All-New Audi A3 Prototype Goes Out In Public For The First Time (Updated)

Audi‘s next-generation A3 Sportback is expected to arrive sometime next year, followed by the four-door sedan version in 2020. The fact that the three-door body was getting ditched is pretty much all we knew about Ingolstadt’s upcoming Mercedes A-Class rival.

Thankfully, that changes effective immediately because of these spy images. While this all-new A3 prototype is extremely well camouflaged, a close inspection of the exterior reveals quite a few interesting nuggets.

The main one, of course is the fact that it features a quad-exhaust setup, which as you know, has so far been intended only for the S3 models. We reckon that the only reason why this doesn’t look as beefy as an S3 is because Audi “neglected” to strap on sportier body parts such as the chunky rear diffuser or the larger wheels.

There is indeed an aggressive front spoiler hiding underneath the camo, although those can be had on S Line models too. Bottom line, this is likely the 2020 Audi S3.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

Words to live by, especially if you’re an Audi A3 designer. It wouldn’t be overstating it to say that the next-gen A3/S3 Sportback is going to look quite a lot like the current model.

See what we mean? Nearly identical form factor, window line and side mirrors. And yet, you also don’t need to use too much imagination in order to see what’s changed. For starters, the roofline slopes downwards towards the rear, more so than on the current A3 Sportback.

Then there’s the shoulder line which is a little bit straighter than before. There also seems to be less of an indent in the profile design, pointing to more of a flush exterior aesthetic, similar to what Mercedes have done with their latest A-Class.

Put two and two together and we can say we’re looking at a slightly more stylish design for the A3 Sportback, which should definitely help it in its fight against its direct rivals..

Then there’s the tech

There’s little chance Audi won’t strap as much advanced technology as possible to the next-gen A3 Sportback, or at least enough so that it emerges as a segment leader. To that extent, safety, convenience and connectivity systems currently found on the likes of the A7 or A8 could trickle down to the A3.

As for what the overall design of the dashboard might look like, that’s still a big question mark. Right now, all we can see is the semblance of an Audi A7 steering wheel – judging by its bottom dual-spoke design.

Are we getting a full electric version?

This is another big question that needs answering. We know to expect a wide range of petrol and diesel units, however, it’s the e-tron version that might turn out to be the most interesting one. Realistically speaking though, it might be too soon for a fully-electric compact hatchback, which means a hybrid is more likely, at least in the coming years.

Then there’s the S3 version, which will probably put down a little bit more than the current model’s 310 PS (305 HP). Same goes for the RS3 – expect more than 400 PS (394 HP).

When can I order one?

Best case scenario, sometime next year, as long as you’re happy with the 5-door Sportback styling. Once the new A3 does go on sale, it will have to battle the likes of the Mercedes A-Class and BMW 1-Series, as well as Volvo’s next-generation V40 hatchback, currently under development.

Update: We’ve added another batch of images depicting the regular A3 Sportback to the gallery below. That car can be seen without its sporty sibling’s quad-exhaust tailpipes.

more photos...

Photo Credits: CarPix for CarScoops

  • wintergraan

    This new generation A3 already looks a lot sportier than the current 5-door. Especially the rear has a much lower and wider appearance 🙂

  • Ermal Morina

    So,it basically looks the same as the current model,only with the updated headlights like the new Q3.
    Damn,Audi never fails to dissapoint me…

    • Miknik

      Given MQB has to serve for 2 generations everywhere, I guess Audi skipped the whole new body and gave it a heavier facelift like it was the case with Golf Mk.5/6. Greenhouse, door shut lines and fuel door position (aka hard points) look identical, with new surface treatment and anew front fenders, bumpers & lights around and hood (all that is cheaper to renew)

  • Hamster

    Audi already did a fantastic job on new A1, looking forward for A3. Complete Audi lineup will be new with new A3… Great 🙂

  • Ioakou Logic

    Are these the same led lights with seat ibiza??

    • Rimas Kurtinaitis

      Placeholders – the production model will get other ones.

  • botornot387

    This definitely looks quite a bit wider and lower. Much better stance. Most of the design details actually look like they are grafted to the old body, possibly to hide any changes. The headlight cluster is a dummy of the new. Most likely this will head in the direction of the new Q3 in terms of how the lights will look, and i am sure the interior will take on the same aesthetic combining different uses of materials to appeal to a younger crowd. Wondering if Audi will bring a 4 door coupe version in the vein of the tt clubsport. Also, wondering what engines might make it down, with mercedes doing an a35 that is sounding to have EQ boost; S3 etron could be very interesting. Or even better slightly detune the 5 cylinder and make an S3 and then extreme tune or electric turbo 5 cylinder for the RS model.

    • accolade

      I think Audi will adopt the interior of the A6, A7, and A8 down to the A3. Much like they did with the previous generation A3 with the pop-up MMI and MMI touch interface.

      Mercedes has mirrored this same fashion with their new A-Class taking the same interior dash equipment the E-Class and S-Class sport.

  • Mike Sinyaboot

    The hope the US will.

  • javier

    no of course not , cheesy sedan only

    • accolade

      The A3 is in hatchback form with the e-tron, and while everyone at first barked that it’s a hybrid, just look at the projection car manufactures led by Tesla are headed.
      Audi USA made the best decision of making the hatchback of the A3 be the e-tron.

  • Mike Sinyaboot

    Probably not. For whatever reason, Audi only offers the A3 Sportback E-Tron here. I love my 16′ S3 sedan and I think it is more attractive than the Sportback. However, I probably would have gone with the Sportback had it been an option as my only complaint about the sedan is the small amount of interior space. I wish Audi would change the design of the A3 Sportback to more closely resemble the shape of the A7/A5 Sportback. They would need to make the A3 slightly larger but it would look much better.

  • Sébastien

    halogen front turn signals? Woooh what happened to “Vorsprung durch Technik”

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