AUDI has embraced the pricing challenge laid down by Mercedes-Benz. The new Audi A3 Sportback will be priced from $35,600 when it arrives in May.
The luxury carmaker is promising "unparalleled levels of build quality, safety, fit and finish, along with equipment from the luxury class, at razor-sharp pricing" across the range.
Mercedes-Benz has just released its A-Class, where prices also start from $35,600 for the 1.6-litre A 180.
The entry-level Audi A3 will also be powered by a 1.4-litre petrol engine with identical power and torque output as the Benz.
Full specifications and pricing details for the A3 range will be announced closer to launch, but Audi has also revealed a 132kW 1.8-litre petrol engine will be the range-topper.
Also in the model mix will be two diesel engines, the 77kW 1.6 TDI and the 110kW 2.0 TDI.
An all-wheel drive variant will arrive in the last quarter of 2013.
"When the new A3 Sportback arrives in Australia, the value equation will represent one of the most significant restructures a premium segment has ever seen. With a lower entry price compared with the previous generation, the new model will be within reach of customers that have never been able to consider an A3 Sportback before," said Audi Australia's managing director Andrew Doyle.
"In addition, we will offer affordable options packages designed to suit the specific needs of our customers, based on our experience in the segment. Our packages will allow buyers to equip their A3 Sportback with numerous additional, advanced features normally only available to customers in the luxury segment. It's our intention to lead the compact, premium class."
Audi A3 models
Attraction Power Torque
Audi A3 Sportback 1.4 TFSI S tronic 90kW 200Nm
Audi A3 Sportback 1.6 TDI S tronic 77kW 250Nm
Audi A3 Sportback 1.8 TFSI S tronic 132kW 250Nm
Audi A3 Sportback 2.0 TDI S tronic 110kW 320Nm