Having shown off the concept version of the A3 sedan at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, Audi will likely debut the production version of that car at next year’s show, according to German enthusiast magazine Auto Motor und Sport. The Audi A3 will receive new styling in its next generation, and will also add more body styles for the European market. Also planned for the next-gen car are improvements in weight reduction, fuel economy, and multimedia features. Similar changes will also take place on the facelifted A4, which Auto Motor und Sport says will arrive by spring 2012 in Europe.
We last spied the next-generation Audi A3 in August, where it was covered up in black camouflage. Despite the camo treatment, the headlights were visible, showing a clear influence from the A3 sedan concept that bowed this year in Geneva. In addition to the sedan body style, Auto Motor und Sport says the A3 lineup will be comprised of five-door Sportback model (the only body style the U.S. has known) and a two-door convertible. Two different wheelbase lengths will be used, and the overall lengths of the A3’s three known body styles will also vary. One will reportedly measure roughly 167.7 inches long, and another slightly longer at about 174.8 inches. The car will be the first in the VW group to utilize the new modular transverse matrix architecture, a platform that will underpin future versions of the Volkswagen Golf, Polo, and Passat, as well as other Audi models like the A1. To keep weight down, composite materials will be used strategically throughout the body, along with an aluminum hood. Total weight savings are reported to be around 10 percent compared to the previous generation.
Speaking with Audi chief designer Stefan Sielaff, Auto Motor und Sport learned that the A3 is still a few months away from starting series production, as the process has been held up by board decisions. But what apparently has been decided upon is the improved tech features, as the next A3 will make use of a new multimedia interface (MMI) system. The screen for that system will reportedly be placed higher on the dash, to better position it in the driver’s field of vision. Drivers will be able to control the system through voice commands and a new touchpad located on the main control dial – similar to the ones now equipped in other Audi models. A rolling wi-fi hotspot will also be an option for the new A3, according to the German publication.
Sielaff also discussed the facelifted A4 with Auto Motor und Sport, saying the car will be visually understated, but will also feature revised headlight and taillight designs, highlighted by LED lighting technology. Also in the cards for the next A4 is a redesigned suspension and electro-mechanical power steering system, which will raise fuel economy along with the car’s improved aerodynamics. Power will also be improved from the current A4, with the Euro-market version of the car getting either a 170-hp 1.8-liter I-4, 272-hp 3.0-liter V-6, 177-hp 2.0-liter TDI diesel I-4, or a 3.0-liter TDI V-6 making between 204 and 245 hp. A 1.4-liter I-4 with cylinder deactivation technology is reportedly planned for the A3, but as we reported previously, TDI options as well as the A3 Concept’s 408-hp turbocharged 2.5-liter I-5 could be in store for the compact luxury sedan.
Source: Auto Motor und Sport