The new Audi A3 will go on sale in early 2011 and the saloon model will sit alongside the hatchback, sportback and cabriolet body styles.
“We’ve taken a good look at what it will take to better establish the A3 in the US market in the future,” said an Audi insider. “The four-door layout is something North American car buyers continue to seek, especially from a premium brand such as Audi.”
The decision to add a saloon to the A3 line-up makes good sense, because the four-door version of the A4 has grown appreciably in size over the years. Since its launch in 1994 it has put on 320mm in length, 90mm in width and 15mm in height – essentially taking it up a class.
The A3 saloon will be a similar size to the Volkswagen Jetta, at around 4550mm long. Unlike the relatively upright and conservatively detailed Jetta, though, the A3 is expected to have a contemporary, coupé-like profile with a heavily rounded roofline. Boot capacity should be in the region of 500 litres – 130 litres more than today’s A3 Sportback.