7. Lightweight Structure
Thanks to advanced engines and cutting-edge transmissions, the new Audi A3 should sip fuel like a disinterested toddler drinking from a juice box full of vinegar. Further improving efficiency is a lightweight structure. The latest compact Audi will ride atop the Volkswagen Group’s versatile Modularen Querbaukasten platform, also referred to as MQB by non-pedants. This is the same architecture that’s used by the new VW Golf. Thanks to the liberal use of high-strength steel, aluminum and magnesium the 2015 A3 should weigh less than 2,800 pounds, which is an admirable accomplishment in today’s safety-obsessed and very heavy world.
For a little perspective it’s worth comparing the A3 to its big brother, the A4. Consider the following: A 2008 A4 sedan has a wheelbase of 104.3 inches. Today’s version is considerably longer at 110.6. For comparison the A3 features a span of 103.8 inches, so it’s nearly as large as an A4 from just one generation ago! The A3’s overall length is 14.62 feet; an ’08 A4 stretches just a few inches more. Surprisingly the A3 is also about an inch wider. This is one large compact car!