By on March 6, 2012

The Audi Q3 may not have much visual impact, but this is an extremely important car for the Volkswagen Group. As the first car to be built on the new MQB modular platform, the A3 is literally the next generation of car for the entire consortium.

Europe will get a diesel (2.0L, 150 horsepower) and two gasoline TFSI engines, a 1.4L 122 horsepower or a 1.8L 180 horsepower mill. This 1.8TFSI engine is expected to replace the venerable 2.5L 5-cylinder so derided by VW fans. The hatchback is 176 lbs lighter than the outgoing car – North Americans are expected to get a sedan, but news of any hatch variants have been scant. The 5-door is far more likely to arrive than the 3-door seen here. We’ll also be getting a 2.0TFSI engine as well, with a diesel likely to follow.



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13 Comments on “Geneva 2012: Audi A3 Previewed, Minus Two Doors...”

  • avatar

    looks odd with just 2 doors.

    And I see Audi has both turned this into a hatch (instead of a wagon), and sharply slopped the hatch.

    Which means that overall the sedan with an actual trunk will overall be more useful.

    • 0 avatar

      It looks indistinguishable from the A3 hatch that’s been sold in Europe since the mid-90’s. It also looks too much like a Golf/GTI to be worth ponying up the extra cash for.

      • 0 avatar

        I think this is one of the classiest looking hatchbacks ever, from an exterior standpoint.

        It doesn’t get marred by futuristic and inevitably incongruous wedges and creases and overhangs like the Veloster or even the Focus, to a lesser extent, and it doesn’t bring to mind the boy racer look of the VW GTI.

        It even pulls off the now trending large mouth bass front fascia, which is extremely rare to see; neat trick, that.

        No. This is a design that is successful in projecting an appearance of maturity, quality and solidity, much in keeping with Audi’s desired image.

        The only luke warm area of the exterior design is the tailight assembly/shape, IMO. It’s not offensive, per se, but it has an element of BMW Bangle butt-ism to it that’s there, even if I can’t explain it.

        The problem I have is that Audi is suffering major quality control issues, based on the absolute latest data from Consumer Reports, even falling below some VW-shared chassis brethren, in some models.

        And yes, I am ‘one of those’ who places a great deal of stock in the credibility of Consumer Reports when it comes to reliability of vehicles.

        But again, the exterior is really, really fantastic in a subtle way, without being too conservative.

    • 0 avatar

      The A3 has always been available as a 3 door in Europe and has retained similar proportions. I’ve not been a big fan of the A3 3-door, it just looks odd.

      As far as similarities to the Golf: they essentially end with the hatchback design. The MQB A3 incorporates more aluminum, better suspension, a significantly different cabin and more sophisticated electronic gadgetry.

  • avatar

    This thing better have the 2.0T, and it better be the 270 hp-ish 2.0T from the VW parts bin that they put in the GTI 20R, at least as an option. Fancy new car with antique engine is kinda silly. I love audis but this thing looks plain next to the new M-B A class.

  • avatar
    Canis Caeruleus

    The profile reminds me of my much-mocked, but always fun 318ti.

  • avatar

    Looks like and Audi. Given its rather conservative design I think it would have to be executed brilliantly to get any sort of attention. Also would be great if the car could be had with a drivetrain capable of real world avg mpg in the mid to high 30’s. With Ford, Chevy, Hyundai, Mazda and others having good / very good small cars on offer it would be hard to justify a $7 to $10K up charge for a “me to” Audi.

  • avatar

    Looks like a first generation Mercury Tracer mated with an AMC Gremlin.

  • avatar

    I think that it looks great. I hope that they continue to bring the 4 door hatchback over.

  • avatar

    I saw a lot of 3-door A3s in Europe long before the 5-door came to the US, and I loved how it looked. I still do. The 5-door looks like a short bus equivalent of an A4 Avant.

  • avatar
    Speed Spaniel


  • avatar

    I can’t understand the rear light treatment on Audis. Definitely the worst angle. Why does the Audi design philosophy of “same sausage different sizes” have to extend to their cars AND SUVs. This A3 has the same rear look of the Q5 not pretty and definitely not sporty.

  • avatar

    The good thing is that this will be the basis for the next GTI. I await it with bated breath.

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