The new Audi A3 Sportback was supposed to make its debut at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show which now stands cancelled due to the outbreak of coronavirus. Therefore, Audi decided to present the car a little before. So yes! The 2021 Audi A3 Sportback has finally broken covers and is in its fourth-generation now. A range of spy pictures that had surfaced online already gave us an idea that this time around, the Sportback will be more practical having five doors, doing away with the 3-door body style its previous generations had. However, those pictures were of the camouflaged test mule and now that we get to see the undisguised model, we'll have to say that the design is an evolution over its predecessor, being very much in-sync with Audi's latest design language.
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The new Audi A3 sportback at 4340 mm is 30 mm longer and at 1280 mm is marginally wider than the one it succeeds. That has also added a bit more space on the inside while it offers an adequate luggage space of 380 litres which can be increased to 1200 litres by split folding the rear seat. The face is in-line with latest generation Audis sporting an edgy and sharp looking mesh grille with chrome surroundings while the silver surrounding on the curtains are something we've seen even on the A4 Facelift. It also gets new matrix LED headlights with signature DRLs and sharp sculpting on the hood and along the profile add to its chiselled looks. The slanting roof towards the rear is followed by a tapering rear windscreen complemented with flat boot gate and bumper and the design is further accentuated with wraparound LED taillights and silver highlights on the rear bumper. Riding on 19-inch wheel, the Sportback has quite a sporty stance overall. That said, wheel sizes will range from 16-inchers to 19-inchers.
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The new Audi A3 also gets an all-new cabin that looks angular and contemporary compared to its predecessor. Unlike its bigger siblings that feature dual-screen MMI setup, the A3 Sportback gets a single 10.25-inch touchscreen as standard while it can be upgraded to an optional 12.3-inch unit.
The screen is seamlessly integrated into the central console giving the entire dashboard a very even finish. There are physical buttons on the lower section of the central console as well for climate control system and other operations like the drive select modes and some of the MMI functions.
In terms of mechanicals, there is also an optional suspension to reduce the ground clearance by 10 mm while opting for a sport suspension will further lower it by 15 mm, giving it a low stance and enhancing agility and handling around the corners. The steering itself has variable ratio to offer better feedback. The Audi A3 Sportback continues to be spawned by the MQB platform and there is a wide range of drivetrains to choose from. First up, there is a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine couple with a mild-hybrid system. Then a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged engine is also offer that pumps out 108 bhp. Diesel variants continue with the 2.0-litre, four-cylinder TDI motor that will be available in different states of tune ranging from 114 bhp to 148 bhp. Transmission duties are handled by either the eight-speed automatic or seven-speed dual clutch automatic. It also features shift-by-wire tech which replaces any mechanical linkage between the shifter and transmission.
However, the Audi A3 Sportback is unlikely to come to India while we'll be getting its sedan version. Engine line-up too will include the 1.4-litre BS6 petrol motor that's powering the Audi A4 Facelift now while we still have no word on the 2.0-litre diesel engine, whether it will be make transition to meet the upcoming BS6 standards.