Audi A3 S3 First Generation
|Assembly||Ingolstadt, Germany (1996–2003) Curitiba, Brazil (Audi Senna, 2000–2006)|
|Body style||3-door hatchback 5-door hatchback|
|Platform||Volkswagen Group A4 (PQ34) platform|
|Engine||1.6 L I4 1.8L I4 20v 1.8L I4 20v Turbo 1.9L TDI I4|
|Transmission||5-speed Manual 6-speed Manual 4-speed Automatic 5-speed Automatic|
|Wheelbase||2,513 mm (98.9 in) quattro: 2,518 mm (99.1 in)|
|Length||4,152 mm (163.5 in)|
|Width||1,735 mm (68.3 in)|
|Height||1,423 mm (56.0 in)|
|Related||Volkswagen Golf Mk4 SEAT León Mk1|
|Designer(s)||Dirk Van Braeckel (1993)|
The original A3 (or Typ 8L) was introduced in the European market in 1996, marking Audi's return to the production of smaller cars following the demise of the Audi 50. This was the first Volkswagen Group model to use the "PQ34" or "A4" platform, bearing a natural close resemblance to its contemporary, the Volkswagen Golf Mk4. The car was initially available only with a three-door hatchback body, in order to present a more sporty image than the Golf, in both front- and four-wheel drive. All engines were an inline four-cylinder configuration, and were transversely mounted. After the A4, the Audi A3 was the second model in the Audi lineup to use five valves per cylinder.
In 1999, Audi expanded the range with the introduction of more powerful versions: a 1.8 Turbo rated 180 PS (132 kW; 178 hp), and a 1.9 TDI diesel engine with Unit Injector "Pumpe Düse" (PD) technology and variable geometry turbocharger. The four-wheel-drive A3 1.8T quattro used either the 150 PS (110 kW; 148 hp) or 180 PS (130 kW; 180 hp) engine, and the same Haldex Traction-based on-demand four-wheel-drive system as the Audi S3 and the Audi TT. In 1999, Audi also introduced a five-door body.
In late 2000, the A3 range was revised with new headlights and rear lamps, other minor cosmetic changes, an improved interior, and the introduction of a six-speed manual gearbox, on the 180 PS (132 kW; 178 hp) 1.8 Turbo and the brand new 130 PS (96 kW; 128 hp) 1.9 TDI.
Audi's Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), traction-control and brake force distribution computer became standard equipment in some countries.
Although the first-generation Audi A3 was replaced in Europe in 2003, the first generation model continued to be sold in some markets. Production of the first generation model stopped in Brazil in 2006.
|Options: Equipment included on some trim levels|
Audi S3 (1999–2003)
Although dubbed "quattro", the S3 uses a different "on-demand" four-wheel drive system.The Haldex Traction coupling adjusts the bias of torque distribution from the front to rear axle as grip requirements change – most of the time it operates as a front-wheel drive.
The S3 was sold in the United Kingdom, Europe, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, but was not officially marketed in the United States.
The S3 was facelifted in 2000, where it was given one-piece headlights/indicator units, different front wings, rear lights clusters, and some minor upgrades to interior trim. There had been minor changes to the design previous to this, including digital clock on the dash.
Standard features include xenon HID headlamps with high pressure washers and auto levelers, front fog lamps, 17" "Avus" alloy wheels with 225/45R17 tyres, electrically adjustable Recaro leather seats, climate control, alarm and Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with traction control (ASR).
Options include a Bose sound system, boot/trunk or in-dash mounted 6-disc CD changer, metallic paint, 18-inch 9-spoke RSTT wheels, glass sunroof, centre arm rest, privacy glass (B-pillar backwards), auto-dipping rear-view mirror, parking assist, luggage net, heated front seats, cruise control, aluminium door mirror casings and part leather/alcantara (blue/silver/yellow) combination seat coverings. These items are standard in some export markets, where Audi is a prestigious brand.