Redone Audi hatchback will spawn A3 variants
Photo credit: GEORGIA CHAPMAN
GENEVA -- The next-generation A3 shown here last week is just the beginning of what Audi envisions will be a family of A3s.
In addition to the two-door hatchback that was shown here, Audi wants to sell multiple variants of its entry-level compact, including a convertible and plug-in hybrid.
The A3 has been one of Audi's most popular cars globally, but it hasn't sold well in the United States. With this next generation, company executives are hoping to triple the car's U.S. sales volume.
Last year Audi sold 6,561 A3s in the United States.
The redesigned A3 sedan is scheduled to arrive at U.S. dealerships as a 2014 model, replacing the outgoing four-door hatchback.
De Nysschen: More choices
Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen said he wants to see a more comprehensive line over time for the A3, which could include a TDI and five-door hatchback, and engines smaller than the 2.0-liter turbo sold now.
"At this stage the A3 sedan is the star of the show for that segment for us," de Nysschen said last week at the Geneva auto show.
A plug-in hybrid A3 is planned for 2014, Rupert Stadler, Audi's management board chairman, said last week. But Audi has yet to specify what body style will get the plug-in technology or if it will come to the United States.
The next-generation A3 is lighter than its predecessor and will be built off VW Group's MQB modular platform, which also underpins the Volkswagen Golf.
The outgoing A3 was launched in 2003 and arrived in the United States as a 2006 model.