By on May 4, 2012

Audi claims to have broken the dreaded “weight spiral” with their next upcoming A3. The new car will weigh nearly as much as the first-generation car did in 1997, despite being faster, safer and more luxurious.

The new car should closely match the old car’s curb weight of 2658 lbs. The new MQB platform is lighter in every respect, from the materials used in the car, to the new generation of turbocharged gasoline and diesel engines. Despite the weight loss (as much as 176 lbs on some models), the vehicle’s size will remain the same as the portly second generation car.

The notion of continuously advancing technology, powertrains and safety while fighting curb weight and increasing vehicle sizes is one that has TTAC quite pleased. The upcoming VW Golf, which will be a close relative to the A3, should be even more significant, in that it can bring this kind of technology to a much wider customer base.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

33 Comments on “Upcoming Audi A3 To Weigh Nearly As Much As First-Gen Car...”


  • avatar
    righteousball

    “despite being faster, safer and more luxurious”

    …and most likely uglier than first-gen. :P

    • 0 avatar

      YMMV. I always thought the A3 was an ugly car.

      But, your probably right. The 1st design was ugly, the second worst. The third will probably take the cake!

      • 0 avatar
        fredtal

        Just defending my ride.

      • 0 avatar
        righteousball

        I have a very strong preference for the 1980s Audi look, so the 1st gen is still closer to that than what came after. I really can’t stand today’s Audi “family look”. :P

      • 0 avatar
        Vega

        Nice snark . A bit of research would have shown you what the new A3 looks like, at least in 3door form…
        http://www.auto24news.de/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/222caudi_a3_8v_2012_01.jpg
        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/ca/Audi_A3_8V_Ambition_design_selection_capriorange_2.0_TDI_Gletscherweiß_Heck.JPG

    • 0 avatar
      fredtal

      I completely disagree. Have had my 2007 A3 for about 4 years now and I still think it looks great. For sure the new one will be on my shopping list.

      • 0 avatar

        That’s why I started off by writing YMMV. I know many people love the looks of this car. I don’t.

        BTW, glad you are enjoying your car. And I’m even gladder we have choices. I know my tastes in cars are peculiar. So, I’d never get this car cause I think others are more to my liking. But who am I to criticize your taste?

    • 0 avatar
      Lampredi

      Most likely it will be just as ugly as the first generation – as a new generation Audi tends to look exactly like in the previous generation Audi. No wonder it weighs basically the same as well… :P

    • 0 avatar
      Marko

      FWIW, I never cared for the first generation, either. It looked stubby and out of proportion, like an Audi 80 wagon that someone cut the ends off of. The second still looked stubby, but by the 2009 facelift, they really got the headlights and taillights to flow with the rest of the design.

      I still find the GLI more attractive than either the GTI or the A3, though.

    • 0 avatar
      amca

      Oh, no – the next A3 is going to have a sedan, and if the concept version was any indication, it’s going to look a lot like the first-gen A4.

      That car was one of the prettiest sedans ever. I’m looking forward to this new A3 version.

  • avatar
    Advance_92

    Can I get it with sixteen inch steel wheels?

  • avatar
    segfault

    Will it still feel solid at 2658 pounds? Will it have any sound deadening?

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    I’d be more excited if the Golf were to regain its first generation mass.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      That is what the current Polo is for. The current Golf is sized around where the first Gen Passat is. The new Up is sized around where the first Gen Polo was. In general cars have gotten bigger over time leaving room at the bottom of new entries (like Up, Fit etc).

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Does the Polo weigh 1,900 lbs? I doubt it. Besides, the only ones I see here are registered in Mexico.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Size and weight have some relationship for mass produced cars (not using large amounts of exotic, weight saving materials). Who said anything about the US – this website has a global readership and there is talk the Polo may come over since the sub-compact market (i.e. cars sized similar to compacts from years ago) is growing.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Popular Mechanics tested a 2010 Polo. It weighed 2,632 lbs. It isn’t as over weight as a Sonic, but it is still more than 30% heavier than a MKI Golf.

  • avatar
    rehposolihp

    The lightest 2012 Audi A3, according to Audi’s US website, weighs 3219 lbs.

    Thus when you say “Despite the weight loss (as much as 176 lbs on some models),” what do you mean? Because I’m counting 561 lbs in difference.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      +1 I was going to say the same thing. If that weight is to believed the 2014 MQB based GTI with it’s much more powerful engine and almost 500lbs less weight is going to be epic.

  • avatar
    WRohrl

    We don’t get the 3-door and never did. Ours is thus longer, larger and heavier and more equipped than a base euro version.

    • 0 avatar
      rehposolihp

      Wow, you’re right….

      The lightest A3 I was able to find on the German website was 2789lbs…

      I find that insane – as the GTI is offered in 2 door and 4 and the difference in weight between the two is maybe 100 lbs? And the difference between the GTI and the A3 is another 100 perhaps?

      Nowhere near the 500 lb some difference here.

      The difference levels out with the 2.0TFSI engine…but the 3 door A3 with it still weighs less than a 3 door GTI

      And ultimately…what everyone should take from this it appears is that the American A3 will still be north of 3000 lbs – not in the mid 2600′s

  • avatar
    Marko

    In defense of the current A3, it was one of the first IIHS Top Safety Picks back in 2006 (along with the Volvo XC90, I believe), so that’s probably what the weight went towards. Audi really seemed to sweat the side-impact protection, and if you look at the IIHS side-impact results, it gets a “Good” in all nine categories – which few other cars do. Look through the IIHS’s “insurance loss” database, and the A3 has one of the lowest rates for “medical payment” claims. Now, they have probably figured out a lighter-weight way to get that kind of structural integrity.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    The first gen A3 wasn’t exactly a lightweight car in my eyes…
    YMMV but I also think the first gen is one of the least interesting car designs of all time, alongside the mk3 Golf and E39 BMW… There is no way any other generation of A3 can be worse…

  • avatar
    th009

    Official photo of the hatchback version:
    http://www.ecofleetuk.com/wp-content/uploads/New-model-2012-Audi-A31.jpg

    Sedan concept (which is what North America will get) from last year:
    http://www.forcegt.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/2011-Geneva-Audi-A3-Sedan-13.jpg

  • avatar
    daveainchina

    I’ll believe it when I see it. Getting a vehicle that light and meeting the safety standards while possible may make the vehicle cost prohibitive.

    We’ll see but I have my doubts (and I think nearly anything made by the VW group qualifies as boring styling)

    I still don’t get why VW doesn’t get canned all the time for badge engineering compared to GM/Ford. If any car maker is doing it to an extreme it’s VW and yet no one calls them on it. Why is that?

    • 0 avatar
      Vega

      Because it’s not badge engineering, it’s platform sharing. Badge engineering is GM central development putting another trim level into a Chevy SUV and calling it a GMC… Platform sharing means stuff like axis, chassis hard points etc. not sheet metal, interiors and design.

      An Audi TT shares the same platform with the Golf, the Skoda Octavia and the A3, among others. All of these cars however are still have significant differences when it comes to look and feel. Also, Volkswagen brands usually retain their own development facilities and a certain amount of independence in development and marketing. There are exceptions (e.g. SEAT Exeo aka Audi A4 B7), but in general brand differentiation works better for Volkswagen than for GM & Ford

  • avatar
    mr_muttonchops

    It’s great that automakers are trying to put their cars on diets. First Subaru tried it with the Impreza, but the car lost some power as a result, and now there’s the new A3. Hopefully there isn’t much sacrificed here.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      My wife and I test drove a new Impreza sedan two weeks ago and found it to be horrid. It was noisy at highway speeds, with lots of wind and tire noise, and the interior appeared to come from a 1995 Corolla. Very unimpressed, and I was really hoping to come away excited.

      As a comparison we then drove a new Honda CRV LX-AWD, which my wife loved. For $23,800 it’s hard to beat.

  • avatar
    hreardon

    Audi has made it pretty clear that their goal is weight reduction – hence a lot of the engine downsizing that’s really coming into play with the new 1.8T engine and the third generation 2.0TFSI. About a year or so ago Audi held a technology day with a lightweight but fully equipped, production-ready A5 with a 2.0T that ran circles around the beefy 350hp V8 powered S5.

    The value of weight reduction is significant and while a small first step I definitely believe they’re on the right track. The MQB vehicles will make a significant dent in weight and provide a high level of flexibility to the brands. Case in point: the new A3 allows Audi to use an aluminum hood, aluminum suspension and front end and additional composites throughout the vehicle. All things the MQB Golf will not have due to cost considerations.

  • avatar

    I like the old one better.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    No hatchback means probably no likey…:-(


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • J & J Sutherland, Canada
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India