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2013 Audi A3: Geneva Auto Show

author photo by Tom Cassady March 2012
  • Updated styling
  • Constructed using lightweight materials
  • TDI engine capable of 61.9 mpg

At last year's Geneva Auto Show, Audi unveiled the concept for its next-generation A3 in sedan form, and it looked good. This year Audi has brought along the production version of the third-gen A3, and while the one in Switzerland is a hatchback, get ready to see a lot more of the sedan. While we won't see the hatch here, at least in three-door form, the sedan has been confirmed to make it Stateside for the 2014 model year.

The biggest change for the new A3 is the styling. Audi has been making a concerted effort to bring all of its offerings in line with the corporate style, and the new A3 is no different. Out front, we see the biggest styling change, with a grille that looks a lot like the A6, which pioneered the company's new look. Also featured is a pair of all-new headlights, sporting LED daytime running lamps, and with the option of having LED low-beams as well, a first in this segment.

Technically, the A3 is a showplace for Audi's expertise in lightweight materials. Utilizing aluminum for the hood, front fenders, and other body parts, the new car weighs in at under 2,600 pounds, or just about 200 pounds less than its predecessor. Extensive use of ultra high-strength steel makes sure that low weight doesn't mean it's unsafe, however. This A3 is also the first car built on Volkswagen Group's new MQB modular platform, which will be the underpinnings of plenty of VW Group cars in the future, meaning the A3 probably offers an early glimpse at the seventh-gen Golf.

Inside, Audi has loaded the A3 to the gills with connectivity options, including an ultra-thin pop-up screen for displaying navigation and MMI information, with a touch-sensitive pad on the MMI knob for handwriting recognition and input. Engine options for the US haven't been announced yet, but overseas the car will see many turbocharged four-cylinder engines putting out 122-180 horsepower, and two diesel options, with one capable of 61.9 mpg.

What it means to you: While we probably won't see the new A3 in this form on our shores, it's a good look at what's to come to the US in sedan form.

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2013 Audi A3: Geneva Auto Show - Autotrader