The Audi A3 has been around since 1996. Within four generations, the compact Sportback (hatchback) and eventually sedan have always been powered by an internal combustion engine. In its third-generation model, an electric motor was introduced into the lineup.
That won't be the case in 2026, though. Audi has confirmed that starting that year, all the cars the German brand will launch are to be completely battery-powered, with the production of ICE-equipped cars ending in 2033. This coincides with the fifth-generation Audi A3, which will be launched sometime between 2026 and 2027.
Gallery: Audi A3 E-Tron Motor1 Rendering
That said, we're expecting the next Audi A3 to be completely electrified and could bear the name A3 E-Tron, following the brand's nomenclature for its EVs. We imagine what the electric A3 could look like in this unofficial rendering.
Audi has confirmed that it will retain the signature single-frame grille even on its electric cars. The one used in this rendering has black inserts with working vents that will channel air to cool down the brakes. The LEDs are sharper and more angular here, while we reckon there will be extensive use of cameras instead of traditional mirrors in future Audi models.
While not illustrated here, we expect a major revamp in the A3 E-Tron's interior given the new layout of the electric model. More tech features from bigger Audis are also expected in the compact model.
Technical information is scarce at this time concerning the A3 E-Tron. However, rumor has it that it will be underpinned by the new Scalable Systems Platform (SSP). The SSP was announced in 2021 as VW Group's future architecture that can support super-efficient batteries and advanced assisted driving systems. It will underpin all VW Group cars in the electric era – except Porsche, which will use its own EV platform.