Audi has introduced the more practical 5-door version of the new A3, ahead of the car’s unveiling next week at the Paris Motor Show. The revised A3 Sportback has the same styling cues as its three-door sibling but it has three side windows as well as a sloping tailgate design. It measures 4,310mm long, 1,780mm wide and it is 1,425mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,636mm.
It is 35mm longer than the standard A3 which means that there’s more legroom available for the passengers sitting in the back. With seats up it offers 380 liters of cargo room which can be expanded to 1,220 liters if the seats are folded down.
In comparison to the model it replaces, the updated A3 Sportback is up to 199 pounds (90 kg) lighter. As an example, the version powered by the 1.4-liter TFSI engine tips the scales at 2,657 lbs (1,205 kg), without taking into consideration the driver. Engine choices will be just about the same as for the three-door model, including two TFSIs and a TDI.
Audi plans on introducing next year a more potent 1.4-liter TFSI with 138 hp and 184 lb-ft that will benefit from the VW Group’s COD – cylinder on demand system which is capable of turning off the second and third cylinders in order to improve fuel economy. Expect the A3 Sportback e-tron in 2014, a car that will get “a powerful plug-in hybrid drive”.
The 2013 Audi A3 Sportback is expected to go on sale in Europe at the beginning of next year. As you would expect, Germany will be the first country where the new model will be available (starting February), with prices beginning at 22,500 Euros for the entry-level variant.