Audi A3 concept beats Astons, packs Wi-Fi and touchscreen sat-nav
Five years ago, Crave sketched a prototype of its ideal car -- it was fast, good-looking, had plenty of bootspace for gadgets, and could access the Internet. Audi, it would seem, has gotten hold of our crude scribbles and applied all these traits to its brand-new A3 concept -- because it's fabulous.
The Audi A3 concept is the fastest A3 the company's ever produced, by some margin. The car uses a five-cylinder Turbo FSI petrol engine that produces 402bhp and 500Nm of torque, all of which can be unleashed anywhere between 1,600rpm and 5,300rpm. Basically, when you mash the throttle, it goes -- no questions asked.
Acceleration is pretty brutal. Audi claims 0-60mph in 4.1 seconds -- quicker than most Aston Martins and Jags -- and a top speed that's electronically limited to 155mph because of some silly gentleman's agreement between European car makers back in the dark ages.
It's not all just about brutal peformance, though. Inside, the A3 concept has some wonderful tech. You need only to touch the brushed aluminium door handle for it to automatically unlock and open itself, revealing a gorgeous four-seater cabin.
Inside, you'll find the latest iteration of Audi's MMI multimedia interface. This includes a screen that rises from the dashboard and a touchscreen, mounted in the centre console, that allows you to 'write' navigation destinations and other car commands with your fingers. It's a system that hasn't been seen previously on other Audis, but the company tells us it'll be rolled out to the rest of the MMI-sporting Audi range shortly.
That fancypants MMI system also allows users to connect to the Internet. The car includes a UMTS modem that lets you access Google services via the sat-nav and also packs a built-in WLAN adaptor that allows passengers to surf the Internet on their own computers or tablets. Holders for iPads are installed on the front backrests.
Sounds absolutely fantastic to us, but then again, it was our idea. Have a gander through the official photos to see it in greater detail.