While the Golf body prevents us from seeing the A3's new styling, the extended fenders suggest the car will grow a few inches in width.

Our spy photographers have managed to catch the first images of Audi's upcoming 2012 A3.

Like previous prototype Audis, this A3 mule is wearing a Volkswagen body to divert attention. While the Golf body prevents us from seeing the A3's new styling, the extended fenders suggest the car will grow a few inches in width. So far, our only indication of A3's exterior design comes from a leaked image that supposedly shows the car's Q5-inspired rear hatch.

Engine options will likely include the 105hp (75kW) 1.2-liter TSI, the 141hp (104kW) 1.4-liter TSI, and the 173hp (127kW) 1.8-liter TSI. We can also expect a variety of diesel engines, with a rumored 207hp (152kW) 2.0-liter TDI taking the top spot.

As we have previously reported, Michael Dick, a member of Audi's board of management for technical development, has stated that Audi is considering an RS3. If such a model were to be produced, it would likely feature the 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbocharged engine from the TT-RS. Packing 340hp and 450Nm of torque, the RS3 would probably rocket from 0-62 mph in 4.6 seconds before hitting an estimated top speed of 179 mph (288 km/h).

In an attempt to establish a greater foothold in the North America, Audi is also considering an A3 sedan which is designed to appeal to hatch-hating Americans.

 

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Next gen 2012 Audi A3 mule first spy photos