2012 Paris Auto ShowJust the Facts:
- The all-new A3 is significantly lighter than the outgoing model.
- A high-performance S3 model based on the A3 will produce 300 horsepower.
PARIS — After many teases of the Audi A3 Sportback leading up to this week's Paris auto show, Audi showed the compact five-door hatchback to the crowd tonight at Volkswagen Group Night. VW Group Night is an event held the evening prior to the show and usually offers a sneak peek at the company's show plans.
Though the A3 Sportback TCNG dual-fuel was shown to a small group at a presentation near Munich earlier this week, VW Group Night marked the first time the standard model was revealed.
The new structure helps shave nearly 200 pounds from the car's curb weight. Its exterior dimensions are similar to the outgoing car, though the wheelbase has grown by 2.3 inches. Three engines will be available initially — a 1.6-liter TDI turbodiesel, and 1.4- and 1.8-liter turbocharged gasoline engines. All engines will be available with a choice of a six-speed manual or an S tronic dual-clutch automated manual gearbox.
A high-performance S3 variant packing a 300-horsepower turbocharged gasoline engine is in the pipeline, too. In 2014 a plug-in hybrid variant will be available as a production model.
Unfortunately for North American consumers, Audi has already gone on record with Edmunds saying the A3 Sportback will not be brought into the United States.
Edmunds says: Looks great, and the weight savings promises improved dynamics and fuel economy. It may be costly, though, so Audi's decision not to bring the A3 Sportback Stateside might be a reflection of its doubts about the size of the premium compact hatchback market here.