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Brand New Audi A3

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Tony O'Kane | Jun 3, 2009

AUDI HAS INTRODUCED a pair of new super-thrifty diesel engines to the European A3 lineup, delivering hybrid-equalling fuel economy in a sharper-looking shell.

Two engines are on offer, both 1.6 litre common-rail turbodiesel inline fours. The lower-spec version is relatively uncomplex and puts out 66kW and 230Nm and can deliver a combined fuel economy figure of 4.5l/100km, however the 77kW model deploys an array of range-boosting devices to improve on that number while simultaneously increasing performance.

Thanks to a regenerative braking system that reduces load on the alternator and Audi's own start-stop technology, the more powerful engine is able to run on just 4.1l/100km on the combined cycle - despite cranking out 11kW more than the less pricey motor.

The 66kW diesel will propel drivers to 100km/h in a leisurely 12.9 seconds, while the 77kW model is slightly quicker with a 0-100 sprint time of 11.4 seconds. Hardly what could be described as quick, but the objective with these engines is to save big bucks at the pumps - not win drag races.

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Carbon dioxide emissions for both are commendably low, with the 66kW engine emitting 118g/km and the 77kW engine - thanks to its regenerative braking and start-stop systems - pumping out just 109g/km.

The 66kW Audi A3 1.6 TDI will retail in Europe for €22,550 (AU$39,300 ) while the 77kW model will cost €23,550 (AU$41,000).The 1.6 TDI engines are also available in the A3 Sportback, which commands a €900 premium over the regular A3 hatch. As for when we'll see them in local Audi showrooms, that's something that's yet to be decided.

"It's a little bit too early to say," Anna Burgdorf, corporate communications manager at Audi Australia said to TMR.

"Those cars are not yet available for Australia, and we've not yet made a decision on when and if they'll be available."

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