THE Audi A3 has been named World Car of the Year.
Judges lauded the A3's ride, good looks and choice of engines.
The Audi A3 was chosen from an initial entry list of 24 vehicles from all over the world, then a short list of 12, then three finalists: The BMW 4 Series, the Mazda 3 and the Audi A3.
The World Car Awards judges said, "It might borrow styling hints from its bigger brothers, but the A3 still offers classic, chiseled contours and even better interior trim levels. With a superb choice of engines and four body styles, the A3 range packs a hefty premium punch in the small luxury segment. Audi should be complimented for making this A3 ride like no other A3. All the old shimmer over rough surfaces has gone, replaced by a silky smooth ride that approaches limousine quality".
The new Audi A3 is available in Australia as a five-door Sportback model, a brand new sedan body type, and will soon also be available as a cabriolet (from July 2014). It is currently powered by a highly-efficient range of TFSI petrol and TDI diesel engines, and in 2015 the A3 Sportback will be available as an 'e-tron' model with a plug-in hybrid drive system that enables journeys of up to 50 kilometres in all-electric mode.
Audi Australia's managing director Andrew Doyle said the company is extremely proud of the news which officially confirms the significance of this new model.
"The third generation of the Audi A3 was first launched in Australia in May 2013, and since launch it has proven to be a very strong seller in Australia, even with the stiff competition that it faces in the market," Mr Doyle said.
"To-date, sales of the Audi A3 Sportback have increased by 155 % (March 2014 year-to-date vs March 2013) thanks to its combination of strong design, innovative and intuitive technology from the larger class and great performance. The addition of the A3 Sedan in January this year has also increased the popularity of this model for Australian customers.
"We feel very proud that every current and future A3 customer in Australia can confirm that they are driving the best car in the world," Mr Doyle said.
Meanwhile, the luxury title was secured by the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
Porsche ruled the sporting realm, with the 911 GT3 named World Performance Car, while the new electric BMW i3 won both design and green category honours.
2014 World Car of the Year - Audi A3
2014 World Luxury Car - Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
2014 World Performance Car - Porsche 911 GT3
2014 World Car Design of the Year - BMW i3
2014 World Green Car - BMW i3