New Model News

Redesigned Audi A3 Sportback debuts, won't be available to Americans

The German automaker has unveiled a hot hatch version of the car.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

The 2021 Audi A3 Sportback combines the best of Audi technology and design with the functionality of a hatchback. Sadly, it won't make its way to the U.S.

At the front the car has all the signature features of the modern Audi A3. Its wide Singleframe grille and large air inlets make the hatchback appear plenty powerful, agile, and sporty. At the front are a matrix of LED headlights and digital daytime running lights.

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A3.="" hatch="" 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alt="021 Audi A3 Sportback" many="" similar="" The="" Audi=""] The hot hatch features many characteristics similar to the Audi A3 sedan.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

It has shoulders that extend the design lines from the headlights to the rear. Drawing the eye around the vehicle.

The European market will have the choice of three engines in the A3 - a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder or two turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinders with different outputs. the engines are paired with either a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed automatic transmission.

The A3 Sportback rides on a front-wheel drive platform. Suspension enhancements have led to the model being a more comfortable daily driver. The available adaptive damper control system can lower the body by 10 mm in traditional grades. Models with the sport suspension can lower the body by 15 mm.

Audi says that additional engine options are forthcoming as well as all-wheel drive.

021 Audi A3 SportbackThe interior of the new model is much more refined than the previous generation.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Inside the car is a new new shifter, aluminum or carbon inlays, striking door openers and an instrument panel with a black-panel look. Seat upholstery made of recycled PET bottles and adorned with stylish contrasting stitching are being used for the first time.

There's a standard 10.1-inch infotainment touch screen and digital instrument panel. A 12.3-inch infotainment touch screen and head-up display are available.

The operating system running the A3 Sportback's infotainment screen is the third generation of Audi's MMI. The system has 10 times more computing power than the second generation. The system can store up to six user profiles, which is handy for families.

There is an integrated Wi-Fi hot spot as well as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa compatibility.

The car comes equipped with a host of driver assistance and safety technology including Audi pre sense front, swerve assist and lane departure warning, which are standard. Adaptive cruise control, cross traffic alert, and park assist are available.

A hands-free tailgate is available.

Audi is pricing the model starting at 28,900 euros and deliveries will begin in May.

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New hot hatch

This is the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla

The GR Corolla is headed for our shores later this year.

Toyota

Car enthusiasts in the United States frequently have to watch as automakers release wild performance cars, particularly hatchbacks and wagons, that we can't get. Surprisingly, it's Toyota that is here to save us all. The automaker's GR Yaris hatchback made waves in global markets when it landed a couple years ago, and now it's bringing a beefed-up GR Corolla to the U.S. that will get many of that car's rally-inspired go-fast bits.

Two trims will be available at launch. The "entry-level" model is the Core trim, which comes later in 2022. In 2023, Toyota will release a limited Circuit Edition that gets upgraded performance components and a nicer interior.

The Corolla hot hatch shares its turbocharged 1.6-liter engine with the GR Yaris, but in the Corolla it got a bump to 300 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. The car comes exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission and Toyota's GR-Four AWD system. The driver can change the GR's power distribution to suit the situation and driving style. The system can send up to 70 percent of power to the rear.

2023 Toyota GR CorollaThe GR Corolla gets a turbocharged three-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive.

Though it's based on the standard car, the GR Corolla is wider than its counterpart, and features more weld points for better structural rigidity. Toyota says it used extensive structural adhesive throughout as well, which should further improve handling. The car rides on 18-inch wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires standard.

The GR's interior features a driver-oriented setup with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a short-throw shifter positioned for easy reach by the driver. The Core trim comes with cloth upholstery and the Circuit Edition gets suede and synthetic leather. Both models offer sport seats with GR logos and the Circuit Edition brings heating for the front buckets.

Toyota will offer three packages to upgrade the Core Edition:

  • Performance package: front and rear Torsen limited slip differentials (LSD)
  • Technology package : JBL premium audio, navigation, and wireless smartphone charging
  • Cold Weather package: Heated front seats and heated steering wheel

2023 Toyota GR CorollaA six-speed manual transmission is the only option. Toyota

Toyota hasn't given out pricing details for the GR Corolla, but we should learn more soon. The Core trim is due out later this year and the Circuit Edition will be sold as a 2023 model year exclusive for the car's first year on sale.

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Just 55 of the SUV will be built.

Mercedes

The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is an aspirational vehicle, and is one that shouts "I've made it" to the world. Its six-figure price tag legitimate military background, and hardcore off-road capabilities make it appealing on many levels, and there's even a go-fast version from AMG. The G63 cranks up the already bonkers G-Class to 11, with a big V8 and aggressive styling. To commemorate AMG's 55th year tuning Mercedes' vehicles, the automaker is releasing a limited "Edition 55" G 63.

Mercedes-AMG G 63 "Edition 55"The Edition 55 gets unique styling touches inside and out. Mercedes

Though the Edition 55 adds plenty of unique flair to the AMG-massaged G-Wagen, the SUV's beating heart remains untouched. It's a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 making 577 horsepower, and is good for a 0-60 mph time of just 4.5 seconds. That's in an SUV with a curb weight just shy of 6,000 pounds. Four-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic transmission are also standard.

Mercedes says the Edition 55 comes finished in Obsidian Black metallic and rides on 22-inch forged wheels, even though the images it sent to accompany the announcement clearly show a not-black SUV. It also comes with the AMG Night Package, which brings blacked-out trim and unique accents, and the fuel filler cap is embossed with the AMG logo. Inside, the cabin features a black and red color scheme with stainless steel accents throughout. Black velour floor mats stitched with "Edition 55" in red are standard, along with an AMG Performance steering wheel wrapped in microfiber. The seats are covered in black and red Nappa leather upholstery, and Edition 55 badges are seen throughout the space.

Mercedes-AMG G 63 "Edition 55"The 577-hp super SUV can sprint to 60 mph quicker than many sports cars. Mercedes

When Mercedes says "limited edition" here, it means business. Just 55 of the SUVs will be available in the United States, and will be released later this year. There's no word on ordering or pricing details yet, but it's a safe bet that the ultra-exclusive G-Wagen will sell out quickly.

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