Paris Motor Show 2012: Audi's new A3 Sportback

Audi has launched the five-door version of the A3 at the Paris Motor Show. The A3 Sportback has a slightly longer wheelbase than the standard A3, launched earlier this year, meaning a larger boot and more passenger space. It carries a £620 premium over the three-door which means prices start at £19,825. It's available to order now with the first cars arriving in March 2013.

Boot space is 380 litres - 10 litres more than the previous A3 Sportback and 30 litres more than the standard A3. Folding the seats down increases this to 1220 litres and the boot has a split level floor while options include a reversible boot mat and a through-load system for things such as skis.

There's marginally more head and leg room for rear passengers compared to the outgoing model but the rest of the interior is identical to the A3 with the same high quality materials and neat design. All models get the MMI operating system with an electrically folding screen in the dash along with an electric parking brake rather than the manual handbrake of its predecessor.

Equipment levels follow the three-door A3 with three trim levels - SE, Sport and S line - plus the Sportback also gets electric windows in the back. Cloth seats are standard on SE and Sport models, while S line versions get to a combination of Biathlon cloth and leather. Options include Milano leather or a combination of leather and Alcantara. Equipment levels follow the three-door A3 with three trim levels - SE, Sport and S line.

Standard equipment on all models includes alloy wheels, air conditioning (manual in the SE, dual zone with electronic control in Sport and S line), iPod connection, trip computer, Bluetooth with voice control and a multi-function steering wheel.

The engine range mirrors the standard A3 so there's the 1.4 TFSI with 122PS plus a more powerful version with 140PS and the new cylinder on demand system. The top petrol is a 1.8 TFSI with 180PS that comes with an automatic S tronic gearbox as standard while later this year the 1.2 TFSI with 105PS will be made available.

Diesels include the 1.6 TDI that averages a claimed 74.3mpg with CO2 of 99g/km plus the familiar 2.0 TDI with 150PS and 320Nm of torque. A more powerful 184PS version will follow later. More low emissions versions will be introduced next year and there will also be an S model.

Audi A3 Sportback 2013 (3)

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Drive for a living and tell no    on 28 September 2012

Love Audis but dont love this one,the angular front has gone and the rear view mirror appeal is none existent cant wait to see in the flesh but the old a3 looks more masculine (for a girls car)rs3 excluded.

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