Audi confirms plans to launch an A3 saloon, billed as the spiritual successor to the 80
18 November 2010

Audi boss Rupert Stadler has given the production green light to a new saloon version of the A3 — a car Ingolstadt insiders describe as a spiritual successor to the Audi 80.

The premium-priced four-door, slated for a UK launch in 2013, will join newly designed three-door hatchback (pictured), five-door Sportback and two-door cabriolet models in an expanded third-generation line-up.

The A3 saloon is planned as an entry-level model in the world’s two largest car markets: the US and China. But Audi also sees the saloon as a car to slot below the A4, which has grown in length by 220mm since it arrived in 1994.

The A3 saloon’s styling is expected to follow today’s family look, and at 4.51 metres long it will be slightly shorter than the new Volkswagen Jetta.

Under the skin is VW’s new MQB modular platform, which is said to be cheaper and easier to make than today’s PQ35 platform. The suspension layout is the same — front struts and rear multi-link — and both front and four-wheel drive are available.

Petrol engines for the UK are likely to range from a turbocharged 1.4-litre four to a 2.5-litre, five-cylinder turbo powering an RS3 performance flagship. Among the diesels will be 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre four-cylinder units. Also planned is a hybrid based on the 1.4 turbo and lithium ion battery pack shown in VW’s Compact Coupé concept.

The A3 saloon will battle new compact four-doors from BMW and Mercedes: a still-secret booted version of the second-generation 1-series and a production version of Mercedes’ F800 Style concept, based on the new platform of the third-generation A-class.

 

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Comments
21

16 November 2010

Interesting to see they plan to do a hybrid version. Audi and Audi Sport's power train guru, Ulrich Baretzky in particular have been adamant that hybrids are not the future for the last few years and that they were going focus on full electric vehicles, range extender hybrids and super efficient, super light weight conventional petrol' and diesel cars instead...I wonder why they've suddenly changed their minds. That was my first thought when they unveiled the e-Tron hybrid concept (the third one with no roof). I hope it's not just due to public perception or that they now have in-house access to Porsche's hybrid systems.

16 November 2010

"Petrol engines for the UK are likely to range from a turbocharged 1.4-litre four..." Erm, have you forgotten the 1.2TSi? The saloon will be of very little relevance here as Brits prefer the hatchbacks, but I sure hope the hatch is styled slightly more adventurously then these images!

16 November 2010

Too big.... an e36 BMW 3-series was 4.43m long and I am sure the A3 will be no roomier nor better to drive....How do they expect their customers to park in cities???

16 November 2010

And why do we need a new Audi 80? Because the successor to the 80, the A4, has grown ridiculously in each subsequent generation and is now much bigger than the original 100/A6 and dwarfs its direct competitors. Why has it grown? Well, crash legislation has got a bit to do with it but mostly it is down to sheer design lazyness. It's easier to add inches and pounds that generate ingenuity when you want your product to stand out.

16 November 2010

4.51m is only fractionally shorter than the B6/B7 A4 (2000-2008) and, I think, longer than B5. Does Audi really need an A3 saloon that's not that much smaller than the current A4?

16 November 2010

[quote RobotBoogie]Why has it grown? Well, crash legislation has got a bit to do with it but mostly it is down to sheer design lazyness. It's easier to add inches and pounds that generate ingenuity when you want your product to stand out.[/quote]

No - it's product-planners and who dictate dimensions and platforms. Designers works around hard-points given to them.

16 November 2010

[quote Quattro369] The saloon will be of very little relevance here as Brits prefer the hatchbacks, but I sure hope the hatch is styled slightly more adventurously then these images[/quote]

This looks like a hatch to me. Certainly not a three box saloon that's for sure

16 November 2010

"Brits prefer the hatchbacks"

...but only in sub-premium cars. Hatchbacks are for the Ikea generation, i.e., people who can't afford to have things delivered/all the family are working so there is nobody at home to accept deliveries.

16 November 2010

[quote michael knight]

[quote RobotBoogie]Why has it grown? Well, crash legislation has got a bit to do with it but mostly it is down to sheer design lazyness. It's easier to add inches and pounds that generate ingenuity when you want your product to stand out.[/quote]

No - it's product-planners and who dictate dimensions and platforms. Designers works around hard-points given to them.

[/quote]

Whatever the reasons its that riduculous process again, make each incarnation of a model a bit bigger, then, surprise surprise, you end up having to slot another model in below because youve left a gap lower down your ranges.

Do consumers really demand that each model gets larger? If I wanted something bigger I'd just buy the next model up.

16 November 2010

What b*llocks why don't they just say that its a niche they haven't filled so "here we have a smaller Audi saloon".

I've been around Audi's all my life as my dad always drove an Audi 80 for as long as I can remember (I'm 40) and I ran his last one, a B4, for 10 years and currently have 2 A6's so which 80 is this car the "in the spirit of".

Is it the B1 and B2 which where equal in size to the Passat and where family saloons?

Or is it the B3 and B4 which became compact executive cars to chase the 3 series market?

Or is it drivel thought up by some marketing guy who thinks none of the target market will be old enough to remember or have driven the 80 and will believe his cr*p?

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