2022 Audi A3 sharpens up style and tech late next year

This plucky little number isn’t going anywhere any time soon.


Audi

In April, Audi unveiled the latest generation of A3 sedan. At the time, most of the information available was focused on the European-spec A3, which differs greatly from the one we get in the US. While it still won’t be on sale for another year, Audi did deliver some more details specifically for the Yankee-spec A3.

In Europe, the new A3 is offered with two gas engines and two diesel engines, the former of which can also be fitted with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. When the 2022 A3 finally lands in the US in late 2021, however, only one powertrain will be on offer. Audi’s 40-series powertrain will consist of a 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 that will provide for more power and torque than previous A3s, but we don’t have concrete figures — the SAE has yet to rate the A3’s setup, so consider this part a TBA situation. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is standard, so no, we don’t get Europe’s manual transmission, either. We will get a choice of front- or all-wheel drive, however.

Every 2022 A3 in the US will also get the aforementioned 48-volt mild hybrid system. While it can provide a little bit in the way of electric torque, its true function is to improve fuel economy. It’ll permit longer stretches of engine-off operation at a standstill, and it can also be used to recuperate some of the energy given off under braking. Audi estimates the system will save about 0.1 gallons of gas for every 62-ish miles of driving; it’s not a huge boost, but hey, it’s somethin’.

In terms of design, you can expect pretty much what you’ve already seen. The 2022 A3 will be longer and wider for more interior space. The front end is demonstrably sharper, with a stronger character line running from the headlight all the way to the back. All four wheel arches get what Audi calls “Quattro blisters,” which I imagine is a treatable condition, but is really just flared fenders. The new sedan looks a lot closer to a performance variant right out of the box.

The interior will be the same as what we’ve seen, too. Everything is more angular and in-your-face, following along the lines of the recently updated Q3 crossover. The standard infotainment screen measures 10.1 inches, and it pairs with a standard 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster, which can be enlarged to 12.3 inches through options. A head-up display and surround-view camera are available, too. The latest iteration of Audi’s MIB system will include standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, USB-C ports and 4G LTE connected navigation services. On the safety front, adaptive cruise control has been updated to hold the vehicle in its lane, and its cameras can now read traffic signs.

Since the 2022 Audi A3 doesn’t go on sale until late 2021, there’s still a lot we don’t know. In addition to specific output figures, we’re also waiting for a price, which will likely rise a smidge given all the new stuff crammed into it. For context, the current-generation 2020 model starts at a hair under $35,000.

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