It's been rumored for a while now that Audi was exploring the possibility of adding a four-door sedan body style to its A3 range, but today, the German firm officially confirmed the news with the release of the first official sketches of the A3 Concept ahead of its world premiere at the 81st International Geneva Motor Show in early March.
Its main purpose is to preview both the saloon variant and the styling direction of the next A3, which is scheduled for a rollout in 2012 and will also include the successors to today's three-door hatchback, five-door Sportback and the two-door convertible models.
"The four-seater notchback sedan offers a glimpse of the future expansion of the A3 family," Audi said in a statement.
The A3 concept measures 4.44 meters (14.57 feet) long, 1.84 meters (6.04 feet) wide and just 1.39 meters (4.56 feet) high, meaning it's slightly smaller than the new Volkswagen Jetta (4.64 m long).
The sedan study embodies Audi's latest design language as seen on the recent A8, A6 and A7 Sportback models featuring a single-frame grille with tapered upper corners, angular headlights with LED technology and taut body lines.
The show car is fitted with an upgraded version of the 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbocharged engine found under the bonnet of the current RS3 and TT RS models, producing a peak output of 408-horses. The five-pot distributes power to all four wheels through a seven-speed S tronic transmission and permanent all-wheel drive.
We'll have more details on the A3 Concept from the Geneva Motor Show in March.