Audi has released the first images of the sedan version of its A3 compact line that will target young luxury car buyers, pitting it against the Mercedes-Benz CLA. Audi will target the A3 sedan towards customers in the United States and China, where sedans are more in demand than in Europe.
Audi will roll out the A3 sedan in Europe late in the summer with a starting price of around EUR25,000 ($32,150) in Germany. The carmaker will roll out the version in the US in early 2014 and in China at the end of this year. The A3 sedan is expected to have a starting price of below $30,000 in the US to compete with the CLA, which has a base tag of EUR28,977 in Germany.
Mercedes, on the other hand, will roll out the CLA in Europe next month, in the US in September and in China in February 2013. The A3 sedan intended for Europe and North American will be produced at Audi’s Gyor plant in Hungary, while the vehicle targeted for China will be built at the carmaker’s Foshan site in southern China.
Although the sedan version of the Audi A3 was unveiled on the eve of the New York auto show, it will not be displayed on the show floor this week. The A3 sedan will have its public debut at the Shanghai auto show slated April, which shows Audi’s high expectations for the model in China.
According to Audi of America President Scott Keogh, the A3 sedan will sport high-tech features in demand with young luxury buyers. The sedan will be the first Audi model to be fitted with a new infotainment system featuring the NVIDIA Tegra computing system. It will feature wireless 4G connectivity and an Audi "phone box," which is designed to boost cellular phone signal.
The Audi A3 comes across as the median between a coupe and the classic three-box concept car. With Audi’s iconic tornado line present in its design as it runs over the entire side to produce distinct light-refracting edge, the Audi A3 comes off as a full expression of precision and power.
A3 sedan measures 1.80 meters wide (5.91 feet), which is 11 mm more than the A3 Sportback. The sedan is 1.42 meters (4.66 feet) high which makes its 9 mm shorter than the Sportback. The four-door sedan is 4.46 meters (14.63 feet) long with a wheelbase that measures 2.64 meters (8.66 feet) long.
Aside from the iconic tornado lines, the new Audi A3 also is adorned with lines that are dynamic and bolder compared to other A3 models. The new Audi A3 has horizontal lines that become more pronounced because of its low and broad cuts. Lines are also emphasized in the hood contour, the air intakes, the singleframe grille, and the bumpers.
Audi will make available full-LED headlights which will showcase the advanced technology and unique sporty appearance of the Audi A3 sedan. Further highlighting the sporty coupe-like look of the Audi A3 are the slightly more flared wheel arches and exquisitely curved side surfaces.