The third generation of the A3 will be lighter and more fuel-efficient than its predecessor while Audi will expand the range to include more variants.
In an interview with German magazine Auto Motor und Sport, Audi’s chief designer Stefan Sielaff said that the company's answer to the BMW 1-Series and the upcoming Mercedes-Benz A-Class will “clearly be recognizable as an A3".
This means that the new model’s design will be an evolution of the current model, adopting the brand's newer styling elements such as the six-point front grille.
Sielaff stated that the company is investing a lot in the new A3’s “precision and quality, so that the customer understands what he spends his money on.”
The new A3 will be the first model to be based on the VW Group's new MQB modular platform architecture, which will underpin a variety of models ranging from the Polo to the Passat. The new platform is designed for transverse engine application, but is flexible enough to be used in cars that vary significantly in size.
This flexibility will also be applied to the A3, which will be offered in four body styles sporting two different wheelbases. Apart from the three-door and convertible models that will measure 4.26 m in length and feature a 2,595 mm-long wheelbase, the A3’s range will also include five-door Sportback and four-door sedan models, both with a 2,630 mm-long wheelbase.
“We have basically created two couples, similar to the Audi A4 and A5 range”, says Sielaff. “The front end will be identical in all four versions, but the sedan and convertible will have wider wheel arches and slightly different shape to the side panels and rear lights.”
Sielaff also reveals that the interior of the A3’s production version will be identical to that of the Shanghai Motor Show's A3 e-tron concept sans the white leather covering the dashboard. Its main features include the four round air vents, the wider center console with the integrated MMI multimedia controls and the pop-up screen at the top of the dashboard.
The all-new A3 will be around 10 percent lighter than its predecessor and among other powerplants, will get the VW Group's new 140HP turbocharged 1.4-liter TFSI engine with a cylinder deactivation system that enables it to work on two cylinders on partial loads, thus contributing to the new model’s lower consumption.
With less than six months remaining before its official launch, the A3 is practically ready. Sielaff, however, ends with another revelation concerning Audi’s plans: “We are currently working on the TT successor, the new Q7, the R8 successor and the next A4/A5 family.”
Story References: Automotorsport