With the A4 now considerably larger than it used to be, there's space for a new compact sedan in Audi's lineup. And that's the all-new 2015 Audi A3 Sedan, which has been revealed today in regular A3 and sporty S3 trim.
Ahead of its official world debut at the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show on April 19, Audi has released the first details of the A3 Sedan range, as it will sell in the U.S., beginning in the first quarter of 2014.
The new A3 Sedan is compact, but not all that small. At nearly 176 inches long, with a 103.4-inch wheelbase, it's about the size of the original, first-generation A4 of the mid-to-late 1990s.
Although the new-generation A3 has already gone on sale in Europe as a three-door or five-door hatchback, it's coming to the U.S. either in five-door form, known as a Sportback, or as this stylish sedan.
And if that wasn't enough, a new A3 Cabriolet is also possible.
Engine variants will include 1.8-liter and 2.0-liter versions of the TFSI gasoline turbocharged direct-injected four-cylinders, along with the 2.0-liter TDI (turbo-diesel), and a higher-output version of the 2.0-liter, in the performance-oriented S3.
On top of these, Audi has confirmed that its A3 Sportback e-tron Plug-In Hybrid, revealed just last month at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, will also be offered in the U.S. This model will offer a peak output of 204 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, an electric-only range of about 30 miles and fuel economy approaching 100 mpg-equivalent.
The base 2015 Audi A3 will offer the 1.8-liter TFSI engine, which rates at 170 horsepower and sends drive to the front wheels only. Next in line is the 2.0-liter TDI, which rates at a lower 150 horsepower but should have a healthy torque rating.
The A3 e-tron Plug-In Hybrid features a 1.4-liter TFSI engine paired with an electric motor and delivers the aforementioned 204-horsepower peak rating.
At the top of the ladder is the 2.0-liter TFSI, which will be offered in the A3 quattro and sporty S3 all-wheel-drive models. Audi hasn’t released figures for this engine, but overseas it outputs as much as 300 horsepower.
All 2015 Audi A3 models will come standard with a six-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission. They also get Audi’s new ‘drive select’ function that allows the driver to adjust throttle response, shift points, and the electronic power steering. Similar to other Audi models, Audi drive select has four settings that include Auto, Dynamic, Comfort and Individual.
The new A3 will also offer a host of safety monitoring systems, including the standard Audi pre sense basic system, which helps detect when an emergency maneuver is being made and prepares the vehicle and its occupant restraint systems in advance of a possible collision.
The cars will also offers an optional driver assistance package, which includes Audi side assist, and adaptive cruise control with stop and go.
We'll have plenty more on the 2015 Audi A3, and its feature set, which looks to be one of the best of any compact premium car (including Audi connect mobile Internet, full-LED headlights, a revised MMI interface, and 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound). But in the meantime, study these first images of the A3 Sedan and let us know what you think: Is the 2015 Audi A3 bound for success?
(c) 2013, High Gear Media.