Audi Adds Lots of Tech to 2017 A3, S3
For 2017, Audi’s smallest sedan and convertible lineup now boasts the same technology available in its most expensive models.
The automaker’s entry-level A3 sedan and convertible has received a gentle nip-and-tuck for 2017, including some updates to its grille and headlights, as well as new wheel designs. The higher-performance S3 sedan seems a similar range of updates to the way it looks, too.
Additionally, the base front-wheel drive A3 swaps last year’s 1.8-liter 4-cylinder for the same 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine previously exclusive to the all-wheel drive model. With 220 horsepower and 285 pound-feet of torque, the A3 is considerably more powerful than its Mercedes-Benz CLA250 arch rival.
But the bigger changes come inside, where the automaker’s Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster is newly optional. Virtual Cockpit replaces conventional analog gauges with a 12.3-inch high-resolution display screen that can be configured with a dizzying array of different screens. Drivers looking for a simple, classic look, can opt for a digital version of the traditional gauges—or they can set the screen to display Google Mapping overlays via a 4G LTE connection.
The automaker’s MMI Touch controller in the center console has also been updated and can recognize a user’s handwriting inputs via a touchpad on the top of the main knob.
Audi hasn’t announced pricing for the base front-wheel drive A3, but the base price for the all-wheel drive model remains $35,150, including a mandatory $950 destination charge.