Audi is trying to broaden its vary of compact fashions by growing a brand new jacked-up, off-road-inspired model of the subsequent A3 hatchback. The mannequin has been conceived to assist offset falling gross sales of the Q3 SUV and plug the hole between it and the Q2 crossover, which is considerably smaller in measurement.
The mission, recognized internally as Cityhopper in keeping with a senior firm supply, will see Audi apply the Allroad therapy that options on the A4 and A6 Avant estates to its big-selling hatchback. Nevertheless, Audi is unlikely to make use of the Allroad title as a result of the mannequin gained’t use quattro four-wheel drive, mainly to maintain CO2 emissions down. As an alternative it is going to be a heavy beauty overhaul to enchantment to these consumers wanting SUV appears to be like with out the related working prices.
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Previewed by our unique photographs, the rugged A3 will undertake a rough-and-ready look, with chunky entrance and rear bumpers, a raised journey peak and plastic wheelarch extensions. Whereas the off-road makeover provides it a extra sturdy look, it is going to stay a comparatively compact automobile, at four.three metres lengthy; that’s about 200mm shorter than a Q3 however 110mm longer than a Q2.
The brand new automobile ought to be a singular addition to the ranks of compact government hatchbacks when it arrives, as a result of neither BMW nor Mercedes has plans to develop such a mannequin. The Ford Focus Energetic is analogous, though it isn’t as premium.
Underneath the pores and skin, the A3 will likely be one of many first automobiles to maneuver to the VW Group’s new MQB Evo platform, a growth of the structure that at present underpins the whole lot from the Audi TT to the Volkswagen Passat and Skoda Kodiaq.
The up to date platform will permit the broader rollout of hybrid expertise. It’s anticipated that each model of the A3, together with the Cityhopper, will come as commonplace with a 48-volt mild-hybrid set-up to go along with its petrol and diesel engines. These will comprise 1.5 and a couple of.Zero-litre four-cylinder TFSI turbocharged petrol motors with 130bhp to 250bhp. The diesels, 1.6 and a couple of.Zero TDI four-cylinders, ought to vary from 120 to 230bhp.
The platform additionally brings practicality enhancements, significantly for these sitting within the again. Boot capability also needs to develop.
We’ll get our first glimpse of the brand new A3 hatch on the Frankfurt Motor Present in September. Nevertheless, this off-road-inspired variant is unlikely to be out there from launch. In actual fact it the mannequin isn’t anticipated to reach till round 2022, and it’s prone to be priced from round £26,000, putting it straight between the Q2 and Q3.
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