US$50,000).


The motors used are the identical to many other cars in the Volkswagen Group.

Model Engine code Engine type Displacement Power Torque Years
Petrol engines
1.6 L AEH / AKL / APF SOHC 8V 1.6 L (1595 cc, 97 cu in) 100 PS (99 hp/74 kW) 145 N·m (107 lb·ft) 1996-2000
1.6 L AVU / BFQ I4 SOHC 8V 1.6 L (1595 cc, 97 cu in) 102 PS (101 hp/75 kW) 148 N·m (109 lb·ft) 2000-2003
1.8 L AGN / APG I4 DOHC 20V 1.8 L (1781 cc, 109 cu in) 125 PS (123 hp/92 kW) 170 N·m (125 lb·ft) 1996-2003
1.8 L AGU / ARZ / ARX / AUM I4 DOHC 20V Turbocharged 1.8 L (1781 cc, 109 cu in) 150 PS (148 hp/110 kW) 210 N·m (155 lb·ft) 1996-2003
1.8 L AUQ / ARY I4 DOHC 20V Turbocharged 1.8 L (1781 cc, 109 cu in) 180 PS (178 hp/132 kW) 235 N·m (173 lb·ft) 2000-2003
1.8 L () AMK I4 DOHC 20V Turbocharged 1.8 L (1781 cc, 109 cu in) 210 PS (207 hp/154 kW) 270 N·m (199 lb·ft) 1999-2000
1.8 L (S3) BAM I4 DOHC 20V Turbocharged 1.8 L (1781 cc, 109 cu in) 225 PS (222 hp/165 kW) 280 N·m (207 lb·ft) 2000-2003
Diesel engines
1.9 L AGR / ALH I4 SOHC 8V TDI with electronically regulated distributor-type injection pump 1.9 L (1896 cc, 116 cu in) 90 PS (89 hp/66 kW) 210 N·m (155 lb·ft) 1996-2000
1.9 L ATD / AXR I4 SOHC 8V TDI with unit injectors 1.9 L (1896 cc, 116 cu in) 100 PS (99 hp/74 kW) 240 N·m (177 lb·ft) 2000-2003
1.9 L AHF / ASK / ASV I4 SOHC 8V TDI with electronically regulated distributor-type injection pump 1.9 L (1896 cc, 116 cu in) 110 PS (108 hp/81 kW) 235 N·m (173 lb·ft) 1997-2000
1.9 L ASZ I4 SOHC 8V TDI with unit injectors 1.9 L (1896 cc, 116 cu in) 130 PS (128 hp/96 kW) 310 N·m (229 lb·ft) 2000-2003

Second generation (Typ 8P, 2003–present)

Audi A3 (8P)
Audi A3 5dr Sportback
Also called Typ 8P (3-door), Typ 8PA (5-door)
Production 2003–2012
Assembly Ingolstadt, Germany;
Brussels, Belgium (2004-2005; 2007 onwards);
Body style(s) 3-door hatchback
5-door estate
2-door convertible
Platform Volkswagen Group A5 (PQ35) platform
Engine(s) Petrol engines:
1.6 L I4,
2.0 L I4,
1.8 L I4 Turbo,
2.0 L I4 Turbo
3.2 L VR6;
Diesel engines:
1.9 L I4 TDI
2.0 L I4 TDI
Wheelbase 2578 mm (101.5 in)
Length 3-door: 4215 mm (165.9 in)
5-door: 4285 mm (168.7 in)
Width 1765 mm (77.1 in)
Height 1420 mm (56.0 in)
Fuel capacity 55 L (12.1 imp gal; 14.5 US gal)
Related Audi TT (8J)
VW Golf/Rabbit Mk5
Škoda Octavia II
VW Jetta Mk5



A3 3dr S-line (pre-facelift)09 a3
2009 Audi A3 (North America)

IIn the 2003 Geneva Motor Show, Audi unveiled the second-generation of the A3, the Typ 8P, designed by Walter de'Silva. Initially launched only as a three-door hatchback with four cylinder engines, it featured a new vehicle platform (the PQ35 platform), a revamped and a lot more spacious interior, new gas engines with Fuel Stratified Injection (FSI), and standard six-speed manual gearboxes (excluding on the base 1.6).

In mid 2003, the line was refreshed with two sports-orientated models, a 2.0 Turbo-FSI version with 200 PS (197 hp/147 kW), as well as a 3.2 VR6 engine (for the very first time) with 250 PS (247 hp/184 kW). Haldex Traction-based quattro four wheel drive, and the S-Tronic semi-auto gearbox have been introduced as optionals (quattro is standard on the VR6) on every model 140 PS (138 hp/103 kW) and over.

A brand new 5 door body, referred to as "Sportback", was introduced in June 2004. In contrast to the previous generation, the brand new A3 Sportback is 80 mm (3.15 in) longer than the base three-door body, and includes enhanced rear cabin space and a bigger luggage compartment (370 litres). It also obtained the new "single frame" front grille initially unveiled in the A8 W12.

North American launch

In 2005, the "S-line" trim level, with unique stylish great looking elements, became featured in certain models, and the 3-door obtained the same front as the Sportback. For the very first time, the A3 became available in the North American market, only with the Sportback body, with the base 2.0 straight-4 TFSI unveiled in 2005 as a 2006 model and the 3.2 V6 quattro following in 2006. In the Spring of 2005, Audi began a large alternate reality game to advertise for the A3, known as The Art of the Heist.

New motor options

In April 2006, the lineup was extended with the introduction of a much more powerful 2.0 TDI with 170 PS (168 hp/125 kW). In August 2006, Audi announced the arrival of the S3 version, which became the new range topper. The 2.0 TFSI motor was re-engineered and uprated to 265 PS (261 hp/195 kW), and is available with standard quattro and a 6-speed manual gearbox. The second generation S3 can manage accelerating to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 5.7 seconds. The springs and dampers were tuned for a harder setting, and ride height lowered by 25 mm (0.98 in). 225/40 ZR18 tyres are standard.
In January 2007, the normally aspirated (non-turbo) 2.0 FSI was substituted with a new turbocharged 1.8 TFSI engine, with 160 PS (158 hp/118 kW). It is available in front-wheel drive only.

In late 2007, Audi unveiled a brand new 125 PS (123 hp/92 kW) 1.4L TFSI engine to use on the A3, replacing the 1.6 FSI engine, and a new diesel "e"-model. The "e"-model, Audi's equivalent of Volkswagen's BlueMotion, is available with the 1.9L TDI engine, and offers a much more ecological car, with a CO2 emission below 120 g/km.

2008 revisions

In 2008, Audi launched more than a few alterations to the A3 and S3. These include revised nose and tail styles, by using a modified grille and the new "trademark" daytime running lights, common rail 2.0 TDI engines, 7-speed S-tronic twin clutch transmission availability for the smaller non-U.S. engines, and optional "magnetic ride" adaptive shock absorbers. Additionally, the variety now is comprised of an S3 Sportback model.


The engines used are the same as for many other cars in the Volkswagen Group.

Model Engine code Engine type Displacement Power Torque Years
Petrol engines
FSI Turbocharged
1.4 L (1390 cc, 85 cu in) 125 PS (123 hp/92 kW) 200 N·m (148 lb·ft) 2007-present
1.6 BGU / BSE /
I4 SOHC 8V 1.6 L (1595 cc, 97 cu in) 102 PS (101 hp/75 kW) 148 N·m (109 lb·ft) 2003-present
1.6 FSI BAG / BLF / BLP I4 DOHC 16V FSI 1.6 L (1598 cc, 98 cu in) 115 PS (113 hp/85 kW) 155 N·m (114 lb·ft) 2003-2007
FSI Turbocharged
1.8 L (1798 cc, 110 cu in) 160 PS (158 hp/118 kW) 250 N·m (184 lb·ft) 2007-present
2.0 FSI AXW / BLR / BLX /
I4 DOHC 16V FSI 2 L (1984 cc, 121 cu in) 150 PS (148 hp/110 kW) 200 N·m (148 lb·ft) 2003-2007
FSI Turbocharged
2 L (1984 cc, 121 cu in) 200 PS (197 hp/147 kW) 280 N·m (207 lb·ft) 2004-present
2.0 TFSI (S3) BHZ I4 DOHC 16V
FSI Turbocharged
2 L (1984 cc, 121 cu in) 265 PS (261 hp/195 kW) 350 N·m (258 lb·ft) 2006-present
3.2 FSI AXZ / BUB VR6 DOHC 24V FSI 3.2 L (3189 cc, 195 cu in) 250 PS (247 hp/184 kW) 320 N·m (236 lb·ft) 2003-present
Diesel engines
with unit injectors
1.9 L (1896 cc, 116 cu in) 105 PS (104 hp/77 kW) 250 N·m (184 lb·ft) 2003-present
with unit injectors
2 L (1968 cc, 120 cu in) 140 PS (138 hp/103 kW)[2] 320 N·m (236 lb·ft) 2003-present
with unit injectors
and particulate filter
2 L (1968 cc, 120 cu in) 140 PS (138 hp/103 kW)[2] 320 N·m (236 lb·ft) 2006-present
with unit injectors
and particulate filter
2 L (1968 cc, 120 cu in) 170 PS (168 hp/125 kW)[3] 350 N·m (258 lb·ft) 2006-present


Awards and accolades

  • (2008) Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick in midsize cars
  • (2007) Audi 2.0T FSI named International Engine of the Year
  • (2006) International Car of the Year Entry-Level Car of the Year – “Most Spirited”
  • (2006) Auto Interior of the Year in popular-priced category
  • (2006) Named overall best New England Winter Vehicle by the New England Motor Press Association
  • (2006) Best Luxury Small Car Pick by BusinessWeek Magazine
  • (2006) South African Car of the Year
  • (2005) Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Double Best Pick for frontal-offset and side-impact tests
  • (2000) Brazilian Car of the Year
  • (1998) Federal German Prize for Product Design
  • (1997, 1999, 2000) Auto Motor und Sport readers' poll Best Car award
  • (1997) Autozeitung "Auto Trophy" award
  • (1996) Bild am Sonntag "Golden Steering Wheel" award

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Business Hours: Monday thru Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm CST

Extended hours are available by appintment. (7am-10pm)

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