It seems like only yesterday that the Audi A3 sedan went on sale but already we have spy shots of a prototype for a facelifted model. That’s because the latest generation of the A3 actually made its debut back in 2012, so the car will soon be due for its mid-cycle update.

Being a mid-cycle update, expect to see only minor changes applied by Audi's design team. From the spy shots, we can gather that there will be some tweaks made to the bumpers at both ends. We can also see a new a grille and it’s possible there will be some changes made to the internals of the headlights as well.

Likewise, the cabin design should also be revised, perhaps with some new trim elements and some extra tech, including the availability of the nifty Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster.

In terms of powertrains, we’ve still got our fingers crossed for a high-performance RS 3. The RS 3 is already available overseas as a Sportback and packs a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder with 362 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque. An e-tron Sportback plug-in hybrid was added to the lineup this year so this model should continue with its 204 hp and 258 lb-ft unchanged.

Audi’s next-generation turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder is a strong possibility, perhaps as a replacement for both the current 1.8- and 2.0-liter units. And finally, the 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine at the center of the Volkswagen Group diesel emissions cheating scandal is likely to receive an overhaul or may be replaced altogether.

Look for a debut of the facelifted Audi A3 late next year or in early 2017. It should arrive in showrooms as a 2018 model. We should also start seeing facelifted versions of the A3 family members such as the three-door Hatchback, five-door Sportback and Cabriolet.


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