The vehicle that effectively created the compact luxury segment, the Audi A3 gets a new look and  new tech ahead of its Australian arrival towards the end of 2024. 

12 March, 2024

A perennial favourite in the Audi model range globally and the vehicle credited with creating the compact luxury class, the Audi A3 has undergone another significant upgrade and will make its way to Australia in the latter part of the year. Unveiled globally today, the new A3 Sportback and Sedan feature sleeker styling in what is a distinctive evolution of the Audi design language. In addition to styling changes, the new models also add extensive new technology and standard equipment, very much in keeping with the A3 philosophy established with its initial introduction back in 1996 of being a style and technology leader.

The compact luxury segment has of course exploded since the first Audi A3, but the model which began as a three-door hatch version before expanding to the now familiar Sportback and Sedan variants have continued to offer technology more commonly seen in the larger luxury ranks with each successive model upgrade.

These new upgraded models are no exception and in addition to the new A3 Sportback and A3 Sedan, Audi has unveiled an all-new A3 cross-over model called the A3 allstreet.

The look of the new models is familiar but has evolved to build on the A3’s sporty credentials. New treatment on the Singleframe grille accentuates the vehicle’s width, while air intakes and front apron design lend a more aggressive look to the front end and add to the car’s on-road presence. The rear too sports a new bumper and distinctive diffuser while new lights front and rear further add to the overall look of both variants as well as giving the owner the opportunity of changing the light signatures. For first time in the A3 series models, up to four different digital daytime running light signatures can be selected using the MMI, the LED and Matrix LED headlights creating the digital daytime running lights using 24 pixel elements in three rows on the upper edge of the housing.

Inside too the new models have been extensively revised with a cleaner more spacious feel that once again draws on the larger luxury models for both inspiration and finish, as well as showcasing the brand’s reputation for attention to detail.

New touches abound, from the new shifter design to the air vent treatment and decorative fabric inlays as well as new interior lighting that includes an ambient light package. Subtle lighting strips highlight the centre console and drink holders as well as backlighting the insides of the front doors.

The new Sonos sound system features large speakers located in the lower part of the doors, making for an immersive listening experience with 3D sound, while the A3 now features two decorative fabric inlays – a technical textured fabric that is also made from 100 percent recycled polyester and Dinamica microfibre. 

The new A3 models have also been unveiled with numerous connect services, functions on demand and a store for apps. The standard equipment features DAB+ digital radio and the 10.1‑inch touch display as well as Audi virtual cockpit and an inductive smartphone charger. There are two USB‑C charging ports in the centre console in the front as well as two additional ports in the rear.

In Europe the A3 also features optional features such as the MMI navigation plus as well as a complete connect portfolio and access to the store for apps, which allows the driver to use a wide range of applications via the vehicle’s display.

In addition to a high level of technical specification and infotainment, the A3 also offers a full compliment of safety and driver assistance systems as standard equipment, once again, of a standard more commonly associated with the larger luxury models.

In Europe, the A3 models will initially be available both a petrol and a diesel engine. Both the 1.5-litre 35 TFSI and 35 TDI output 110kW (150 PS) and are mated to seven-speed S tronic transmission. Additional petrol and diesel versions as well as a plug-in hybrid model will be added to the range during the year.

Australian pricing and specification, including drivetrains, will be announced closer to the new A3 Sportback and Sedan’s local arrival which is expected towards the end of the year.

The A3 allstreet

Although Audi Australia has confirmed that the A3 allstreet will not be made available in Australia, for those who like to keep abreast of all Audi offerings, this new model takes the A3 in a more ‘off-road’ direction. 

“The aim was to use specific design elements to emphasise the vehicle’s higher ground clearance even more clearly,” says Stephan Fahr-Becker, Team Leader Exterior Design at AUDI AG. 

“As a crossover in the premium compact class, it has a completely unique look,” he says.

In terms of its design, the A3 allstreet draws on the design language more commonly associated with Audi’s Q models and features greater ride heart (15mm) and a larger wheel diameter which adds another 15mm for an overall increase in ground clearance over the standard A3 of 30mm.

Certain elements – like the front spoiler lip – have been given a treatment more in keeping with a skid plate which is reminiscent of the larger Audi all road models.

Its slightly raised and upright seating position too is more in keeping with the Audi Q models, while the addition of roof rails as standard, removable tower and significant luggage storage further enhance its ‘active lifestyle credentials’.