The Volkswagen Group’s original MQB-based model switched to the latest generation at the beginning of March when Audi introduced the revamped A3 Sportback. The posh premium hatch was supposed to make its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show that month, but the event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Four Rings said the first cars would be delivered to customers in May, and now a walkaround video with the Mercedes A-Class hatchback has emerged on YouTube.
Filmed by splice77 at a dealer in Sweden, this shiny new Navarra Blue example comes in a front-wheel-drive layout with a turbocharged 1.5-liter gasoline engine and a six-speed manual. Alternatively, the TFSI-powered A3 Sportback can be had with an optional seven-speed S Tronic. The only other engine available upon launch is the 2.0 TDI, available with two or three pedals.
If you want the Quattro badge, you’ll have to wait as initially, Audi will sell the new A3 in Europe exclusively in a front-wheel-drive configuration. The company promises to gradually expand the model’s lineup with additional engine choices, some of which will be electrified and some hooked up to an AWD system.
Since we didn’t get the chance to see it in Geneva, these walkaround videos are the next best thing. The blue paint suits the A3 nicely, but we’re anxious to see a higher-end derivative in an S Line specification. Even though this is far from being an upscale version of the car – as denoted by the blank buttons inside – it does have those fancy LED sequential turn signals.
It could use a larger set of wheels and we could do without the fake vents at the front and rear, while the piece of trim mimicking exhaust tips is not our cup of tea. Inside, the A3 is anything but spartan, featuring a generously sized infotainment and a digital instrument cluster. The cloth upholstery is a sign of a lesser trim, but we know some people actually prefer it over leather.
Customer demand will ultimately determine whether the generation change with its major exterior revisions and all-new interior will be a success, but the A3 is shaping up to be a hit once again. It will have to face some stiff competition coming from within the VW Group as the Golf, Skoda, and Leon are also new for 2020.
While the five-door hatch will remain a forbidden fruit in the United States, the recently introduced A3 Sedan is heading stateside where it will bring along its S3 and RS3 counterparts.