The chassis of the new Audi A3 is well balanced for a sporty mode of driving. The front suspension has a McPherson layout with wishbones, while the multi-link rear suspension absorbs longitudinal and transverse forces independently. The electromechanical power steering system operates with sensitivity, precision and high efficiency; in straight-line driving it does not require any energy input – making an important contribution to the overall efficiency of the new Audi A3. When the sport suspension is ordered, the body is lowered by 15 mm (0.59 inches), and with the S line suspension it is lowered by 25 mm (0.98 inches).
The new Audi A3 rides as standard on 16-inch or 17-inch wheels (alloy on the Ambiente and Ambition). Upon request, Audi can provide wheels up to 18 inches in diameter. The respective tire sizes are 205/55, 225/45 and 225/40; all tires exhibit low rolling resistance without any compromises in dynamic performance.
Behind the large wheels are powerful brakes, and the front discs are internally ventilated. The ESC stabilization control adds the electronic limited slip differential in a weight-neutral way. It improves handling and driving safety at the limits of performance in curves by making minimal brake interventions. The new electromechanical parking brake, adopted from the large car models, is operated by a button on the center console and includes an auto release function and an emergency braking function.
Another attractive option in the new A3 is the Audi drive select vehicle dynamics system (standard in the Ambition); it interfaces to the accelerator pedal, power steering and S tronic. At the push of a button, the driver decides whether these systems should operate in comfort, auto, dynamic, individual or efficiency mode. In the last-named mode, the optional deluxe automatic air conditioning and adaptive cruise control are operated to maximize fuel economy.
Another component integrated in the Audi drive select control system is the optional electromagnetic control of the shock absorbers: Audi magnetic ride. It lets drivers choose between a comfortable mode and a sporty one.
Within these control limits, the system modifies damping forces in just milliseconds, as a function of road conditions and driver preferences. The body is lowered by 15 mm (0.59 inches) here.
The equipment, data, and prices specified refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.