AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
A selection of leaked images are providing a clear picture of the next generation Audi A3 hatchback.
The photos, leaked by ZR.ru, clearly show Audi’s big hexagonal grille and the sharp lines running from where that mouth meets the pointed headlights, all the way to the windshield. Details on the car aren’t out yet, but should emerge in advance of its release expected later this year. Look for several diesel options for Europe, as well as Audi’s 2.0T gasoline engine.
The A3 is based on Volkswagen Group’s new MQB versatile platform, which is said to eventually become the underpinnings for as many as 60 models.
Traditionally, Audi always releases new products in Europe well ahead of bringing them stateside. In the past, we’ve reported that the A3 hatchback will actually be discontinued in the U.S. in favor of a more Americanized sedan.
In either case we’ll be watching to see what happens next. For now you can look at our gallery below and weigh in under the comments section.
GALLERY: 2013 Audi A3 Hatchback leaked
Hatchbacks have their place in the U.S. but the term evokes a less-than-sporty image that sullies the sexy feel luxury manufacturers seek to embody.
That opinion is probably part of the reason why Audi is discontinuing the hatchback A3 for North America with the 2014 model year. Hatchbacks can make fantastic use of a relatively small space— at an aesthetic cost to some. While the decision may be frustrating to certain consumers, it will be hard to argue with the distincly Audi and definitely sexy new A3.
We got our first look at the A3 sedan during last year’s Geneva Auto Show, when the car was billed as a concept. At the time, Audi had a 408-hp turbocharged 5 cylinder shoehorned into the concept, which was actually about 6 inches longer than the A3 hatchback. It’s unlikely that we’ll see such a serious engine in the production model slated for North America, though our hopes still remain for an RS3 version.
Instead, a 2.0-liter 4 cylinder and a diesel option stand much better chances of shipping under the hood. The A3 is aimed directly at entry-level luxury consumers, young professionals who would be scared off by otherwise high luxury price tags. That means you can expect similar craftsmanship as other Audi interiors, albeit at a lower starting price of around $30,000.
GALLERY: 2014 Audi A3 Sedan
[Source: Road & Track]
They’ve given us a big eTron coupe, a little eTron coupe and a spyder, but now with their fourth version, the folks at Ingolstadt have decided to take a more conventional route.
This fourth eTron concept by Audi, is based on the A3 Sedan concept and sports a gasoline/electric hybrid drivetrain. If you perhaps recognize it, that’s because it’s a development of the concept sedan shown in Geneva back in March and debuted this week in Shanghai.
Under the hood is a 1.4-liter turbocharged and direct injected gasoline four-cylinder engine, along with a 20 kW electric motor. Together the motor and gas engine generate 238 horsepower, while transmitting power to the wheels is a seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transaxle.
Of course to generate power, the electric motor requires stored energy, thus under the back seat of this new eTron you’ll find a series of lithium-ion batteries. According to Audi, these batteries are charged by the car’s standard energy recovery system and on electric power alone, maximum range is said to be 34 miles (54 km). Add assistance from the gas engine and this latest eTron is apparently capable of sprinting to 62 mph (100 km/h) from rest in just 6.8 seconds and will go on to a top speed of 144 mph (237 km/h for you metric people).
Out of all the eTron concepts we’ve been teased with over the last few years, this one is by far the most likely to make it into production, at least in the short term. Question is, will it?
GALLERY: Audi A3 eTron Sedan
Companies like Audi have been at the forefront of the small premium car segment and with American buyers finally moving away from the idea that luxury means large, Audi is planning to meet that demand with a new model – the A3 sedan.
Planned for 2012 as a 2013 model, the A3 sedan will also help to draw in premium car buyers who might be open to small luxury cars, but not to the idea of a small luxury hatchback.
Expect the new A3 sedan to be offered with either a front drive and quattro all-wheel drive setup, with power coming from (what else?) the company’s turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder.
With sales of the A3 sedan likely to overtake the hatchback rather quickly, if demand for the car is significant, Audi might finally see fit to deliver a high-performance S3 model (currently offered in hatchback from in Europe) in North America.