A somewhat rare opportunity to see an Audi riding on steel wheels.
Audi recently revised the A3 Sportback in Europe by updating the thrifty G-Tron version, but we’re more interested in seeing the next generation of the premium compact hatch from Ingolstadt. Arriving later this year in five-door form to take on the all-new BMW 1 Series, the overhauled A3 has been spotted undergoing testing alongside a bunch of other prototypes carrying the Four Rings.
Still heavily disguised and riding on steel wheels, the new A3 was joined by a couple of prototypes of the S3 judging by the quad exhaust system. The hot hatches had larger alloy wheels and were sitting closer to the road thanks to the stiffer sports suspension, with all of them featuring a grille-mounted LED light bar used only during the testing phase.
In typical VAG fashion, the styling is more of the same, but the next-gen A3 Sportback does seem to have those sleek new headlights and taillights inherited from recent models. Knowing Audi and its appetite for evolutionary designs, we believe the exterior styling will strongly resemble our speculative render published at the beginning of the year.
While the exterior won’t stray away too far from the current car, chances are the interior will be overhauled to accommodate the company’s latest MMI. Hopefully, the tablet-styled display will be replaced by a neatly integrated screen as seen in the new Q3. Our wishes will actually be granted as an older spy shot (attached above, on the right) of the S3 did, in fact, show the MMI built into the dashboard. It remains to be seen whether the HVAC controls will remain traditional knobs and dials or these will be replaced by a secondary touchscreen like in the bigger Audis.
2019 will be a busy year for the Volkswagen Group as far as compact cars as aside from the A3, we’re also going to see the new Skoda Octavia, VW Golf and quite possibly the SEAT Leon as well. The Frankfurt Motor Show in September seems like the perfect venue for Audi to host the world premiere of its new A3 Sportback, with the sedan to follow shortly.