Yes, Audi will unveil an A3 with a measly 1.2-litre engine at the Frankfurt Motor Show
. Confused? Don't be - we'll explain later. First though we should tell you about the headline grabber: the S5 Sportback.
Following in the footsteps of the accomplished S4
, the S5 Sportback is powered by a 3.0-litre supercharged V6T engine capable of propelling the car to 62mph in 5.4 seconds by sending power to all four wheels through a seven-speed, twin clutch S-Tronic automatic transmission. The engine is different to that in the S5 Coupé
, which still makes do with the slower and more polluting 4.2-litre V8. UK prices are to be confirmed, but in Germany the S5 Sportback is going to cost the equivalent of £51,000.
On to the cleaner stuff, the 3.0-litre 'clean diesel' unit found in the Q7 has now been plonked into the A4. Mated to quattro four-wheel drive, the new A4 clean diesel gets to the 62mph yardstick in 6.2 seconds and onto 155mph, all the while meeting 2014's Euro 6 emissions standards and returning 42.1mpg combined. It gets a six-speed Tiptronic auto 'box as standard.
So, to the 1.2-litre A3. The shrewd among you will already have guessed it's a turbocharged, fuel-saving, downsizing thing and a natural progression of the 1.4-litre stuff already found in VW Group cars. The A3 1.2 TFSI has 104bhp but it's light and efficient, offering 51.3mpg and spitting out only 127g/km of CO2
. No word on prices yet for the three- or five-door versions, but no doubt all will be revealed in Frankfurt. We'll be there.
Mark Nichol - 28 Aug 2009