This year’s Los Angeles Auto Show served as the unveiling of the all-new Audi A3 for the North American market. Filling the spot of the A3 Sportback, the new A3 will shun the hatchback configuration for most models and will instead adopt more traditional sedan and convertible bodystyle.
If you’re a die-hard fan of the A3 Sportback, don’t lose hope yet, as Audi will continue to offer the hatchback body in the e-tron Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle model. As the name suggests, this model will be able to run on electricity alone for some miles before its gas engine kicks in.
For those of us interested in saving fuel at the pump, but not quite ready to make the transition to a plug-in hybrid car, the new A3 will be offered with Audi’s 1.8 TFSI and 2.0 TFSI four-cylinder engines, producing 170 and 220-horsepower respectively. Audi will also offer a 150-horsepower 2.0-liter TDI diesel engine that will offer extended range and fuel efficiency over its gas-powered brethren.
If you’re a speed demon, you can also make your way up to the 290-horsepower S3 model. Expect a future RS3 model offering in excess of 300-horsepower.
But the A3 isn’t so much about horsepower, as it is about bringing Audi’s pursuit of luxury and technology to the masses. With a base price of $29,900, the all-new A3 gives customers the opportunity to own the first vehicle in its class with 4G LTE connectivity. This technology allows the all-new A3 to incorporate features such as Google Earth and Google Street View in its MMI infotainment system.
Operating in conjunction with a 7-inch screen that rises from the dash, MMI’s latest trick is the incorporation of a touchpad onto its rotary wheel. Teamed with the A3’s available 705-watt Bang & Olufsen Sound System, the compact Audi is turned into a miniature A8.
With available safety features such as active lane assist and adaptive cruise control, the Audi A3 incorporates a host of technologies to keep its passengers safe. Whether your new to the Audi brand, want to cut your emissions by investing in the A3 Sportback e-tron PHEV, or feel the need for speed that is the sporty S3, Audi’s latest compact model will leave you more than impressed with its available luxury and technology features.
Scion presented four unique custom FR-S models to audience members of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas, where the FR-S earned a repeat win as the event’s “Hottest Sport Compact” due to its mass appeal and seemingly limitless customization.
Scion was able to showcase this wide appeal by showing off FR-S models that ranged from a 750-horsepower drift machine by GReddy Performance, to an FR-S that relayed the dreams of famed DJ Steve Aoki.
While GReddy removed the stock 200-horsepower four-cylinder engine of their FR-S to shove a turbocharged 2JZ-GTE six-cylinder engine from the legendary Supra under the hood of their car, Aoki used his taste for music to throw a complete mix table and custom sound system into his FR-S.
In between these two extremes were the carbon fiber filled 500-horsepower Bulletproof FR-S Concept One and the Urban GT Sport Coupe; the latter of which features all-new front and rear bodywork that gives the FR-S a decidedly European look.
Though the reality of such a model is still up in the air, Toyota is re-introducing its Toyota FT-86 Open concept (i.e. Scion FR-S convertible) to the crowds of the Tokyo Motor Show.
Originally shown at this year’s Geneva Show, the FT-86 Open concept is abandoning its former white paintwork for a fresh coat of red. Toyota’s decision to continue to show and promote the FT-86 Open concept gives us hope that we may one day be able to drive a soft-top FR-S for ourselves.
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Image credit: Toyota
Kelly Blue Book’s www.kbb.com, the leading provider of new and used car information, recently released a list of the 10 Best Road Trip Convertibles. Among the ten were the 2012 Audi A5 Cabriolet, chosen for its combination of style, refinement, and performance and the 2012 Audi TT Roadster was praised for its well-appointed sportiness and superb handling.
According to kbb.com editors, few convertibles meld style, refinement and performance into one package as well as the Audi A5 Cabriolet. As the only vehicle in its class to offer quattro® all-wheel drive, the A5 Cabriolet is a progressive take on top down driving. The award-winning 2.0 TFSI engine outputs 211 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque and combines Audi valvelift system, variable valve timing and TFSI® direct injection. The A5 Cabriolet’s evocative shape is derived from the A5 Coupe and demands attention with an aluminum optic trimmed windshield frame and elegant 18” wheels. The Audi acoustic soft top offers significant wind and road noise reduction and retracts in under 15 seconds which is the fastest in its segment. With rear folding seats, twelve-way power adjustable front seats and an overall open design, seating four adults, the A5 Cabriolet is definitely the way to go for those who want to bring along more friends.
With an unmistakable profile, the Audi TT Roadster is complemented by the unique rear diffuser with dual exhaust, adding an aggressive and exclusive look to the vehicle. At the touch of a button, the lightweight aluminum and steel, power folding acoustic soft top can be opened or closed in 12 seconds at speeds under 31 mph. The TT Roadster not only offers standout styling and performance, it delivers 23 mpg city and 31 mpg highway fuel economy. There are two roadster variations that leverage the same 2.0 liter turbocharged engine, with the base TT Roadster producing 211 hp and a TT Roadster using specialized engine components to boost output to 265 hp. On the inside, standard Alcantara leather sports seats featuring extended side bolsters hold the drive in place through corners. Brushed aluminum inlays are included throughout the cabin to augment the Audi TT’s elegant styling.