Audi is looking to reshape the range of its next-generation A3 small car, with at least three new models joining the line-up.
That’s the word out of the US, with Automobile Mag reporting a four-passenger coupe, an Allroad all-wheel-drive Sportback and even a minivan expected to be available to A3 customers in the future.
The ‘regular’ sedan and Sportback models would remain in the line-up, but the future of the three-door hatch is apparently less certain.
Audi is said to be keen to replace the hatch with a new ‘coupe’ model (perhaps even dubbed ‘A3 TT’), as the three-door hatch is a slow -seller in some markets.
An A3 TT would perhaps be the more ‘practical’ alternative to the regular TT, while also offering a new model for buyers looking for an A3 with a difference. Rumour has it that work on the A3 TT has already begun.
But it’s the minivan version that could raise some eyebrows, as Audi looks to match it with BMW’s 2 Series Active Tourer and the Mercedes-Benz B-Class in the increasingly competitive small premium hatch / people-mover market.
The German carmaker has the Chinese market more in mind for the 'minivan', however, rather than Europe.
“While there is no shortage of upmarket, compact-size four- and five-seaters, we believe that before long every leading premium brand will need a compact-size seven-seater,” an anonymous Audi source said.
“While the executives always travel in style, the workers must follow in very basic people-movers. Audi is thinking to smooth over this difference in style with a new model not unlike the BMW [Active] Tourer.”
The next-generation A3 is expected to arrive in showrooms sometime in 2018.