The European sedan’s styling should carry over largely unchanged.
The 2022 Audi A3 is on its way to the US as a sedan, the company confirmed via an online event. Likely bearing a very close resemblance to the 2021 car we’ve already seen in Euro-spec form, the Americanized A3 will boast more power and torque compared to the outgoing vehicle, with both front-wheel drive and Quattro models on offer.
Audi also promises a more spacious interior thanks to key exterior size increases in length and width. Meanwhile, modernized styling drapes itself over the incrementally larger A3 sedan, with a sporty design that recalls harder-core Audis like the SQ8 and RS6 Avant.
2022 Audi A3 Sedan Engineering
The 2022 A3 will come with the 40 TFSI powertrain – with or without Quattro – and although the automaker didn’t explicitly confirm engine specifics, we can safely assume they mirror those of the Audi A4 40 TFSI. That means a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four, tuned to produce 188 horsepower and 236 pound-feet (140 kilowatts and 320 newton-meters). That doesn’t sound like too many ponies, but the twist should be what most drivers appreciate most. We also expect it to be up slightly over the 2020 Audi A3’s 184 hp (137 kW) and 221 lb-ft (300 Nm).
If those numbers turn out to be correct, they’ll split the difference neatly between the Mercedes-Benz A220, which produces 188 hp (140 kW) and 221 lb-ft (300 Nm), and the BMW 228i Gran Coupe, which makes 228 hp (170 kW) and 258 lb-ft (350 Nm). And if the A3’s torque comes on at the same low 1,450 rpm as it does on the A4 40 TFSI, then it should be a very strong performer in most daily-driving tasks, particularly paired to Audi’s quick-witted (and standard) seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
Gallery: 2022 Audi A3 Sedan Debut
Measuring 1.6 inches (4 centimeters) longer and 1.2 inches (3 cm) wider than the previous-generation A3, the new compact sedan offers improved interior space – the company’s European press release specifically calls out better front and rear headroom, although height is reportedly unchanged. That’s due in part to a slightly lower seating position, which should also benefit communication between the driver and the road (at the expense of a commanding view ahead).
That slightly larger body is built from about 30 percent hot-formed steel, improving both rigidity and weight reduction. The same can be said of the new aluminum hood. And the sedan’s European counterpart can expect a slippery 0.25 coefficient of drag – we see no reason why that might change for the US.
2022 Audi A3 Sedan Styling
The new A3 is a much sharper, more attractive piece of machinery than the stylish but dated vehicle it replaces. A wider version of the single-frame grille ties it in with modern Audi products, and a standard hexagonal grille texture (even on models with the base “Advanced Line” styling) ties it in with the company’s S and RS models. The kinked, matrix-design headlights on the photo model are very attractive, if a bit fussy.
There’s practically nothing to complain about in the A3’s side view. A strong shoulder line germinates between the head- and taillights, with a massive concavity on the door surface above the rocker panel. The structure emphasizes the A3’s blistered fender flares, an obvious callback to the legendary Audi Sport Quattro.
The rear of the car is handsome, although it doesn’t look appreciably different from the current A3 sedan. A few extra creases and a revised lower rear bumper highlight the obvious changes, which is no bad thing given the attractive styling of the outgoing model.
Inside, Audi took quite a few more risks. Bookending the stylish new digital instrument panel are massive HVAC outlets, which tower above the driver-oriented infotainment display. The passenger faces a chiseled dashboard with wide HVAC outlets and a matching styling element tying them together. Meanwhile, the beveled center stack and elevated console look for all the world like Audi is taking inspiration directly from its Lamborghini corporate cousin. The styling is aggressive and bold, but we think it looks wonderful.
2022 Audi A3 Sedan Technology
As we reported in our initial look at the Euro-market A3 sedan, both the interior and exterior boast some edgy new technology. Audi’s trick Matrix LED headlights show up as an option, offering exceptional illumination and unique daytime running light signatures for each trim level. The standard LED taillights also offer a welcome/goodbye animation when locking or unlocking the car.
Inside, the 2022 A3 gets a standard 10.1-inch MMI touchscreen (remember when 8 inches for an interior screen seemed massive?) that runs Audi’s latest MIB3 infotainment system with handwriting recognition. A 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster is standard, with an optional 12.3-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit and head-up display. The A3 also offers enhanced driver-assist technology, including Adaptive Cruise Assist, lane centering, and road sign recognition. The former paired with the latter should provide automatic speed setting adjustments when coming up on a stretch of road with a lower limit.
2022 Audi A3 Sedan Sales And Pricing
Unfortunately, Audi won’t cop to pricing just yet, but the automaker did admit that we’d start seeing the A3 sedan in dealers by late-2021. We’ve got a long time to wait before then, allowing us to conjecture wildly as to pricing.
The current A3 sedan starts at $33,300, rising to $39,500 for a more powerful 45 TFSI Quattro. Audi already confirmed that both front-drive and Quattro variants of the 2022 A3 will feature the 40 TFSI engine, so we predict the pricing spread to fall somewhat between base and loaded examples. Plan on seeing stripped A3s with pricing at about $34,000, while all-wheel-drive Premium Plus models could crest about $39,000.