Audi's latest A3 started sales in the U.S. less than two years ago, but an updated version of the compact sedan is already out testing. That's because the latest A3 has been on sale outside the U.S. since 2020, meaning it should be due for a mid-cycle update by late 2023 or early the following year. It will likely arrive in the U.S. in 2024 as a 2025 model.
Our latest spy shots show prototypes for the sedan. Prototypes for the A3 Sportback hatchback sold overseas are also out testing and are shown alongside the sedan in the video below. The styling tweaks visible on the prototypes are subtle. The design of the front fascia has been revised around the side intake area, while at the rear there's a new graphic in the taillights and vertical reflectors at either side of the rear fascia.
The latest A3, which represents the fourth generation of the nameplate, is based on an updated version of Volkswagen Group's front-wheel-drive MQB modular platform. It's basically a twin under the skin with the latest Volkswagen Golf, which is due to be updated about the same time as the Audi. We also have spy shots of the updated Golf.
It's unclear whether any changes are planned in the powertrain department. The A3 is offered in the U.S. with a 2.0-liter turbo-4 mated to a mild-hybrid system and a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, with a peak output of 201 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available.
Buyers seeking more performance can opt for S3 and RS 3 models, both of which should also be updated shortly. The S3 also comes with a 2.0-liter turbo-4, but has a much healthier 306 hp and 295 lb-ft, while the RS 3 packs a 2.5-liter turbo-5 with 401 hp and 369 lb-ft. The S3 and RS 3 both come with standard all-wheel drive.
Audi may also be planning a high-riding A3 Sportback to debut alongside the updated A3 range, akin to the smaller A1 Citycarver launched overseas in 2019. However, the automaker is yet to confirm plans for such a model.