Audi gives us a taste of the all-new Audi A3 hatchback

By Motoring Staff Time of article published Feb 7, 2020

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Ingolstadt, Germany - Audi’s A3 is set to enter its fourth generation in the near future, and Audi is giving us a taste of what to expect with these official pictures of a lightly camouflaged prototype.

Rather than cover up panels to conceal the styling, Audi has simply given the prototype a funky paint job, which means we get a very accurate idea of how the final product will look when it debuts at the Geneva Motor Show in early March.

Of course, there are no big surprises here, with the new A3 five-door bearing a strong resemblance to the new Q3 in its front and rear styling, while the side profile is very much a logical evolution of the current model. There's unlikely to be a three-door version this time around, given the falling demand for this body type, but a sedan or a fastback-style hatch could certainly be on the cards.

Expect some big strides in the cabin however, with recent spy pictures showing big and prominent screens much like those in the eight-generation Golf, and you can bet your bottom dollar that the VeeDub’s new ‘always connected’ electronics are there too. 

Audi is keeping quiet about the cabin for now, but its teaser statement does mention an updated quattro all-wheel-drive system that makes its debut in the sportier versions of the A3. This system allows for fully variable torque distribution between the front and rear axles, which means that in particularly dynamic driving scenarios up to 100 percent can go to the back axle. For the sake of efficiency, however, most of the torque goes to the front wheels in normal driving conditions.

Audi engineers adapted the electronic torque distribution control specifically to suit the new A3 models, and also integrated it into the Audi drive select dynamic handling system. The system takes the data of the suspension sensors into account and detects not only the driving conditions and road properties but also the driving style. 

There’s a new ESC stability control system, which not only provides torque vectoring by braking the inside wheels in tight corners, but also gives the option of drifting in a controlled manner with ESP Sport activated. ESC can be switched off entirely too, in which case wheel slip is unlimited.

The A3 will also be available with a new adaptive suspension system as well as a redesigned variable steering system in which the toothed rack and pinion have a special shape and toothing that allows for different gear ratios depending on the steering angle. 

Other details, including the engine range, will be made available closer to launch.

IOL Motoring

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