Production will soon begin of a new saloon version of the A3 as Audi boss Rupert Stadler has already given his approval. Ingolstadt insiders perceive this premium-priced four-door car to be a spiritual successor to the Audi 80.
This car, which is scheduled to be launched in the UK in 2013, will join the expanded third-generation lineup that includes the newly designed three-door hatchback, five-door Sportback and two-door cabriolet models.
Audi intends for this A3 saloon to be an entry-level model in the US and China, which are the two largest car markets in the world.
Audi also plans for the saloon to be positioned below the A4, which has added 220mm to its length since its arrival in 1994. The styling of the A3 saloon will have today’s family look and its length will be at 4.51 meters, making it a bit shorter than the new Volkswagen Jetta.
The A3 gets VW’s new MQB modular platform, which is less expensive and easier to build than the PQ35 platform. It has the same suspension layout, including the front struts and rear multi-link.
It is offered in both front and four-wheel drive. Petrol engine options range from a turbocharged 1.4-litre four to a 2.5-litre, five-cylinder turbo featured on an RS3 performance flagship. The diesel engines include 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre four-cylinder units. Audi also has a hybrid planned that’s based on the 1.4 turbo and lithium ion battery pack displayed on VW’s Compact Coupé concept.