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2020 Audi S3 Sedan and Sportback Audi unveils all-new staunch S3 Sedan and Sportback

Audi launched the all-new A3 Sportback and Sedan earlier this year, and now joining that line-up is the performance-focused S3 with all-wheel-drive and 228kW.

It’s instantly recognisable as an Audi S3, though the new car’s more muscular haunches and gaping single-frame grille do their bit to distinguish it from the previous generation.

The new S3 Sedan and Sportback will be able to order from August in Europe, with Australian arrival and pricing still yet to be confirmed.

2020 Audi S3 Sedan
The new S3 packs 15kW more punch than before.

Audi won’t have it easy when the new S3 arrives in Australia though, the segment is crowded with fresh faces including the excellent Mercedes-AMG A 35 and controversial BMW M135i hatch, and M235i Gran Coupe.

But even the outgoing S3 didn’t struggle too much against its rivals, and the new car punches out more power and torque from its two-litre turbocharged petrol engine. Power is up by 15kW to 228kW, while torque climbs to a nice round 400Nm, that’s a 20Nm gain.

Power is transferred through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox to a Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Naturally, prodigious grip will be on offer, and that’s reflected in its 0-100km/h time of 4.8 seconds, just a tenth of a second shy of the outgoing S4 sedan.

2020 Audi S3 GRille detail
Bulging lines abound.

However, that has meant the combined fuel consumption is up to 7.3L/100km for the S3 Sedan. That’s compared to the 6.7L/100km its predecessor claimed.

As for the looks, the new car can only be described as staunch. That grille is massive and now extends all the way to the ground, it’s further set off by a seriously aggressive LED front signature. While the regular A3 debuted a more muscular appearance, the S3 amplifies this with 18-inch wheels and a 15mm suspension drop.

Audi will offer adaptive dampers as an option for Europe, though Australian cars may get them standard. There’s also a set of 19-inch wheels on offer, and the choice to paint brake callipers in eye-catching red instead of black. 

2020 Audi S3 Sedan front
Pictured is the First Edition sedan in tango red.

While there’s plenty to catch your eye outside – especially the first editions pictured in their python yellow and tango red hues – the interior is more subdued. Audi has done away with a traditional gear selector, instead opting for a Porsche-style “stubby-nub”.

Front and centre is a 10.1-inch touchscreen set into the dashboard which will control the bulk of the MMI functions. As we’ve come to expect, Ingolstadt has equipped the S3 with a 10.25-inch digital driver’s display – though a larger 12.3-inch unit is optional.

As standard the S3’s seats aren’t appointed in leather, instead, an environmentally-friendly material composed of recycled plastic bottles which we love the sound of.

2020 Audi S3 Interior
Environmentally-conscious seat materials – nice.

Safety equipment is slightly lacking – there’s standard city-speed AEB, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise and front collision warning. The full complement of convenient tech – rear cross-traffic alert, lane-change warning and park assist – has to be optioned for European market cars.

The edition one package mentioned above includes the 19-inch wheels, black exterior trim pack and Nappa leather-appointed seats. 

In Germany, the S3 will start at €46,302, equivalent to $76,000AUD at the current exchange rate. That’s a little over $10,000 more than the current $65,800 ($73,428 driveaway) S3 starts at. Of course, we can’t candidly comment on pricing until Audi launches the all-new S3 Sportback and Sedan in Australia.

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2021 Hyundai i30 N-Line sedan Front 3/4 2021 Hyundai i30 Sedan N-Line renders reveal athletic intentions

Last week, editor Tom was lucky enough to preview the all-new Hyundai i30 Sedan – the brand’s Elantra replacement – ahead of its full launch later this year.

In that video he referred to the still camoed-up N-Line variant of that car, well, Hyundai has revealed renderings showing what the sportier variant will look like when it arrives in 2021.

While Elantra might be the more familiar name, for 2021 Hyundai Australia will drop the older badge in favour of the more streamlined title of i30 Sedan, with the new car largely mirroring the styling of the updated hatch.

2021 Hyundai i30 sedan side
The non N-Line i30 Sedan.

But this is the first time we’ve seen the updated N-Line body shape. Taking cues from the Germans, Hyundai pitches its N-Line products as sportier variants of their regular vehicles, sitting between those and full-fledged N models.

More of those will be coming in the next 12 months, and it’s likely we’ll see the N-Line sub-brand grow as Hyundai pushes for greater interest from private buyers. Naturally, this will put the new i30 in direct competition with the Volkswagen Golf and Honda Civic

Defining the N-Line Sedan from side-on a set of five-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels. The front end is perhaps the most telling angle, though, with the N-Line Sedan’s grille growing in width, and sharper edges dominating the bumper design.

2021 Hyundai i30 N-Line sedan Front
The N-Line looks much more aggressive.

The sharp-edged cents will mark the front end out on the road, as will the updated LED signatures above the lights that will further accentuate the Sedan’s width.

A ‘heckblende’ style LED strip runs the width of the N-Line Sedan, as it does in the regular car, though the designers have accentuated the boot lid’s acute angle. The renderings show promise – in fact, we think the BMW 4 Series design team could learn a thing or two back here.

Enhancing the sporting credentials further are bespoke side skirts, and a pair of real exhaust pipes exiting below the trapezoid-themed rear bumper.

2021 Hyundai i30 N-Line sedan Rear
A sharp bootlid and full-length LED signature just pop.

The peculiar triangle motive remains from the regular Sedan, we’ve not made our minds up on that detail yet, but it’s certainly something that marks the heavily facelifted i30 Sedan out from its competition.

Inside the N-Line will most-likely borrow a lot from the less sporty variants, and in this case we reckon that’s a good thing. The refreshed interior design is different and pleasing to the eye, though presumably red stitching and faux carbon fibre will rear their heads in the N-Line.

As for what will provide power for the i30 Sedan N-Line, details have not been confirmed yet. However, the regular i30 Sedan utilises a new Smartstream two-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder with a power output of 117kW.

2021 Hyundai i30 sedan Interior
The regular car’s interior. Expect the N-Line to be fairly similar.

It’s plausible that the brand’s 1.6-litre turbocharged direct-injection engine will carry over for 2021. Found in the current i30 N-Line hatch, that engine kicks 150kW and 265Nm to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

There has been no word on the hybrid powertrain slated for US market cars, though we doubt it will make it to the sportier N-Line Sedan.

Just like the non-sporty variants, the N-Line will very likely have an Australian specific suspension tune developed for it. However the settings will be on the more athletic side of comfortable, we presume.

2021 Hyundai i30 sedan Interior
A four-spoke steering wheel. Bring back the 90s.

Exact details will be confirmed closer to the launch of the N-Line sedan, and we’ll have more information as it becomes available 

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2021 Citroen C4 Dual 2021 Citroen C4 introduces EV tech and returns the quirkiness

Citroen is coming back – keeping up with and even innovating ahead of the curve with the all-new C4. The new car’s design references the delicate GS in its overall silhouette and will offer an all-electric powertrain.

While the original C4 was quirky in its own way – the detached rim steering wheel and in-built incense – it lacked powertrain substance to back up its exciting features.

That’s where Citroen is coming back to its innovative ways playing on the brand’s historic ingenuity to create a genuinely different option in what is a crowded segment and focusing on something they know well – comfort.

2021 Citroen C4 Front
The all-new C4 should stand out.

Buyers will have to make a left-field swing away from the competent Volkswagen Golf, Hyundai i30 and Ford Focus. Still, Citroen is promising that choice will reward with incredible comfort and funky technology the French are famous for.

Until the Volkswagen ID.3 arrives, it will be one of the only full EVs in its class, too. The charge comes from a 50kWh battery which equates to a 350km WLTP certified range and power output of 100kW/260Nm.

Fast-charging will see the battery charge to 80% in 30 minutes, while a home wall box will give the e-C4 a full complement of electrons in 7 hours and 30 minutes.

2021 Citroen C4 Rear 3/4
And now you can opt for an electric drive C4.

It’s the same power plant found in its Peugeot e-208 cousin, though the Citroen adds an extra 10km of range, that’s all down to this cars aerodynamic efficiency.

Sometimes the back-catalogue really does get it right, and Citroen has a pretty solid one of those. Head designer Pierre Leclerq revealed the similarities in the silhouette of the new C4 and old CX and GS models with their smooth Kamm tail profiles.

Naturally, the shape also hosts all the contemporary trends. A full width LED light signature sits behind a chrome grille and illuminates the central chevrons for a distinctive look. The C4 has also been raised for “more stance, more status” according to Mr Leclerq.

2021 Citroen C4 Side
Raised to somewhere between a sedan and SUV.

We aren’t quite sure if the C4 is really a coupe, sedan, hatchback, or SUV yet. But maybe that’s a good thing in a world where there are simply too many categories.

Citroen was quick to point out that there is “comfort in choice”, the C4 offers a total of 31 different exterior colour combinations. Initial impressions indicate an unmissable car, but we’ll hold off comment until we see the new C4 in the flesh.

“The very best of comfort” is what will set the C4 apart from its peers, says Citroen. That starts with driving comfort, there are no hydro-spheres to be found, but the brand has employed progressive hydraulic bump stops from its smooth-riding C5 Aircross.

2021 Citroen C4 Interior
The interior design is pleasing on first glance.

Inside this emphasis on comfort continues in the design with short, wide features accentuating the width of the interior to grant a feeling of space within. The design itself is simple and restrained, though it looks more upmarket than previous Citroen products.

The 10-inch tablet-style touchscreen looks to be running a very crisp, android-like infotainment software, inside there will be a head-up display and digital dashboard, though probably not across all C4 variants.

Citroen designers have not ignored seat comfort, they’re said to blend iconic design with specific padding and shaping for maximum comfort. Furthering the comfort in creation there is a smartly integrated tablet holder for “the co-driver” which will be a handy feature for motoring journalists furiously typing away on new-car launches.

2021 Citroen C4 Tablet
A stow-away tablet holder for the “co-driver”. Cool.

It sounds like the back seat hasn’t been forgotten either Ms Amar claimed “the best knee clearance for the second row on the market”. There’s also a 380-litre boot under that funky tailgate.

Project manager for the new C4, Audrey Amar, confidently stated that Citroen “think it will become the new reference for comfort in the car industry”.

Back to the “comfort in choice” – Citroen will sell the C4 in near any configuration, offering three-cylinder Puretech petrol engines in three states of tune and a choice of two BlueHDI diesel engines in Europe. Australian engine choice will be locked in later, though expect a smaller offering.

2021 Citroen C4 Light
And there’s a choice of nearly any powertrain.

Citroen promises the new C4 will be loaded with active safety and driver-assist technologies including Highway Driving Assist suite with adaptive cruise control, and high-speed AEB with pedestrian and cyclist detection.

Citroen Australia has not confirmed the arrival of the new C4 for our shores yet, though we hope the electric-powered e-C4 vehicle will arrive.

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BMW 220i Gran Coupe - 1 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe fills mid-range gap with 141kW 220i

BMW Australia has announced the imminent arrival of a new mid-spec variant in the 2 Series Gran Coupe line-up, the 220i, which will provide a sensible stop-gap between the three-pot 218i and potent M235i xDrive.

Power is up significantly over the 218i, with the two-litre turbocharged petrol engine in the 220i dishing out 141kW and 280Nm, 38kW and 60Nm more than the entry-level car.

The B58 in the 220i is actually identical to the current Mini Cooper S, and like that car, power will be sent to the front wheels exclusively via a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox with paddle shifters.

BMW 220i Gran Coupe - 2
The 220i is only distinguishable from the 218i by it’s badge, though this one is debadged.

Additional power and torque see the 220i drop its 0-100km/h time to 7.2 seconds, a whole 1.5 seconds faster than the 218i despite weighing 55kg more.

Both the 2 Series Gran Coupe and 1 Series line-up in Australia have lacked a solid mid-range – in the case of the 2 Series, there’s quite a gulf between the $49,990 ($55,022 driveaway) 218i and range-topping M235i xDrive at $72,990 ($80,126 driveaway).

That gap certainly hurt the 2 Series Gran Coupe’s chances against rivals like the Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan and CLA-Class and Audi A3 sedan in the small premium four-door class.

2020 BMW 2 Series GC - 2
The M235i is still the choice for backroad blasts.

The 220i is here to fill the gap, at $53,900 (driveaway pricing TBA), it’s only a $4,000 jump over the 218i it almost seems too good to be true, though the remaining specifications lifted from the entry-level car.

Not to say that isn’t generous – the 220i gets a head-up display, digital drivers display, a 10.25-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto, BMW’s latest iDrive system, LED lights and a wireless charging pad.

The interior of the 220i is finished with a set of manually-adjustable cloth-appointed seats; leather can be optioned for an extra $2,000. Electric adjustment is included in the $2,300 Comfort Package, which also nets heated front seats and keyless entry.

2020 BMW 2 Series GC - 5
Business as usual – though the 220i doesn’t get leather as standard.

As for active safety tech the 220i includes an automatic parking system, rear-view camera, rear cross-traffic alert, city-speed AEB and speed limit information. Adaptive cruise control is not standard but can be added in the driver assistance package for $1,231.

From the exterior, the 220i will be indistinguishable from the base model 218i – apart from the badge – sharing the same attractive 18-inch alloy wheels. It’s not what we would call a beautifully designed car, but some do fall for the 2 Series Gran Coupe’s charms.

While the M235i xDrive will still be the choice of those looking for a more engaging backroad companion, we reckon the new 220i Gran Coupe will be a real sweet spot in the range.

2020 BMW 2 Series GC - 6
One of the most straightforward modern interiors.

On that topic, we hope BMW will put this two-litre lump into a 1 Series hatch soon because that car is crying out for a mid-range rival to the Mercedes-Benz A250.

BMW Australia says cars will be arriving in the third quarter of this year and start from $53,900 (driveaway pricing TBA).

2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe pricing

218i Auto $49,990 ($55,022 driveaway)
220i Auto $53,990 (driveaway pricing TBA)
M235i xDrive Auto $72,990 ($80,126 driveaway)

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2021 Audi A3 Sedan - 6 Classy Audi A3 Sedan will join Sportback brother in 2021

Alongside the new A3 Sportback Audi has revealed a sleek four-door Sedan body style of its small car, a move that has historically been popular in Australia. The updated Sedan is due in Australia in the first half of 2021.

Small sedans seem to be cool again, with BMW’s latest effort – the polarising 2 Series Gran Coupe – and slick Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan already proving popular.

And first impressions are favourable for the A3 Sedan, Audi appears to have worked out the proportions of the small Sedan better than competitors. Instead of looking overly tall, the A3 Sedan looks on the surface just like a shrunken A4, a good thing we reckon.

2021 Audi A3 Sedan
The updated front end looks great, we think.

Crisp exterior lines enhanced by the pictured car’s S-line exterior package that brings a more generous front grille, chunkier side skirts and a lovely set of alloy wheels.

It’s the front end that’s most noticeably new, Audi’s hexagonal grille is flanked by fetching Matrix LED lights, with a slit between the bottom a homage to the original Audi Quattro.

Aerodynamics favour the Sedan body-shape, the latest A3 returns an impressive 0.25 cd, 0.04 points improved from the previous generation and 0.03 better than the new Sportback.

2021 Audi A3 Sedan - 4
Best-in-class virtual cockpit and seamless touchscreen integration.

The interior mirrors that of the new A3 Sportback with a 10.1-inch touchscreen nestled neatly into the centre stack and a pleasing lack of buttons. It’s hard to ignore Audi’s excellent 10.25-inch digital driver’s display which we think is best-in-class.

Based on the same MQB platform as before, the new A3 Sedan has grown 20mm in width to 1,820mm and 10mm in height to 1,430mm to alleviate the previous car’s headroom concerns. A 425-litre boot is pretty generous but remains identical to the outgoing A3 Sedan

Engines on offer in Europe include a turbocharged petrol dubbed 35 TFSI; it’s a 1.5-litre four-cylinder with outputs of 110kW and 250Nm. A six-speed manual is available, though Australians will favour the seven-speed dual-clutch ‘box.

2021 Audi A3 Sedan - 5
There’s no details of an S3… Yet.

Dual-clutch equipped A3 Sedans have the added benefit of a 48-volt MHEV system, allowing coasting and extended start-stop cycles for maximum frugality.

There’s also a two-litre diesel 35TDI producing 110kW and a generous 340Nm of torque. We presume Audi’s two-litre 40TFSI turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with its more generous outputs of 140kW and 320Nm will appear in reasonably short order.

It’s almost unquestionable that Audi will bring along several performance variants such as a warm S3 to compete with the BMW M235i and a feisty RS3 to take traffic-light GP honours from the manic AMG CLA 45 S.

2021 Audi A3 Sedan - 5
Very grown up for such a little thing.

In pictures the A3 Sedan certainly looks sharp, it might not be particularly extroverted, but even Audi refer to it as an “evolution”. With the recent resurgence of the small Sedan, it’s sure to be a hit when it arrives.

We’ll have more information about pricing and specification for the A3 Sedan closer to its launch in the first half of 2021.

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