Three-door hatchback version of the A3 to be dropped when 2019 model arrives; five-door liftback variant is under consideration for 2021
7 August 2017

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.

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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.

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7 August 2017

popular four-door A3 Saloon, which will grow slightly in order to provide it with improved rear leg room and boot space.

Surely that is the purpose of the A4, but as the A3 grows so will the A4 and so on, cars getting unnecessarily larger with each replacement, until they introduce a new smaller model. How long before the up is the size of a golf etc.

7 August 2017
The 3 door needs a sleeker coupe style body like the Astra coupe. That would sell. It wouldn't compete with the TT either.

7 August 2017

Words like "Liftback" and "Sportback" have no intrinsic meaning. They may as well call the "Tndfjfkvnf" and then go on to explain what they mean. So, they'll have a sportback and might add a liftback and both will have the same number of doors. Moreover, there will be "a five-door liftback, which could take over the A3 Sportback name". Fascinating. Not at all confusing.

7 August 2017

Er... you might want to re-read this again:

"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." 

Audi already has a five-door A3. How would a second five-door A3 be different? Comparing this "plan" to A5 vs A4 isn't apples to apples, as there is no five-door A4 t compare with the five-door A5.

7 August 2017

No idea what this means. 

so is the lift back an A3 version of the scirocco? Part coupe part Hatchback? A Squashed a3 3 door? As opposed to the a3 hatchback which has a lifting back but 5 doors? 

Still none the wiser. 

Spanner

7 August 2017

...that I'm not the only one who was confused as heck after reading that article! I actually had to read it twice, scratched my head and looked for the comments, but there were none this morning.

After getting home this evening and giving it another try, I was still none the wiser. And then I read the comments. I feel much better now!

7 August 2017

What is a liftback?

So apperantly Audi are simplifying/consolidating their range.  But hold on a minute, they are adding a liftback, whatever that is.

7 August 2017

Right, so to "save money" Audi is going to drop the three door hatch and instead replace it with ANOTHER 5 door A3 with different styling ? So, no 3 door A3, but TWO 5 door A3s ? How exactly is this going to save them any money Autocar ??

XXXX just went POP.

8 August 2017

"Setback"?

8 August 2017

In the last paragraph, the A-Class saloon and the CLA are mentioned.

So, I guess, Audi wants to drop the 3-door and replace it with a "coupish" 5-door to compete with the CLA.

The A3 line-up would be then something like this: 5-door hatchback (A-Class hatchback), 4-door saloon (A-Class saloon), 5-door liftback (CLA).

Also similar to Hyundai, when they killed the 3-door and introduced the 5-door fastback.

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Our Verdict

Audi A3 hero front

Third-gen Audi A3 gets a mild facelift, more equipment, some new engines and a new hot model - but is it the cream of the premium hatch crop?

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week