Just weeks after BMW launched its facelifted 1-Series with class-leading economy figures, Audi has announced the A3 rivalling hatchback is now available in the brand’s efficient ‘ultra’ trim, priced from £20,865.
Available to order now, Audi is gunning for the BMW 116d EfficientDynamics with the A3 ultra. It gets a 1.6-litre TDI diesel engine with 109bhp (five less than the BMW) and claims near-identical efficiency figures of 83.1mpg and 89g/km of CO2. That also means the A3 ultra drops into the 16 per cent BIK tax band for fleet buyers.
The main alterations for the ultra to help it achieve these figures include lowered sports suspension, low rolling resistance tyres, a longer final drive ration in the six-speed manual gearbox (no DSG is available on the ultra) and 16-inch alloys.
The A3 Ultra manages 0-62mph in 10.5 seconds (10.7 for the five-door Sportback), and hits a top speed of 124mph.
Alongside this car’s release, Audi has also announced its quattro all-wheel drive system will be made available on more models in the A3 range. The standard 1.6-litre TDI diesel variants are now offered with all-wheel drive for the first time, priced from £22,915. Economy is affected slightly but Audi claims 0-62mph in 11.2 seconds and 120mph top speed, while returning 60.1mpg and 127g/km.
The 148bhp 2.0 TDI engine now joins the higher 178bhp version with the option of quattro all-wheel drive. It can hit 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds and hit 133mph, while managing 58.9mpg and 125g/km.