A Russian website has leaked photos of the new Audi A3, two weeks before the model’s official debut at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show. The security breach likely won’t lead to a new Cold War, though relations between Audi’s PR staff and this publication could turn awfully chilly. This white 3-door hatchback (pictured) proves Audi is taking an evolutionary step when it comes to redesigning the A3, which will also be available as a sedan and sport-wagon.
The front and rear fasciae, including the shape of the headlights and taillights, have been brought into line with the rest of the range. Stronger side character lines add some extra dynamism to the shape. Interior shots of the orange and black leather-lined cabin, complete with tasteful metal accents on the dash and center console, show Audi is not losing its edge when it comes to creating some of the classiest confines in the business.
The A3’s new platform uses a mix of aluminum and lightweight steel to keep weight in check. A wide range of engines will be available, especially in Europe, where the entry-level powerplant will likely be a 105-bhp 1.2-liter 4-cylinder. Here in the U.S., we’ll be getting the A3 sedan with a choice of gasoline- or diesel-powered 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. A 7-speed S tronic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive will be available, though front-wheel drive and a 6-speed manual will be fitted to base models.
At the moment, neither the 3-door hatchback nor the 4-door A3 wagon is scheduled to come stateside.