Audi has recently announced that the latest generation A3, the entry-level estate car, will go on the market next year. Audi is also planning a limited run of the R8 E-tron, an electric version of the Audi supercar.
Update for the Audi estate
According to Car and Driver, Audi recently confirmed the updated version of the A3, Audi’s entry-level five-door hatch, will go on sale in late 2012, as a 2013 model. The new car is going to also be available as a four-door sedan in addition to the usual five-door that American buyers are used to seeing.
It will also share some parts with Volkswagens, as part of VW’s MQB corporate strategy; cars across VW’s product lines will share parts where applicable. According to BusinessWeek, parts such as chassis, steering column and axles will be used across more than 40 Volkswagen, Skoda, Audi and Seat models.
VW estimates the strategy will reduce production time by 30 percent and decrease costs by 20 percent, saving VW 5 billion euros (about $6.5 million) per year. The system is modular; cars will share some parts but will still maintain their own entity.
Convertible coming too
Audi is also, according to Car and Driver, going to possibly bring a convertible version of the A3, as well as the sedan and hatchback and an electric version. According to Automobile Magazine, because the A3 will share architecture with the upcoming next generation Volkswagen Golf, as well as other models, a three-door hatchback version could be forthcoming as well, though it’s unknown whether that will be released in the U.S.
The new A3 will still have the Quattro drive system that Audi is famous for. It will retain the two choices of 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines. Just like the current A3, the 2013 A3 will have the choice of the 2.0-liter gas or 2.0-liter TDI diesel engine. Price isn’t available yet, but it could be lower than the $27,270 for the current A3 because of the reduced costs of construction using shared parts.
Audi also confirmed that it will produce a small number of the R8 E-tron, the all-electric version of the Audi R8 supercar. According to Automobile Magazine, the entire R8 line is getting a styling update in 2012 ahead of the release of the second generation of the R8 in 2014. The electric version is likely to be badged the RSe, which is also arriving in late 2012.
The concept car, according to MotorAuthority, is powered by four in-wheel electric motors, similar to the SIM-LEI concept from this year’s Tokyo Motor Show and the Jaguar C-X75 concept. It will be a bit lighter than the R8 with the 4.2-liter V-8, but somewhat less powerful. The concept car produced 313 horsepower and was able to get from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour) in 4.8 seconds, though the top speed is limited to 124.27 miles per hour. The car has a range of 154 miles.