Audi announced at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show that its 2010 A3 2.0 TDI will be coming to the US early next year. The diesel hatchback, which participated in the Audi Mileage Marathon last fall, averaged more than 45 miles per gallon over the course of the 4,000-mile journey. The A3 is considered one of Europe’s cleanest and most fuel-efficient passenger cars.
The 2010 A3 is not expected to bring big changes from the 2009 model. It will continue to draw power from the same advanced clean diesel powertrain as last year’s model. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine will yield 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. Expect superb off-the-line performance and acceleration from the engine—which is mated with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Audi considers the A3 a hybrid-fighter, specifically putting the Toyota Prius and the 2010 Honda Insight in its sights. The car is perhaps better compared with the Mini Cooper and Volvo C30 in the sport compact luxury segment.
The price of diesel, which remains higher than premium unleaded gasoline, may be a potential downside for consumers. But that deterrent is counter-balanced by great fuel economy, strong performance, a plush ride, and a cabin with loads of high-end upgrades and amenities.
Pricing for the 2010 A3 will be announced later this year.