Audi A3 5-door 2000 posters

Audi A3 5-door

The Audi A3 5-door was first released in the European market in 1996, filling in a gap in Audi's models following the discontinued Audi 50 produced in 1978. The A3 was developed based on the Volkswagen Group's “PQ34” or “A4” platform, resembling the Volkswagen Golf Mk4 of the time. Seven vehicles in total shared the same platform. Initially released as a three-door hatchback in order to portray a sportier look than the Golf, the A3 offered front-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive versions powered by a transversely positioned four-cylinder engine. Equipped with five valves for each cylinder, these engines had a range of different power outputs; some of the more powerful versions included a 1.8 litre turbo rated at 180 PS (132 kW; 178 hp), and a 1.9 litre diesel TDI with unit injector "Pumpe Düse" (PD) technology and variable geometry turbocharger. The A3 also offered a four-wheel drive version powered by an engine with either 150 PS (110 kW; 148 hp) or 180 PS (130 kW; 180 hp). It was released in the United Kingdom in November 1996. In 1999, comprehensive revisions to the original A3 were initiated with the addition of new headlights and rear lamps, more minor cosmetic changes, an enhanced interior, and a six-speed manual gearbox available in the 180 PS (132 kW; 178 hp) 1.8 Turbo and the 130 PS (96 kW; 128 hp) 1.9 TDI. Audi's electronic stability control, traction-control, and brake force distribution computer was also added to some A3s in some markets. While the original A3 was discontinued in Europe in 2003, some markets continued to produce and sell the first-generation model until 2006. In terms of safety, the A3 earned a rating of four out of five stars from Euro NCAP. However, their evaluation noted a column lock, adjuster lever and bracket that posed risks to the driver's knees due to high load on his/her upper legs. In terms of pedestrian protection, the Audi A3 scored only two out of a possible four stars.

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