Audi’s newest A3 is spotted testing again, with a coupé model set to join the hatch, saloon and cabriolet models in the 2019 line-up
Audi’s all-new A3 has been spied testing again with a different set of alloy wheels, marking the second time we’ve seen it on public roads.
Still under development, the fourth generation of the Mercedes A-Class rival will be one of Audi’s most important cars leading into the next decade, as the current A3 is the brand’s best-selling car in Europe. We expect the new Audi A3 line-up to include a five-door hatchback, a saloon and a cabriolet, with the current three-door model being replaced by a sportier coupe variant.
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From what we can tell from this heavily-camouflaged test mule, the new A3’s styling is unlikely to take a radical departure from the previous model. Overall the shape remains similar, but the front grille has widened and the rear lights take on a more sharply cut design.
We still haven’t seen inside the next-generation car, but we’re expecting more advanced interior tech. As with Audi’s recently revealed Q3, expect a touchscreen display measuring up to 10.1 inches depending on trim level.
As with the Q3 SUV, traditional analogue dials will be replaced by the firm’s Virtual Cockpit set-up, displayed on a 10.25-inch screen on base models and a 12.3-inch display on others.
The next A3 will use an updated version of the current model’s MQB platform. It’ll share a layout that’s set to make its debut on the Volkswagen Golf in the middle of next year, with the new A3 sporting a longer wheelbase and a wider body compared with the car it replaces. Developments to the platform should ensure that despite an increase in size, the A3’s overall weight should decrease slightly, improving both performance and fuel efficiency.
The fuel economy figures will get a further boost thanks to the introduction of mild-hybrid tech. Petrol power will make up most of the A3’s engine line-up, but diesel is still likely to feature.
As with the larger A6, the mild-hybrid set-up is likely to take the form of a belt- alternator starter that’s powered by a 48-volt electrical system, enabling the A3 to coast at idle, and a keener stop/start system to save fuel.
A full plug-in hybrid will feature, as it does in the current version, although improvements in battery and motor technology should result in an increase in range and performance relative to the current A3 e-tron. The range will still be topped out by hot S3 and RS 3 variants.
The extra tech and increased size mean that prices are set to rise slightly over the Mk3 model, so expect a starting figure of around £20,000 when the new A3 hits the UK in 2020.
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