Interestingly enough, the 2010 Audi A3 2.0 TDI revealed at the Detroit Auto Show is difficult to distinguish from the 2009 Audi A3, yet it’s still managing to generate quite a buzz. Audi themselves even describe the 2010 A3 2.0 TDI as merely a “freshened” 2009 A3, and we’re willing to bet that Audi could have left the 2009 A3 well enough alone and we’d still be excited about its impending U.S. arrival. Already a significant success abroad, the Audi A3 2.0 TDI has set the benchmark in Europe for its successful integration of luxury, performance, and fuel-efficiency. Propelled by a 2.0L TFSI clean-diesel engine, the compact A3 2.0 TDI puts out a zippy 200-hp and 207 lb-ft torque, while simultaneously boasting an EPA average of over 40mpg.
Despite the fact that the U.S. market has proven overwhelmingly unreceptive to clean-diesel technology, Audi is bucking tradition and will be stocking U.S. dealerships with its hot European hatch sometime during the first quarter of 2010.
Full gallery and press release after the jump
2010 Audi A3 2.0 TDI clean diesel: Quick Reference: USA Data
VERSION DATE: January 11, 2009
INFO IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Key Summary Points
• The freshened Audi A3 launched in September 2008 (2009 MY).
• The 2009 model year freshening expanded the A3 lineup with quattro all-wheel drive on the efficient 2.0 TFSI engine (200 hp / 207 lb-ft torque).
• Audi A3 moves into a market space presently unoccupied in the luxury segment, that of a highly efficient diesel small luxury car.
• Audi’s TDI clean diesel technology expands the A3 lineup in the direction of efficiency, providing over 40 mpg highway.
• A3 holds a unique position in the Audi family, targeting buyers who need a small but versatile package without sacrificing luxury and sportiness.
• A3 2.0 TDI is Audi’s second U.S. TDI clean diesel announcement. Audi Q7 TDI is expected to be on sale at U.S. dealers around April 2009.
• A3 is already rated a “Top Safety Pick” by the IIHS for top frontal/side/rear crashes (source iihs.org).
• Key competitors are BMW 1-series, Mini Cooper S, Volvo C30 and S40, and now Toyota Prius and Honda Insight.
• Audi signature LED daytime running lights with optional xenon lights.
• Unique tail lights with LED light guides
• Enhanced exterior and interior design, new wheel program.
• Versatile interior design, providing unmatched utility for urban environments.
• Sporty McPherson front suspension and multilink independent rear suspension for high lateral rigidity.
• Speed-sensitive electromechanical power steering
• High rigidity due to the use of tailored blanks for adapting steel grade and thickness to the material stresses.
• 2.0 TDI clean diesel engine with S tronic (dual clutch) and front-wheel drive
o Specifications: 140 hp, 236 lb-ft torque, in-line 4 cylinder turbocharged clean diesel with common rail direct injection and piezoelectric injectors
o 50-state legal, with no after-treatment system required
o Exclusively with S tronic (dual clutch) transmission with front-wheel drive
Standard Equipment Features
• Hill-hold assist (already standard on S tronic models)
• Sirius satellite radio – standard on all
• Leather seating surfaces – standard on all
• Leather steering wheel – standard
• Aux audio input – standard
• Dual-zone climate control
• 17” alloy wheels
Launch Timing and Pricing
• USA Audi A3 2.0 TDI clean diesel goes on sale by the first quarter of 2010 as a 2010 model year vehicle. Pricing is expected to be released close to the time of the U.S. launch.