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Audi A3 TDI competition: Why It Needs to Happen

Since American A3 models generally come only with TFSI petrol engines, namely the 1.8 and 2.0, while Europeans go for the cheaper 1.6 TDI, very few people have actually bought or even considered the top-spec A3 2.0 TDI, which I think is a real shame. Not many people even care about this subject, but because fast diesels are the cool, I'm going to try and look at this story from a different angle. I'm talking about something that will hopefully force the quattro GmbH guys to change their ways... a little.
You see, Volkswagen has dared to market its most powerful 2-liter TDI as a performance model called the Golf GTD and Skoda makes no apologies about sticking an Octavia vRS badge over it. But Audi offers the same 184 hp, 380 Nm (280 lb-ft) mill on the A3 without any pomp and circumstance whatsoever.

Ironically, Audi is also the only company to offer this engine with all-wheel drive (only on some body styles). Just to give you an idea of what that means for performance, let me tell you that 0 to 100 km/h takes 6.9 seconds, which is the same as a Mk5 Golf GTI. The downside is that it's ridiculously expensive (€35.800 in Germany) and quite heavy because of all the tech that's been stuffed in there (almost exactly 1.5 tons). Here's a compact Audi car at the cutting edge of segment technology that's as fast as a GTI and as expensive as a Golf R. Why doesn't anybody care about it? Because the marketing is all wrong.
Ingolstadt is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its TDI diesel engines thins year and has launched the A7 TDI competition in order to celebrate this. Basically, the new model comes with 2015 model year headlights, paired with the well known S line competition appearance pack that blacks out all the chrome and adds the S line bits. The engine used is the best diesel available, a 3-liter BiTDI that's been tuned to produce 326 hp instead of the standard 320 hp and also features an overboost function.

Such a treatment would be great for the A3 TDI. 190 horsepower would sound so much cooler than the current 184 horsepower and perhaps a limited slip diff, a titanium exhaust or track-focused dampers could be added to the mix.

On the cosmetics side, Ingolstadt has a wide variety of parts it can use, including the silver grille and mirror caps of the S3, numerous lightweight alloy wheel designs and the SuperSport Seats with contrasting red leather, just to name a few.

After that, Audi would only need to sell about 1,000 units to hardcore European fans for around €40,000 and watch the magic happen. You see, A7 buyers are largely serious businessman who like minimalist design and live according to a very tight schedule. However, A3 and S3 buyers are younger, visit tuning shops, attend weekend meets and spend lots of time on forums.

"Look, this is my brand new A3 TDI Competition. It's the fastest compact diesel car ever produced and it has more torque than a Ford Mustang V6," says the avid owner, and the legend of the sporty diesel is born.


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