The juggernaut-like Volkswagen Group has big plans for its Audi luxury brand in a legitimate effort to pass Toyota and GM and become the world's largest automaker by 2018. Audi now brings in around 56% of total VW profits, despite selling only a fraction of the volume of the company's namesake brand. And no car is more important to that future than the new-generation Audi A3, now in four-door sedan form.
The new A3 Sedan is quite attractive, if looking a bit too derivative of the A4, only scrunched down a bit. Audi USA has finally given confirmation that the four-door A3 will be coming to U.S. showrooms, set to touch down in Q1 2014 as a 2015 model.
In fact, the sedan will replace the current-generation A3 hatchback, never a strong seller in the U.S. but nonetheless important to Audi as a lower-cost point of entry for first time luxury car buyers. Rounding out the 2015/2016 A3 lineup, the car will be joined by the S3 Sedan and five-door A3 Sportback, following behind by a few months.
Here's what we know: the base A3 will come with a brand-new 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with around 170 horsepower and 180 lb-ft. of torque. Stepping up to the A3 Quattro AWD version will bring a slightly larger 2.0-liter turbo gas engine, with about 200 horsepower. Audi will also offer a front-drive-only TDI diesel trim, naturally, which will pack in the neighborhood of 150 horsepower and 250 lb-ft. of torque. All versions will come with a six-speed dual-clutch sequential manual transmission; no three-pedal manual will be on offer, Audi confirms. As for the S3, a hard-boosted version of the 2.0-liter will make in the neighborhood of 300 horsepower.
Audi expects the new A3 Sedan will account for greater than 50% of orders worldwide for the lineup, which will also include a convertible in some markets. The four-door was designed specifically with hatchback-averse U.S. and Chinese buyers in mind. Pricing should start at just under $30k.
It will go on sale in 2014.