In tandem with the launch of esCAlate, the accountancy profession’s new training model, Audi has escalated its local A3 range to include 1.4 TFSI and 1.9 TDI variants aimed at entry level consumers, among them trainees and newly qualified chartered accountants.
After recently becoming a proud new owner of the Audi 1.4 TFSI, I can unreservedly vouch for its revised styling and powerful engine.
Whether you are rushing to a client meeting, to do an audit or to a study group to prepare for your first or last CA(SA) qualifying examination, this three-door A3 can move faster than you can say IFRS in full, pulling from 0-100 in a breathtaking 9,4sec – and on to 203km/h.
The smallest TFSI engine is a profound example of another of Audi’s successful efficiency strategies – and a first for the South African market – which replaces displacement via charging. This short-stroke engine has a displacement of just 1,390 cm3, but offers an impressive torque of 200 Nm, which is additionally available over a wide engine speed range from 1,500 to 4,000 rpm. More than 80 percent of this torque is practically available as idle speed, at 1,250 rpm – a top value in this class. The 1.4 TFSI also sets standards with its smooth running and pleasant sound profile.
The small four-cylinder engine, which drives the front wheels, offers impressively agile performance. Along with this, the three-door Audi A3 1.4 TFSI has an average fuel consumption of 5.9 litres/100 km – the equivalent of only 140 grams of CO2 per kilometer.
Like most German cars, the Audi A3 1.4 is meticulous in every detail. It turns heads wherever it goes, though part of the reason for this could be ascribed to my rather sentimental and personalised plate.
As you get in, you absorb the sporty, elegant atmosphere. Aluminium-look elements on the air vents, light switches and centre console highlight the sheer luxury of the Audi A3’s interior. The switches and controls beneath the audio system have a modern look. The instruments have black dials and red needles to reinforce the impression of precision and advanced technology, while the shift indicator’s driver information system displays the recommended gear in any given circumstance.
Overall, the interior boasts crisp, serene lines and generously dimensioned, sculptural surfaces. It comes with a choice of new colours, cloths and trim inserts that enhance the interior through their sportiness, impressive material quality and meticulous crafting.
The Audi A3’s boot space is the roomiest in its class. And, as you’d expect with any Audi, you’ll find attention to detail in every feature, for a perfect balance of sports style and elegance.
Furthermore, the three-door Audi A3 offers a myriad of standard features such as automatic air recirculation and automatic comfort air-conditioner, adjustable steering column, height and reach; concert radio, with CD player and aerial diversity, Electronic Differential Lock (EDL), electronic windows, first-aid kit and warning triangle, heat insulating glass, power steering, electromechanical, regulated according to speed, rear window wiper with automatic wash/wipe, remote control central locking as well as anti-theft alarm and immobiliser with anti-tow-away protection, and a vehicle tool kit.
The exterior features accentuate the sporty profile. The bonnet and fenders are more expressively styled than its predecessor, with a modified bumper and large single-frame radiator grille. A curved trim element in the headlamps, known as the “wing”, characterises the car’s technical perfection. Halogen daytime running lights are standard features, and the optional bi-xenon headlamps incorporate LEDs. Down the sides, the features include exterior mirrors with integral turn indicators, new door handles and attractive wheels.
At the rear, the modified bumper and lights help this car make a grand exit: the Audi A3 has a modified tailgate with a new light design. As a result of these design modifications, the Audi A3 has grown by 2.5 centimeters in length to 4.25 meters.
The standard front airbags are triggered in two stages, providing a level of protection determined by the severity of the impact, and there are optional side airbags for rear-seat passengers – allowing up to eight airbags to be specified.
Not to be overlooked is the Audi A3’s powerful brake system, ESP (electronic stabilisation programme), which networks ABS (anti-locking brake system) with EBD (electronic brake force distribution), ASR (anti-slip regulation), EDL (electronic differential lock) and the conventional hydraulic brake assist system.
Equipped with so great a number of safety features, the new Audi A3 is without doubt one of the safest cars on the road; a car that’s specifically designed to give driver and passengers alike undeniable peace of mind.
A3 1.4 TFSI Attraction manual: R249 500 (as at April 2009).
For more information visit www.audi.co.za.
Edward Makwana, SAICA Project Director: Communication.