Audi has issued these early sketches of a 408bhp, turbocharged, 2.5-litre five-cylinder A3-based saloon concept that will make its world debut at next week's Geneva motor show.
The new four-door, the existence of which was revealed by Autocar last year, previews an upcoming fourth variant of the A3 that Ingolstadt sources confirm will form part of a third-generation line-up due out in 2012. The range is also set to include similarly styled successors to today’s popular three-door hatchback, five-door Sportback and two-door cabriolet.
Conceived along similar lines to parent company Volkswagen’s latest Jetta and described as a spiritual successor to the original Audi 80, the new A3 variant is being looked upon to boost Audi sales in markets such as North America, China and Russia, where saloon body styles are traditionally favoured over hatchbacks.
“We’ve looked at the situation very carefully and come to the conclusion that a small sedan (saloon) positioned below the A4 has the potential to significantly increase sales penetration in a number of markets,” an Audi official told Autocar.