Although we've seen photos of the European-spec 2009 Audi A3 (pictured), we hadn't heard the skinny on what we could expect in the U.S.; That's changed, as Audi's just released information on the refreshed North American model.
At first glance, little's changed.; A closer look reveals small design tweaks, including a front fascia similar to the 2009 A4, new wheel designs, and Audi's trademark LED daytime running lamps.
Likewise, the model mixture - all five-door hatchbacks in either 2.0T or 3.2 form - seems familiar, but Audi made a few small changes.; In order to position the A3 as a budget-luxury competitor to the Volvo C30 and Mini Cooper, Audi's adding features to base models previously found only on higher trims.; Case in point?; It's now possible to equip a four-cylinder 2.0T model with the Quattro all-wheel-drive system, a feature previously restricted to the 3.2 V-6 car.
In the same vain, Audi has made Sirius satellite radio, leather seats, and auxiliary audio inputs standard equipment on all trims.; Hill-hold assist, previously found only on cars equipped with the S-tronic dual-clutch transmission, is now standard on the base 2.0T with the six-speed manual transmission.; One new option is Audi Magnetic Ride, the magnetically-variable suspension also found on the Audi TT.
Audi has priced the base 2.0T, equipped with front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission, at $26,920; a top-end 3.2 Quattro model starts at $36,975.; Look for the 2009 A3 to arrive at dealers this fall.