Will the new mild-hybrid option come to the US?
We knew this was coming and it's finally here. Meet the refreshed 2021 Audi A3 Sedan with its bold new look and updated technology features.
Although it rides on the same MQB platform as its predecessor, Audi considers this to be the fourth-generation model. However, its overall dimensions are about the same as before. The 2021 A3 is about 1.6 inches longer than the outgoing model, but its wheelbase length remains unchanged. Audi has managed to increase interior space, however, specifically shoulder and elbow-length by less than an inch. Trunk space remains unchanged at 15 cubic feet.
Styling-wise, the A3 Sedan gains the automaker's large Singleframe honeycomb grille, now flanked by standard trapezoidal LED headlights. Daytime LED running lights now feature unique light signatures according to trim level. The new taillight design resembles what's found on the Q3 crossover.
Step inside and you'll find a far more sophisticated-looking interior. Instead of the old pop-up infotainment screen there's now a 10.1-inch display integrated into the center console. The MIB infotainment system is standard and is available with an LTE connection and WiFi hotspot. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard while the latest MMI navigation system is optional. The German automaker's cool Virtual Cockpit 10.3-inch digital gauge cluster is also standard. A 12.3-inch cluster and head-up display are optional.
Like the exterior, Audi has given the interior a hexagonal styling theme, specifically with the air vents and around the door panels. Notice the new shift-by-wire gear selector and engine start/stop button, too.
Under the hood remains a bit of a mystery, at least for the US. The A3 Sedan you're looking at here is the Euro-spec version and it'll be offered in three powertrains: two 1.5-liter TFSI three-cylinder engines and a 2.0-liter TDI. One of these TFSIs is paired with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, though it's uncertain whether this tech will arrive stateside. More than likely, the US-spec model will come powered by an updated version of the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch.
Down the line, a hotter S3 and RS3 will arrive and there's a good chance a plug-in variant is also planned. Given that what we're looking at is only the base model, those more powerful versions are going to look fantastic.
Official pricing hasn't been announced but Audi says deliveries are set to begin sometime later this year, assuming there won't be any delays. The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe and Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan are about to get some serious new competition.