This is the one America has been waiting to see: the 2013 Audi A3 Sportback, an A3 with five doors, an A3 we’ll probably see—nominally modified—sold on these shores. Audi’s newest version is a little longer, stretching about 2.3-inches further than the three-door model, and is about 1.4 inches wider. The smaller hatchback hasn’t been given the U.S. nod, but a four-door sedan has and will join the five-door A3 Sportback possibly in 2014. There’s no word on U.S. pricing, but the 2013 A3 Sportback carries a premium of about $1,000 in the U.K. There, the A3 Sportback will start in the low 30s, but we may see a high 20s entry price, with additional equipment and options carrying it closer to U.K. pricing.
For 2013, Audi gave the A3 Sportback slightly sportier styling than the A3 it replaces, but there is a clear demarcation from the automaker’s other, sensuously styled models. The frame is composed of lighter-weight materials, and the 2013 A3 Sportback we’ll see in the U.S. weighs in about 130 pounds less than the previous version (a European version with the A3′s smallest engine will weigh even less). Engine options for the U.S. market aren’t clear, but it’s likely we’ll see the new 2.0-liter TDI as well as the larger of the gasoline engines being made available in Europe, the 1.8-liter TFSI. The 2013 Audi A3 Sportback is expected to be in dealer showrooms early next year.