Audi is preparing the launch of the next-generation A3 in the U.S. for the 2014 model year. The new model will be offered as a five-door hatchback called Sportback, as a four-door sedan, and possibly as a convertible down the road. The entry-level three-door A3, sadly, won’t come to these shores.
Audi’s focus clearly is the four-door sedan, which was previewed by last year’s Geneva concept. This key model will compete head-to-head with the upcoming Mercedes-Benz CLA, as well as the Acura ILX. The sedan will come in a number of flavors: a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing roughly 220 hp, a 2.0-liter TDI with around 140 hp, an S3 Quattro with 300 hp, and an RS3 Quattro model with a turbocharged straight-five that will make close to 400 hp and likely outperform the upcoming CLA45 AMG. But Mercedes-Benz AMG has ample time to prepare more powerful derivatives.
An A3 convertible is a likely addition as we hear that Mercedes-Benz is strongly considering an A-class convertible. The A3 cabriolet will have a fabric top—Audi engineers scorn the clumsy folding hard tops that are popular with a lot of other carmakers, including Volkswagen. The five-door Sportback is likely to arrive in turbo-four form–only; don’t expect an oil-burning five-door A3. Although Audi again has put the U.S. market in a position of picking and choosing from its extensive list of powertrains and body styles, at least we’ll have the opportunity to pick and choose the hi-po offerings.
Text Source: Car & Driver