PRESENTATION: Audi A3 SPORTBACK
STYLE JUSTIFIES MEANS
ANATOLY FOMIN. PHOTO OF THE AUTHOR AND “AUDI”
The 2.0 Turbo FSI engine is a true technological masterpiece, comparable only to the famous 1.8 T, which surprised the automotive world eight years ago.
2.0 Turbo FSI - a clear contender for the "Engine of the Year." The world's first serial engine with direct injection and turbocharging is equipped with intermediate air cooling (boost pressure 1.0 atm), runs on a mixture with a stoichiometric air-gasoline ratio (14.7: 1).
The 2.0 TFSI features are the result of a high compression ratio of 10.5: 1, the use of original pistons, controlled dampers in the inlet tract and nozzles providing the necessary spray pattern.
Nowadays, the most sought-after specialists in any company are marketers: they need the attention of management, impressive budgets, and high salaries. Indeed, in order to present a new product, you need to plan an advertising campaign, thoroughly “brainwash” the journalists, and incorporate the ideas implemented in the new model into the general strategy of the company.
But what about the technique? It does not need to be thoroughly understood. A long list of patented technologies and systems, spectacular “demonstration" characteristics will be rolled out to the consumer. Fortunately, not all firms share this approach. Going to a meeting with Audi A3 Sportback?
WE WILL BE SIGNS!
Why Sportback, and not the traditional Avan for Audi, is understandable. There should not be an association with a family wagon - the “A3 Sportback” is positioned (as this word is nevertheless attached!) In the premium segment of the compact class. It is assumed that the owners - young, handsome and wealthy managers (also from the marketing department?) Do not go on sales, do not carry seedlings in boxes, prefer trendy nightclubs and extreme sports or prestigious golf at their leisure.
External differences with the three-door car are not only in the design of the front part, which resembles the A6, and an extra pair of doors. “Sportback” looks different from behind and even the silhouette does not at all look like a three-door hatchback. Despite the rear overhang increased by 68 mm, the car looks quite proportional and does not resemble a “carriage”. True, the volume of the trunk compared to the "real" station wagons is small: only 20 liters more than the three-door A3. The main thing is that two bags with golf clubs come across here.
DOES NOT PAINT THE PLACE …
Mountain paths and narrow streets of miniature towns on the Cote d'Azur of France will arrange a merciless exam for the chassis and steering. In the "legend" - twisted serpentines and winding routes from Nice to Monte Carlo. A compact hatchback on the Golf platform was presented at the Monte Carlo Marine Club, on a small piece of the coast, where the concentration of Bentley and Ferrari exceeds all reasonable values, and the most expensive yachts are moored at the berths. Show here a compact and not the most expensive car - a bold decision. However, it can be interpreted in another way: even among the crazy luxuries of the Audi A3 Sportback at ease.
There are a lot of engines in the Audi A3 Sportback family: from a modest 1.6-liter gasoline, for barely 100 forces, to a 250-strong “six” with a volume of 3.2 liters. There are diesel engines with pump nozzles: 1.9-liter, 105 liters. with. and 2-liter, 140 liters. with. There’s just not enough time for a ride. I will choose the latest 2.0 TFSI gasoline engine and the most powerful turbo diesel with a DSG “automatic machine”. All-wheel drive in the “asphalt jungle” should not be felt, and you can evaluate the convenience of traction control and the possibility of automatic transmission even on narrow roads with speed limits.
The two-liter diesel engine managed to prove itself from the best side. Minimum vibration, wide (for turbodiesel) operating range, excellent torque and impressive efficiency. In combination with the DSG transmission (Directschaltgetriebe - direct shift box), its character is not revealed as brightly as with a simple manual gearbox. DSG (ЗР, 2003, No. 2) has two clutches and switches without interruption in the power flow.
Some “detachment” of traction control is compensated by the convenience of control on mountain serpentines and city streets, where in a car with a six-speed “mechanics” you do not grate the callus on the gearshift lever for a short time. Of course, this diesel engine is very strong and perfectly “pedals”, but … To spin such a motor “to the stop” is not too pleasant, and noisy, and the reaction to gas discharge from diesel engines is too sharp - the ESP system blinks in turns alarming yellow indicator. In general, it would be more pleasant to travel than frolic on winding paths.
Recently, it seemed that gasoline engines had already given priority to diesel engines not only in terms of efficiency, but also in driving pleasure. "Strangled" by environmental requirements, "gasoline" too sluggishly react to the accelerator. Engines with direct injection of gasoline, of course, are “livelier”, but models with a small displacement could not yet boast impressive power. Cross turbocharging with fuel injection into the cylinder seemed too difficult - until this fall. The 2.0 TFSI engine is the first to solve this problem. It develops 200 liters. with. already at 5100 rpm, it has 280 Nm of torque in the widest range from 1800 to 5000 rpm and easily spins up to 7000 rpm.
How does it feel in a car? Confident starting from minimum revs and excellent acceleration from 2000 rpm until the “cut-off” at 7000 rpm. Particularly impressive is the upper range from 5 to 7 thousand revolutions, where the motor practically does not “wither”! Subjective feelings confirmed: a motor with such a characteristic really exists! And if we compare the acceleration dynamics (7 s to 100 km / h), the maximum speed of 236 km / h and the average fuel consumption of 7.7 l / 100 km, then it is not easy for him to find rivals.
So, a car portrait can be drawn with just a few touches. Firstly, it is a wholly owned Audi. High quality finishing materials, seasoned interior style, comfortable seats, a spacious interior (subjectively, it is hardly inferior to a more solid A4) are the features of major league machines. Secondly, an excellent chassis, which allows you to confidently take turns at those speeds when it’s time to worry. Thirdly, excellent comfort in terms of internal noise and vibrations, the operation of the air conditioning system, excellent interior equipment. Of course, the test machines were packed to the maximum, but how not to praise the rigorous rigor of the devices and the excellent multi-function display, especially necessary when using the navigation system. Mountain roads, the network of which is so dense that only a few tens of meters share turns, is the most serious test for navigation. I will not say that she withstood it impeccably, but made few mistakes.
Piggy Bank of Impressions
The DSG gearbox is a truly unique novelty that has made it possible to take a fresh look at a modern sports car. Only abandoning the hydromechanical "machine", it was possible to connect the wishes of the active driver with the capabilities of the machine. Its advantages are a powerful and confident start and instant reaction to gear shifting, which allows you to feel like a pilot of a racing car, completely merged with the car.
However, it is too early to talk about the unconditional victory of this constructive scheme over others. While there are many conditions in which a hydromechanical transmission is preferable. DSG does not like starting off in a steep climb, maneuvering and driving at minimum speed on slopes, and simply at low engine speeds, especially when accelerating. Not surprisingly, she has nothing to “multiply” the motor torque.
There is something to criticize the steering with electric power. It is difficult to find fault with it in the city and on highways, but on mountain serpentines, where you have to shift the steering wheel 180 degrees or more, the reactive action ceases to inform about the position of the wheels.
But with the suspension there was a complete understanding. Having traveled by car with the usual setup and 16-inch tires, I can confidently say: if you do not plan to warm up on the ring track on weekends, this is the best option that combines clear handling with decent comfort. Audi A3 Sportback performed by Ambiente with 17-inch rubber and sports suspension, with a 15 mm reduced ground clearance, stiffer springs and shock absorbers slightly wins in accuracy, but is noticeably less comfortable. Even the nonsense, according to our concepts, the bumps of the French roads unexpectedly sharply respond in the cabin. Yes, and you can’t relax on the turning arc anymore - the car requires precise steering and is sensitive to the profile of the road.
NOT REASON FOR SORROW