It’s been more than two years since the launch of Audi’s smallest offering – the A3 – in India. And barring the introduction of a convertible variant, the brand with four rings has hardly imparted any new updates to the sedan. But the mid-life facelift, which is available in the global markets, is slated to arrive in India by early 2017 and is likely to be powered by the 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbocharged mill.
The German carmaker has successfully mounted this powerplant on the latest iteration of its best-selling entry-level luxury sedan, the Audi A4, and will be looking to repeat it with its smaller sibling. Though considerably smaller than the 2.0-litre and 1.8-litre engines, the 1.4-litre motor on the A4 is still able to dish out a healthy 150PS of power and 250Nm of torque. Power is transmitted to the front wheels via a seven-speed DSG transmission and the same set-up is expected to feature on the new A3.
Currently, the petrol Audi A3 that is sold in India is powered by the 40TFSI 1.8-litre petrol motor that is good for 180PS and 250Nm. It comes mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox as the A3 Cabriolet also gets optional paddle shifters. The torque rating remains constant in both the mills but there is a straight 30PS loss in power, which could attract a family buyer but repel the enthusiast.
Apart from the engine, the 2017 A3 is also set to receive cosmetic updates in line with Audi’s new design philosophy. This would include restyled bumpers, wider front grille, and revised taillights. Talking money, the prices are set to go south from the current Rs 27.1 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) because of the smaller engine. This would mean even better affordability for the Audi A3, and even tougher competition for the likes of the Mercedes-Benz CLA.