We've been reviewing the 2007 Audi A3 for the past week, and we're really enjoying the car's sporty nature. This is not a mild-mannered car, and I've taken to calling it "the little beast." Its 2-liter turbo four-cylinder engine, front-wheel drive, and Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) combine to make fast starts a challenge for its traction control and for the driver. When your foot's to the floor in this car, you need to keep the wheel under control as the front tires try to break their terrestrial bonds and the traction control puts on an entertaining light show in the instrument cluster.
Our test car is a shade of red brighter than we thought possible with simple pigments. It also has the S Line Sport package, apparently because Audi isn't selling the S3 in the States. We also have all available gadgets in our car, including Bluetooth phone integration, navigation, and a nice Bose stereo. There's a CD changer in the glove box (a not entirely convenient place for it) and, a uniquely Audi thing, SD card slots behind the LCD. We put in a 2GB card full of music, then noticed in the manual that Audi recommends a maximum 256MB card. Lame. The music on our 2GB card played just fine, but there's no way to navigate through folders. Lame again. You just have to keep skipping tracks until you get to the end, and it pops over to the next folder in line.
Given this car's power train, we decided the best way to write the Test the tech section of its review was to put it through some zero to 60mph timed runs. We hooked up a performance computer, then had Kevin Massy and myself each do two runs, one shifting the DSG manually and the other letting the car shift the DSG in Sport mode. Edmunds.com reports a time of 7 seconds to 60mph, while Motor Trend takes the 2006 model to 60mph in 6.2 seconds. Our best time was 6.37 seconds in manual shift mode. We will have more detail on this test and on the car itself in our review, to be published on CNET Car Tech by the end of the week.