Audi wants next A3 to be brand’s No. 2 seller in U.S. image

Audi plans to launch the next-gen A3 in the United States later on this year.

The German brand has bold ambitions for its latest A3, particular in its sedan form, which the company sees as the spiritual successor to the smaller A4 sedan sold during the late 1990s and which helped initiate the compact luxury segment in the U.S.

The automaker expects the A3 to slot in where older generations of the A4 left off. The A4 used to be smaller and more affordable, but with each new generation, it has grown larger, pricier and more powerful, said Scott Keogh, Audi of America’s chief marketing officer.

“We’ve left behind a segment we were initially able to fill so successfully,” he said.

The redesigned A3 is based on parent Volkswagen’s new Modular Transverse Matrix — a highly flexible platform architecture better known by its German acronym MQB, which will underpin a wide variety of future products from the VW Group, from the next-generation Golf to a trio of crossovers.

A3 sedans bound for the U.S. will probably feature a choice of two 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engines, one gasoline- and one diesel-fueled. A hybrid and even an electric-powered variant are also expected to join the lineup.
The entry-level price will fall somewhere around $30,000.

Last year Audi sold 6,561 A3s in the U.S — less than one-fifth of the number of A4s sold last year.