Driving and static footage
The Bluesport roadster is shaping up to be an interesting vehicle for Volkswagen and even more so for the motoring press. There are conflicting reports on the production of the BlueSport with motoring journalists writing on the vehicle assuming it is headed for production while reports from VW insiders saying the roadster has been put on hold till the economy picks up.
VW enthusiasts everywhere remain hopeful about the BlueSport’s production possibilities, especially because the vehicle is apparently very close to production-ready. If the German automaker does find a way to build the BlueSport, it will reportedly show up globally in 2013 with pricing dependent on the powerplant that VW decides to place behind the two occupants.
The turbocharged, direct-injected diesel mill currently in the concept, which VW says delivers 5.6l/100km economy in everyday driving, could very well be joined by at least one of VW’s gasoline-burning units — possibly the 265-horsepower 2.0-litre installed in the Audi S3 and now Volkswagen’s own Scirocco R. Check back for more details as they come to light.
Audi has pushed back the arrival of its next-model A3 by one year as it tackles the development of several other all-new models such as the A1 hatch and Q3 soft-roader. Originally touted to arrive at the end of the year, the next A3 will now hit the market in the first half of 2010 in a basic three and five-door hatchback models. A little later Audi will add a new Convertible model and Sportback wagon, and according to latest reports there may even be a four-door coupe as well as an Allroad soft-roader.
The stategy is to help the new A3 compete with BMW’s 1-series range as well as other European rivals. The new A3’s platform will again be shared with VW’s Golf, which means Audi’s latest modular platform design has been ruled out. Compared with the current model the replacement A3’s footprint will grow in size with a more raked profile. .
Likely engine options for the A3 range of cars include a series of four-cylinder powerplants ranging from 1.2 to 2.0L in capacity. The base engine will be a 1.2L TFSI with 105hp and 175Nm of torque and this will be followed by a 1.4L TFSI with 125hp and 200Nm of torque and a 1.8L TFSI with 160hp and 250Nm of torque. Rounding out the four-cylinder family will be a 2.0L TFSI with 211hp and 350Nm of torque. For the performance S3 model, expect to see a new turbocharged four-cylinder motor.
The Audi S3 has recently become available with five doors, but now it has seven speeds courtesy of the S tronic twin-clutch transmission, which quickens shifts compared to the continuing manual version, but can also slow down fuel consumption.
Equipped with S tronic, the three-door S3 can touch 100kph from rest in 5.5 seconds, 0.2 seconds quicker than the manual version with which it shares its governed top speed of 249kph. The new transmission can boost the S3’s combined fuel economy figure from 33.2mpg to 34mpg. As a result, CO2 output in the S3 S tronic falls from 198g/km to 193g/km.
Advanced electro-hydraulic controls and the alternate use of two clutches enable the S tronic gearbox to deliver fast automatic or manual shifts with virtually no interruption of the engine’s power delivery across its seven ratios, and now gear changes can be made via steering wheel-mounted shift paddles for the first time in the S3’s nine-year history. The first of the two clutches serves the odd-numbered gears and reverse, and the second the even-numbered gears, so when the S3 is being driven in third gear, for instance, fourth is already pre-selected in anticipation. As soon as the shift command is given, the first clutch is disengaged and the second engaged in just a few hundredths of a second.
Also faster reacting in this latest S3 model is the quattro four-wheel-drive system. Its central hydraulic multi-plate clutch now responds faster when the engine’s 265PS and 350Nm need to be redistributed between the front and rear wheels to maximize stability and traction.
Standard equipment for the S3 includes 18-inch parallel 5-spoke ‘S’ design alloy wheels, ‘S’ body styling and interior detailing and ‘S’ sports suspension. Heated and Silk Nappa leather-upholstered sports seats and Xenon Plus head lamps with LED strip daytime running lights are also part of the package.