Audi is expecting a new sedan version of its A3 compact car to outsell the other variants -- hatchback and convertible – thereby helping it inch closer on BMW in global luxury car sales. Audi spokesman Josef Schlossmacher remarked that they expect that every second A3 customer to choose the sedan in the future.
Audi is commencing the production of the A3 sedan at its Gyor site in Hungary. Audi is targeting the A3 sedan mainly towards customers in the United States and China, where sedans are in demand more than in Europe.
Audi will roll out the A3 sedan in Europe in the third quarter of 2013, with a base price of about EUR25,000 ($32,150) in Germany. The carmaker will start selling the A3 sedan in the US early 2014 and in China at the end of this year. Audi is planning to open a plant in Foshan, China, later this year to build the A3 sedan for the local Chinese market.
Audi has poured in over EUR900 million ($1.2 billion) to expand the Gyor site, which is considered as one of the largest engine manufacturing plants in the world. The site also builds the TT sports car and the A3 convertible. The expansion will allow Audi to triple the site’s annual car production to 125,000 vehicles.
Audi’s profit plays a vital role in financing a strategy by parent Volkswagen Group to surpass world sales leaders Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors Co. as the biggest carmaker in the world by 2018. Audi accounted for 56 percent of the group's operating profit in the first profit of 2013. VW chief executive Martin Winterkorn vowed in April 2013 to increase its presence in the luxury car segment.
Audi gave the new A3 Sedan with a sporty on-the-road stance as well as with as styling that isn’t just precise, but is also expressive. After all, the design of the new A3 sedan could be considered as a fusion of the classic three-box concept and a typical coupe. Its sides are marked by the so-called "tornado line," which gives rise to distinct light-refracting edge running through the flanks. This dynamic line rises above the side sills sharper than other versions of the A3. Likewise, the surfaces on the sides of the new A3 Sedan are more curved, with the wheel arches now slightly more flared.
The new Audi A3 Sedan measures 4.46 meters (14.63 ft) in length, 1.80 meters (5.91 ft) in height, 1.80 meters (5.91 ft) in width and 1.42 meters (4.66 ft) in height, with a wheelbase of 2.64 meter (8.66 ft) and short overhangs. This means that compared to the A3 Sportback, the new A3 sedan is wider by 11 mm (0.43 in) and lower by nine mm (0.35 in).
Interestingly, the new Audi A3 sedan features independent lines on its bonnet contour and on the bumpers as well as on air intakes and on the singleframe grille. Audi plans to offer full-LED headlights at market launch in order to further underscore the positioning of the Audi A3 Sedan. Meanwhile the rear spoiler of the A3 Sedan has been integrated in the trunk lid with the lights – available as LED units – to help highlight the four-door’s horizontal lines.
Powered by a 1.4-liter TFSI engine, the new Audi A3 Sedan features a curb weight of 1,250 kg (2,755.78 lb), which is thanks to the use of aluminum on the engine hood as well as stiff hot-shaped steel parts in the passenger compartment. Audi has made sure that the four-door is provided with a body that isn’t just rigid and crash-safe but is also quiet. Audi also applied lightweight design principles on the interior and engines of the new Audi A3 Sedan. In fact, the sedan’s four-cylinder mill has a weight of just over 100 kg (220.46 lb).