The latest version of the Audi A3 diesel will become the most efficient and economical vehicle in the small premium sector thanks to new stop/start technology.

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In the three- and five-door models, the stop/start 103kW 2.0-litre TDI drops fuel economy to 3.66 litres/100km combined and cuts CO2 emissions by 16 per cent to 115g/km.

The Cabriolet boasts similar reductions, now managing 3.83 litres/100km and 119g/km CO2.

But Audi Australia corporate communications general manager, Anna Burgdorf, said a frugal A3 with the stop/start diesel system is still a few years away for local customers.

“The A3 will be likely to get stop/start technology but it won’t be that model for Australia. We probably won’t see it until the next model generation.”

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The stop/start system cuts engine power at idle when the clutch pedal is released and the gear lever is in its neutral position then restarts in two-tenths of a second when the clutch is depressed.

Regenerative braking provides further fuel and CO2 savings by recycling wasted kinetic energy and storing it temporarily in the battery to reduce the engine load when the car accelerates again.

While the upgrade applies immediately in the UK and parts of Europe, Burgdorf said the decision to delay its arrival had to do with Australia’s climate.

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“At the moment because Australia is classified as a hot country that car is not available to us, but we will definitely have stop/start technology in Australia next year,” she said.

Burgdorf confirmed that the new system will be introduced on the A4 and A5 early next year.

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All three models have been success stories for Audi Australia this year, with A3/A3 Convertible sales increasing YTD by 31 per cent, while the A4 is up 2.5 per cent and the A5 up 59.3 per cent.