The A3 concept has a five-cylinder engine under the hood that combines the Audi technologies of turbocharging and FSI gasoline direction injection. It develops a hefty 300 kW (408 hp) from a displacement of 2.5 liters. Its peak torque of 500 Nm (368.78 lb-ft) is available over a broad rev range between 1,600 and 5,300 rpm.
The five-cylinder powerplant unleashes a rousing soundscape – its typical sound pattern calls to mind the Audi sound of the 1980s and the huge motorsport successes of that period. Its performance is a complete homage to tradition: The A3 concept catapults from a dead stop to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 4.1 seconds, and its electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph) is merely the official figure.
In terms of fuel consumption, the four-seater requires just 9.1 liters of fuel per 100 km (25.85 US mpg) and emits 212 grams CO2 per km (341.18 g/mile). A regulated oil pump, the intelligent Audi thermo-management system and a energy recovery system – technologies from the brand’s modular efficiency platform – all contribute to this high efficiency.
A compact seven-speed S tronic serves as the transmission. It comprises two transmission structures, which are operated by two clutches. Gears are alternately shifted by the two clutches – at lightning speed, comfortably, and without any perceptible interruption of traction.
The driver can operate the seven-speed S tronic in one automatic mode and one manual mode, using the paddles on the steering wheel to shift gears manually. Elegant touch control buttons on the center tunnel console are used to select drive positions R, N and D. These are backlit in red when it gets dark. Drive position P is automatically engaged when the electric parking brake is applied. The launch control system manages the sprint from a dead stop, furnishing explosive turbo power with minimal tire slip.
Power is effortlessly transmitted to the road via quattro permanent all-wheel drive. Its centerpiece is an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch at the end of the propeller shaft. When slip occurs at one of the axles, the clutch redirects the majority of the torque input to the wheels with the better grip.