A prototype for Audi's redesigned A3 has been spotted. The prototype is for the popular compact's sedan body style, which we should see it at dealers in late 2020 as a 2021 model.

For other markets, Audi will offer a five-door hatch, referred to by the automaker as a Sportback. The current A3's three-door hatch and convertible body styles aren't expected to get a repeat with the new generation, however.

The new A3, which represents the fourth generation of the nameplate, is being developed around an updated version of Volkswagen Group's MQB modular platform, the current version of which features in the current A3 and numerous other VW Group models. The updated platform debuted in October in the redesigned Volkswagen Golf, which is a twin under the skin with this A3.

2021 Audi A3 spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2021 Audi A3 spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

The new A3 will follow a similar formula to the current model, with its styling clearly evolutionary. The current A3 can be seen in some of the shots, providing a good contrast between the two generations.

The prototype looks to reveal more pronounced body sculpting than on the current model and wider haunches that really lend the vehicle a muscular look. The tester also sports the production lights, which at the front feature Audi's Matrix LED technology.

It isn't clear what the designers have in store for the cabin but the smaller A1 Sportback likely points the way. A digital instrument cluster will sit behind the steering wheel, and a second screen for the infotainment system will sit beside it over in the center stack.

New Volkswagen Golf

New Volkswagen Golf

It also isn't clear what Audi has in store for the powertrain lineup but a similar lineup to what's found in the new Golf is likely. In other words, small-capacity engines with turbocharging and mild-hybrid tech. A plug-in hybrid option should also be included.

Performance fans can once again look forward to S3 and RS 3 models. The S3 should come with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 and the RS 3 with a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-5. And just like the rest of the new A3 range, mild-hybrid tech should be included to boost efficiency of these models.

Look for the new A3 Sportback to debut in early 2020, possibly at the Geneva International Motor Show in March of that year. The new A3 sedan should follow shortly after.