Audi has revealed its upcoming 2022 A3 Sedan, with crisper design, a more high-tech cabin, and a power bump over the outgoing four-door. Arriving in the US in late 2021, the new A3 is longer, wider, and taller than its predecessor, and introduces new features like Matrix-design headlights with model-specific daytime light signatures.
It may be one of Audi’s smallest models offered in the US, but sales of the A3 have been strong. Launched back in 1996, over 5 million A3 have been sold since that point, acting as a gateway for new entrants to the four-ring brand.
Now, the new 2022 A3 promises to make that a more appealing prospect still. Outside, there’s a wider Singleframe grille, now filled with honeycomb matrix as standard. The hood features sharper creases, while the lower fascia and other detailing borrow cues from the Audi’s sportier RS family.
It’s the sides which are arguably most striking. Below the wide shoulder line there’s markedly concave surfacing to the doors; that plays nicely against the bulging front and rear fenders. An integrated tailgate spoiler and the Advanced line exterior package round things out nicely.
Audi’s headlamps bear some attention, too. They’re now trapezoidal in shape, with Matrix LED an option. That uses fifteen individual LEDs for the daytime running lights. Audi is using their shape and patterns to distinguish between model trims, too. At the rear, LED taillights are standard, and more slender than before.
There’ll be a single engine option, Audi’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with a 48V mild-hybrid system. You’ll be able to get it with either front-wheel drive or quattro all-wheel drive; either way, a 7-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission will be standard. Horsepower and torque will be up, versus the outgoing A3 40 TFSI’s 184 hp and 221 lb-ft, though Audi isn’t saying by quite how much at this point.
There’s a chance of an uptick in performance, however. The new A3 is more slippery through the air than its predecessor, at 0.25 cd. To do that, Audi’s engineers used controllable air intakes behind the grille, an enclosed underbody, and active brake cooling to help guide airflow around the car.
Steel suspension is standard, with adaptive damping control optional. Audi fits progressive steering, too, which requires less movement through tighter corners. What might an eventual Audi S3 offer? Only time will tell.
Inside, the larger external dimensions, plus lowered seating position, add up to more cabin space, particularly when it comes to headroom and shoulder width. Cargo space is now 15 cu-ft, with a foot-triggered trunk lid. Contrast stitched seats, along with new inlay and lighting options, are now standard; Audi is also using recycled plastic bottles for some of its fabrics, carpets, and insulation.
The dashboard gets Audi’s 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster as standard, or a 12.3-inch virtual cockpit as an upgrade. A 10.1-inch MMI touch infotainment screen is standard, with Audi’s latest MIB3 software. That supports handwriting and voice input, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Audi connect key uses an Android smartphone as a virtual key.
The shifter for the transmission is much smaller now, shrunk down to a compact nub. Presense front, collision avoidance assistance, and lane departure warnings are all standard. Options include a head-up display, 360-degree camera, adaptive cruise control, cross traffic assist, and park assist.
Pricing for the 2022 A3 Sedan will be confirmed closer to the car’s on-sale date, Audi says. As for the A3 Sportback, as of right now there’s still no plan to bring that to the American market.