Hi-tech new Audi A3 spotted testing, while a coupe model is set to join the hatch, Saloon and Cabriolet models in the line-up
Audi is deep into the development phase of its all-new A3, and these exclusive spy shots are the first time we’ve seen it out testing in public.
The fourth generation of the Mercedes A-Class rival will be one of the brand’s most vital cars leading into the next decade because the current A3 is Ingolstadt’s best-selling car in Europe. Auto Express expects the next line-up to expand to include a five-door hatchback, Saloon and Cabriolet ranges, while the three-door will be dropped in favour of a coupe.
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The styling isn’t likely to take a radical departure from the previous model. Through the heavy camouflage worn by the car in these images, we can see the overall shape remains similar, but its front grille has grown wider and the tail-lights are set to cut a sharper shape.
Image 8 of 14
Image 8 of 14
We’ve yet to sneak a peek inside the next-generation car, but we’re anticipating 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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