The compact A3 will soon have another engine choice along with the many engines available in the UK. The new low-displacement 1.2 TFSI will join the ranks, providing 105 hp and getting about 43 mpg thanks to the power of forced induction. The 1.2 TFSI engine is completely redesigned, and is very lightweight (only 197 lbs,) which Audi achieved after using an aluminum crankcase and a few tricks to keep the engine light.

Most of the engine’s torque is available at low RPMs (129 ft/lbs at 1,500 – 3,500 RPM) which helps keep the car feel responsive off the line. As expected from 1.5 hp, the 0-62 mph time is 11.1 seconds – slower than the Toyota Prius hybrid (though I’m sure it’s more fun.) Boost the turbo pressure a bit and you’ll get a few more horsepower out of it.

The 1.2 TFSI powered A3 will go on sale in Europe early next year with a FWD layout and 6-speed manual transmission, with more options coming later. I doubt the car will be available here in the States any time soon; I don’t see too many Americans going crazy over a 105 hp hatch, especially at the price of an Audi. I’m sure it will do well overseas though. In the mean time, I’ll go take a look at the A3 TDI.