2014 Audi A3 SportbackEnlarge Photo
Mercedes-Benz has had great success with its B Class compact MPV in Europe, where the ‘practical with a little touch of luxury’ concept goes down well with elderly buyers and small families.
The success has even convinced BMW to abandon its rear-wheel-drive-only stance and launch a new range of tall-roofed, front-wheel-drive compact MPVs of its own, with some of these even due in the U.S.
But what about Audi? The last we heard, the company was working on a new MPV variant for its A4 line.
However, based on comments made by Audi R&D chief Wolfgang Dürheimer, Auto Express is now reporting that the smaller A3 is likely to be the first Audi to get the MPV treatment.
“I think there is definitely room for rational cars or family cars in the Audi lineup,” he revealed. “But they have to be stylish, like any Audi.”The new A3 compact MPV will reportedly ride on a stretched version of the Volkswagen Group’s modular MQB platform underpinning the A3. It will be longer than the current A3 Sportback but will still only seat up to five. BMW’s new compact MPV, which is expected to be called a 1-Series Gran Turismo, will seat up to seven in some variants.
Look for a concept version of the new A3 compact MPV as early as next year.