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Audi A3: First drive review with the new model!

Audi A3

This is a must read: a first drive review with the new, unannounced Audi A3.

“We do not want to shock our customers,” says Michael Dick, board member of development at Audi, in a veiled shot at Mercedes-Benz. “That’s why we decided to go for evolutionary design changes on our new Audi A3.” The unspoken criticism is for the radically altered appearance of the latest A-class, which is the most direct competitor to the A3.

As our chaperone unlocks a new A3 three-door hatchback—a sedan is the only definite body style for the U.S. at this point, but a five-door and possibly a convertible are planned—he mentions that this trip will be the first time he’s driven what will be his personal car for the next six months. In a strange way, we feel slightly honored to be accompanying him. “Don’t study this car too hard,” he says, referencing the fact that this new A3 is fitted with items that won’t be available to customers until the end of this year. Those include the Quattro all-wheel-drive system; the racy, quilted-leather front seats; and the special blue exterior paint. Of course, his request has only set us on higher alert.