Audi is hard at work on the next generation of A3, which is set to debut in 2020. It’s not just giving the new A3 the usual tweak and upgrade, though. Instead, the entire Audi A3 family is becoming more premium, more refined and even more high-tech. According to the folks in Ingolstadt, the next-gen A3 will lead its class in a lot of areas when it releases next year.
When speaking to Autocar, a source inside Audi stated “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,” they told Autocar. “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.”
There’s a lot to unpack just from that quote. First is obviously the interior. Of course the A3’s cabin is going to be upgraded with its new generation but it seems as if Audi is going to try and make it more premium, possibly trying to move the A3 a bit more upmarket. Then there’s the ride quality bit, mostly in regard to electrification. The Audi source seems to claim that NVH (Noise Vibration Harshness) has been drastically improved with EV powertrains in mind.
Does this mean we’re going to be getting a fully-electric Audi A3? There’s certainly going to be another plug-in hybrid variant to replace the Audi A3 e-tron, likely with the same new TFSI-e moniker that other new hybrid Audis get. Hopefully it’s better than the previous model, which feels like an afterthought because it is one. We also hope that a fully-BEV model debuts alongside of it or maybe even in place of it.
When the new Audi A3 finally goes on sale, it will launch in just two configurations: five-door hatchback and four-door sedan. The three-door hatchback is out, due to lack of demand, and so too is the A3 Cabriolet. Those two models are dead for the foreseeable future. However, the A3 model family will gain a couple of new variants.
There will be a sort of Audi A3 Allroad (potentially codenamed “City-Hopper”), something with a higher ride height, plastic body cladding and potentially even all-terrain tires. Along with that, a five-door liftback A3 variant, similar to the A5 Sportback, will be made. Though, the latter model will be delayed until at least 2021, due to some manufacturing capacity issues.
This source from Autocar also claims that the next-gen Audi A3 will be the best handling car in its class. That’s a bit interesting because the current car certainly is not. It’s a nice car to drive and is fun but it’s not the best driving hatchback/sedan in its class. Both the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and Volkswagen Golf are more fun cars to drive and the BMW 1 Series has just debuted and is likely more fun. So we’re hoping this source is right about the next model.
In terms of styling and design, we’ve seen some spy photos of the new A3 and it does look sportier and more premium from what we can see. It has more body lines, sharp creases and aggressive design touches. So it should be a better looking car than its predecessor as well.
We won’t see the 2020 Audi A3 for a little while but we can’t wait. There’s a lot of buzz building around it and it could be a very important model for the brand moving forward.