Only offered in Europe, the Audi A3 Sportback is the five-door hatchback version of its compact line.
Despite the fact that it won’t be sold Stateside, much of the car’s styling cues will translate into the A3 sedan headed to North America. In Europe, the car comes with five engine options including a 2.0-liter turbo diesel that will make 184 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque and a 1.8-liter turbocharged gas burner capable of 180 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque while offering 42 mpg.
That mileage will doubtless be affected by which transmission the driver chooses as well. Audi is offering the choice between a six-speed manual or a dual-clutch gearbox featuring six or seven gears depending on engine choice.
The remaining gasoline engines are much smaller and less powerful and while it isn’t officially clear which powerpant will make it to our shores, the 1.8-liter version stands the best chance. Audi’s product would sell easiest on our shores with it, especially if it’s as efficient as the mpg rating claim would suggest.
A diesel variant could be in the cars given how gas conscious consumers are becoming, but it won’t happen any time soon if history is any indication. Still, paired with a Porsche-sourced dual-clutch gearbox, linear power delivery will feel fantastic just as it does in modern VW TDI products.
Built on Volkswagen’s new MQB modular architecture, the car enjoys significant weight loss just like the 2014 Golf it rides with. In this case, that means a being 188 lbs lighter, or 2656 lbs in total. That’s especially significant when you realize it’s also carrying the extra weight of a five-door hatch.
The car looks to be better handling as well. That’s thanks not only to the lighter curb weight, but also because of the option to choose a lower suspension from the factory — either 15 or 25 millimeters.
Inside, Audi fits the car with an infotainment system shown through either a 5.8-inch or 7-inch display. There’s also an optional 705-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system.
For now, the A3 Sportback offers the closest look at the A3 sedan bound to North America — just hold your thumb over part of the picture.