Just like Porsche, Audi decided to resort to online platforms for the unveiling of the all-new Audi A3 premium hatchback, no thanks to the COVID-19 outbreaks that have led to the cancellation of the Geneva Motor Show. Now in its fourth generation, the Audi A3 gets redesigned from the ground up, challenging the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and BMW 1 Series for dominance in the compact luxury hatchback market.
The new Audi A3 wears the German automaker’s latest design language—eschewing the conservative shapes of its predecessor for a more dynamic appearance. The all-new Audi A3’s front fascia is characterized by the brand’s signature Singleframe grille along with large air inlets at the side. The sharp LED headlights, which can be equipped with matrix technology, gives the A3 a very sporty look. Broad shoulders give the all-new A3 a wider, road-hugging stance. On to the rear, the all-new Audi A3’s rear fascia likewise looks more sporty, complemented by a pair of slim LED taillights that cast a striking glow at night.
The all-new A3’s interior is a huge upgrade from its predecessor. Like the exterior, the interior details are very aggressive, with the driver-side aircon vents jutting out of the dashboard surface. A 10.3-inch touch screen MMI infotainment system is offered as standard, while the 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit digital gauge cluster is an optional extra, along with a color head-up display.
Of course, as with most modern cars nowadays, the A3 can be fitted with various semi-autonomous driver-assist systems, such as automatic emergency braking, full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, among others.
At least in Europe, the A3 will be available with three engine choices. The range kicks-off with a 1.5-liter inline-4 turbocharged petrol engine that produces 150 hp and a 2.0-liter inline-4 turbo diesel that produces 116 hp or 150 hp. This can be mated to a 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. For now, the A3 is only front-wheel-drive (FWD), with Quattro AWD being added later along with more powerful engines.
Interestingly, opting for the more powerful engine options will also give the all-new A3 a four-link independent rear suspension, which means that a torsion beam rear suspension is offered as standard on the less powerful versions. The independent suspension can be fitted with adaptive damping, which drops the body by 10 mm, while the sport suspension, which is standard with the S Line package and optional without it, drops the A3 by 15 mm.
The all-new Audi A3 will initially go on sale in Europe this March with deliveries starting in May.