Check out that honeycomb front grille

Seven years old as of late 2019, the third-generation Audi A3 is a bit long in the tooth and a fourth-gen model is underway. Alongside the familiar hatchback, Audi is also working on a new sedan model, including a higher performance S3 version. The latest prototype was spotted cold-weather testing in Sweden and the bodywork suggests that the compact four-door is ready to go into production. The A3 wasn’t wearing any camouflage, but it was hidden under a cover. Our paparazzi managed to grab some shots as Audi employees were removing the cover, so we can get a good look at the A3’s front end.

The 2021 Audi A3 Sedan Looks Sportier Than Before

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Like the larger A6 and A8, the A3 will look more angular in the new generation. The headlamps are missing from this prototype but they seem slimmer than before, while the grille features sharper angles and it’s a bit wider in the center.

The honeycomb mesh suggests that the sedan in these photos might not be a regular A3, which usually features horizontal bars.

There’s no "S3" badge on the grille, so it could be an A3 with special options or the S Line package. The bumper also features large openings on the sides, although the small grilles in these intakes are fake. The small splitter at the bottom of the bumper enhances the car’s sporty look.

Onto the sides we can see a beefed-up section just above the side skirts. This is an interesting feature that I haven’t seen on previous Audi A3s. The rear wheel arches also seem wider than usual. But we can also see that the seam sits unusually high from the ground. Our paparazzi speculate that this could be due to the fact that this specific car doesn’t have a drivetrain, but Audi could also be testing a brand-new suspension setup.

The 2021 Audi A3 Sedan is based on the Volkswagen Golf Mk8

Spy Shots: The 2021 Audi A3 Sedan Will Look As Hot As the 2019 Audi S3
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In 2021, both the A3 hatchback and sedan switch to the MLB platform that underpins the recently launched Volkswagen Golf Mk8.

This means that it will feature the same engines. The lineup will start with a 1.0-liter turbo-three rated at 89 and 110 horsepower, but it will also include a 1.5-liter mill with 130 and 150 horses.

Unlike the previous generation, this A3 will also feature a mild-hybrid drivetrain that combine a gasoline engine with a 48-volt electrical sytem. These should be offered in three versions that generate 110, 130, and 150 horsepower. The plug-in hybrid drivetrain from the Golf Mk8 could also make it into the A3, alongside two outputs of 204 and 245 horsepower. Finally, Audi should offer a couple of four-cylinder diesel engines rated at 116 and 150 horses.

Volkswagen Golf 8 specifications
Horsepower
1.0-liter three-cylinder 89 HP
1.0-liter three-cylinder 110 HP
1.5-liter four-cylinder 130 HP
1.5-liter four-cylinder 150 HP
1.0 eTSI 110 HP
1.5 eTSI 130 HP
1.5 eTSI 150HP
2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel 116 HP
2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel 150 HP
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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