It’s a just a concept for now, but what you’re looking at is essentially the next-generation Audi A3, due out in the next few years.
Though billed as an A3, the car actually has more in common with the RS3, which also made the scene at the Geneva show. Under the hood is a 2.5-liter 408-horsepower turbocharged inline-five lifted from the RS3 and sending 369 pound-feet of torque to all four wheels through Audi’s Quattro all wheel-drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Less than 3400 pounds to haul should make it a seriously quick little car, and Audi’s quoting a 60 mph run time of just 4.1 seconds with a top speed of 155 mph.
There’s more to love inside. The current A3’s interior is rather plain and has aged quickly, but Audi wants to set that right. While familiar, it’s been updated with Audi’s latest MMI-Plus infotainment system with its fancy pop-up screen. Transmission control is done through push buttons and all four seats are cushy, well-bolstered buckets.
Astute readers will of course recognize that this car is also a sedan, not a hatchback like the current A3. Audi wants to increase the A3’s volume and a sedan model is an easy way to get it done. The car is well-finished and carries only a few styling eccentricities that wouldn’t likely make production, like its expensive high-end Bang and Olufsen stereo and all the carbon-fiber trim bits. Audi tells us that the next-generation A3 is due-up in 2012 as a 2013 in Europe and 2013 as a 2014 model in the U.S. Given how much more popular sedans are in the U.S., it could be a big hit.
For more on all the world debuts from Geneva, including more photos, videos and information, be sure to click over to Automobile Magazine’s 2011 Geneva Motor Show coverage.