The Audi A3 line-up looks to be getting a revamp when the fourth-generation model arrives in 2019.
Reacting to dwindling demand for the three-door hatchback version of the A3, Audi officials have indicated to Autocar that this will likely be dropped as part of a model consolidation programme instigated as part of the cost-cutting initiatives in the wake of the Volkswagen Group’s Dieselgate emissions cheating scandal.
This will leave the successor to today’s five-door A3 Sportback as the only traditional hatchback model in the new line-up, according to Audi sources.
Joining the five-door hatchback version of the A3 from 2020 will be a new version of the of the popular four-door A3 Saloon, which will grow slightly in order to provide it with improved rear leg room and boot space.
Although not yet confirmed for production, Audi has also initiated development of a third A3 variant for sale from 2021 in the form of a five-door liftback, which could take over the A3 Sportback name.
With Mercedes-Benz having already announced it will introduce a new A-Class Saloon as well as successor models to today’s CLA and CLA Shooting Brake, and with word that BMW is set to take its currently China-only 1 Series Saloon into global markets in 2020, senior Audi officials are said to be pushing hard for the liftback model, which has been conceived as a more sporting alternative to the A3 Saloon in the same way as today's A5 Sportback is positioned against the A4.