Pictures of the all-new Audi A3 hatchback have been leaked onto the internet weeks before its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show. The pictures originally appeared on a Russian motoring website and claim to show the next-generation A3, the first car to use Volkswagen's new MBQ architecture.
No really that is a new car. Yes we know it looks like a current A3 that has had the headlights from an A1 grafted on but this is Audi we are talking about; were you really expecting something radical?
Look again at the pictures and you will notice a deeper front bumper complete with a silver splitter, fog lights integrated into more aggressive air vents a discrete roof spoiler and RS 3 style alloy wheels.
The MBQ modular platform that will underpin much of the Volkswagen Group's cars should endow the new A3 with a longer wheelbase than before leading to more interior space and a better ride.
Interior pictures show the A1-inspired dashboard that Audi recently displayed at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). It features a completely redesigned MMI terminal. Based around a narrower interface the new system combines the functionality of the 'touchwheel' and touchpad - as fitted to the A6 and A8 - into one. This allows drivers to input characters by 'writing' them.
We expect Audi to release the full set of official images and model details before the show starts on March 6th.
Paul Healy - 24 Feb 2012