A cadre of small luxury sedans have emerged as the next big thing in the auto industry. Now, it looks like we’re in for yet another. Spotted testing in Europe is this Audi A3 sedan, a vehicle that we’ve known is coming for some time.
Joining the five-door hatchback that we get in the U.S., the Audi A3 will be expanding its lineup to add a sedan to compete with the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class and, later, the BMW 1 Series sedan. They’ll already join a crowded segment when they arrive since Acura and Buick are already getting in on the small luxury car act.
Over in Europe, what will be our model year 2014 Audi A3 has already gone on sale, larger, lighter, and based on the same underpinnings as the completely redesigned Volkswagen Golf, which is also already on sale in Europe. There’s a long list of engine options for the Audi A3 in Europe, but we anticipate Audi’s turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder with 180 horsepower will probably anchor the lineup in the U.S. We wouldn’t be surprised to see the venerable turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines found in the current car make their return, though.
There is also an upcoming S3 version anticipated to produce 300 horsepower from its 2.0-liter four-cylinder in the pipeline.
The Audi A3 sedan will slot underneath the A4, allowing its bigger brother to continue to go upscale while catering to a younger crowd with the small sedan that may have previously ignored the Audi A3 because it has only been available in the U.S. as a five-door hatchback. The Audi A3 sedan will primarily cater to U.S. and Chinese clients that prefer sedans over hatchbacks. But small sedans have recently come into popularity in Europe and are emerging as a strong segment.
We anticipate the Audi A3 sedan to be launched at the same time as the hatchback in the U.S. We’ll keep you updated as we find out more about Audi’s next-generation small sedan and hatch and when they’re headed here.
Note: One picture is of the Audi A3 Concept from the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.