Audi will introduce a new 1.4 liter unit in the next A3 with cylinder deactivation technology.

German magazine Auto, Motor und Sport has the scoop on the upcoming next-generation Audi A3.

The 2012 Audi A3 will come in four variants, divided into two pairs with differing dimensions and wheelbase length.

The 3-door and Cabriolet A3 variants will measure 4.26 meters long (167.7 inches) with a wheelbase of 2.595 meters (102.2 inches). The Audi 5-door Sportback and 4-door sedan (previewed as the Audi A3 e-tron concept) will measure 4.44 meters long (174.8 inches) with a 2.630 m (103.5 inches) wheelbase. The widths of all variants will be the same.

Audi design chief Stefan Sielaff says the A3 range set-up is similar to how the variants of the A4 and A5 ranges are configured - with the Audi A5 providing the Sportback, coupe and cabriolet variants. He also said the next Audi A3's interior will be influenced by the Audi A3 e-tron concept (pictured here) the automaker introduced at Auto Shanghai earlier this year.

For the next A3, Audi is also developing a new 1.4 liter petrol unit (producing 140 PS / 103 kW / 138 hp) with cylinder deactivation. The unit is able to shut down two of the four cylinders under a light load which can represent a saving of up to 1.0 liter/100 km in fuel-economy when traveling at a constant speed of 50 km/h (31 mph).

Audi is also planning on a three-cylinder diesel unit for the A3 as well as a natural-gas powered variant.

Gallery: 2012 next-generation Audi A3 details reported