Audi is continuing to push forward with its technology influenced design language, this time applying it to the fourth generation A3. Formally called the A3 Sportback, the new five-door model is marginally different than its predecessor and shares its new stiffer MQB-II underpinnings with its VW Group cousins, namely the Golf VIII and new Seat Leon.
The new Audi A3 Sportback is evolutionary rather than revolutionary. While the single frame grille takes up more real estate — its been pushed far out to the corners of the new LED headlamps – the lower air intake recesses in the bumper have been made smaller. This change in proportions – combined with the revised headlamps and more angular form of the grille – make the front end design appear far more aggressive than that of its forebear.
Dimensionally the new A3 shares the same compact length (4340mm), height (1430mm) and wheelbase (2640mm) as its predecessor, but is 30mm wider (1820mm) allowing for more shoulder room in the cabin.
The new Audi A3’s interior falls in line with the rest of the Ingolstadt brand’s offerings with a black-panel IP and center console. Horizontal lines and surfaces emphasize the width of the cockpit while the driver’s side air vents form a unit with the cover of the instrument cluster, underscoring a more puristic design.
As has always been true, Audi continues to offer a vast array of technology both inside and outside the vehicle. Standard equipment includes a a 10.25-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit, a 10.1-inch touch color display in the instrument panel, MMI Navigation Plus, Audi smartphone interface, Audi Connect Services Plus and all the usual ADAS features.
It’s new cars like this that really make me wish I had been able to see the launch in person. It’s really difficult to be able to judge the surface changes and design subtleties from doctored photos or Photoshop-rendered images. From the front three-quarter, the bodyside looks like it could have come off an A-Class. Perhaps that’s not fair, but I don’t know. Hopefully, I’ll have the opportunity to see it soon.