DRIVING along in a 128mph Audi capable of a 9.7 second 0-62mph sprint, you would not be blamed for thinking that there was a modern 2.0-litre engine lurking under the bonnet.
But no, the propelling force of the petrol fuelled Audi A3 1.0 TFSI Sport has a capacity of just 999cc and is endowed with just three cylinders.
Years ago the thought of such a tiny engine in a premium hatch would have been laughed at and condemned as the ravings of a deluded individual.
However, the progress of petrol engines in recent times has seen these engines become firm favourites for those who like their petrol power laced with a dash of economy.
And there is economy aplenty with a Combined mpg figure of 62.8mpg and low CO2 emissions of 107 g/km.
In normal driving the three-cylinder engine is silent and smooth but hammer it up the rev range and it emits a muted but pleasing growl. Power is fed via a six-speed manual gearbox which helps to get the absolute most out of this engine.
This engine is particularly suited to the A3, one of the most solid and trusted top end hatches on the market and which is now in its third generation with 20 years under its belt as a showroom star.
It shows that although there have been necessary changes along the way the original concept of the A3 was right in most areas. And now it is poised to take advantage of more modern power units.
I particularly liked the agile performance with instant throttle response aided by drive by wire technology. The chassis itself is excellent, but add te fine tunng of the Sport model and you get an experience once the preserve of highly expensive sports saloons.
Not to say that the 1.0 TFSI Sport is a cheapie because it is not, the test car, laden with some optional extras tipped the price scale at £27,310.
Inside it is premium all the way, the test vehicle being equipped with black Alcantara/leather upholstery and as far as equipment goes there is a new standard-fit smartphone interface.
One of the top options on this car was £1,395 advanced technology pack, which includes the impressive Audi 'virtual cockpit'. This features a high-resolution 12.3-inch screen rather than the traditional instrument binnacle.
You can actually switch between an analogue display, or infotainment mode with the navigation map or details of the radio, audio and phone settings taking prominence and the rev counter and speedometer being smaller.
This Sport version comes with 17-inch alloys, sports front seats, dual zone climate control, cruise control and a five-mode drive select system.