It promises to be the most advanced car in its class.
With the reveal of the all-new Mercedes A-Class and CLA-Class, Audi now has some stiff competition in the sub-compact luxury sedan segment. The current A3, S3, and RS3 were fantastic cars when they were first revealed but now have some catching up to do in order to match Mercedes. Audi is currently working on the next-generation A3, which will likely arrive in the US as a 2021 model year, meaning the 2020 model year should just be a continuation of the current car.
The next-generation A3 has been delayed by over a year as Audi prioritized electric e-tron models in the aftermath of the Dieselgate scandal. But speaking to Autocar, an unnamed Audi executive said the next A3 is coming and it will be the most advanced car in its segment.
"It is better in every way, especially the interior, which is a real strong point and brings a true premium feel and digital features you otherwise only find in the luxury class," the anonymous source said. "We've also spent a lot of time on improving refinement, especially the ride quality, which our latest tests show place it right at the top of its class. With the move towards partial electric propulsion in plug-in hybrids, where there is no influence from mechanical noise developed by the engine, this particular area of development is more important than ever."
The design will borrow inspiration from the Europe-only Audi A1 and the all-new Q3, sitting on an updated version of Volkswagen's MQB architecture. This new platform will enable both hybrid and plug-in hybrid drivetrains during its seven-year product cycle and will include 5G-enable autonomous driving functionality.
The US will only receive the A3 as a four-door sedan while Europe will also get a five-door hatchback - the three-door hatchback and convertible models will be discontinued. Audi also plans to introduce an Allroad version based on the hatchback by 2021, though it remains to be seen if it will be sold in the US. The high-powered RS3 will also see an update in 2020 but likely won't arrive in the US until 2021.