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by Adam Lynton
Bigger and lighter than its predecessor, the new Audi A3 Sportback has been revealed ahead of its imminent debut at the Paris Motor Show.
has officially revealed the five-door variant of the A3, dubbed the A3 Sportback, ahead of its Paris Motor Show debut. Unfortunately, it won't be heading Stateside; instead Americans will be getting a sedan version that will be exclusive to the USA. At 2,636 mm, the A3 Sportback is 35 mm longer than the three-door variant and 58 mm longer than the outgoing model, which results in more legroom for in the back which Audi claims can accommodate three adults.
Boot space has also increased by 15 liters to 380, and with the rear seats folded down capacity has grown to 1,220 liters, up from 1,100. There's also an option of LED down-lighting to help with loading in the dark. To offset the added volume, the new Audi A3 Sportback is also 90 kg lighter than its predecessor thanks to the Volkswagen
Group's new MQB platform. Audi claims that with the 1.4-liter TFSI, the five-door weighs just 1,205 kg. The German automaker is also offering the new Sportback with a 1.2-liter TFSI, a 1.8-liter TFSI, a 1.6-liter TDI and a 2.0-liter TDI.
The latter is the most potent of the bunch, rated at 184 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, enabling the A3 Sportback to sprint from 0-62 mph in 7.4 seconds and hit a top speed of 144 mph. All engines are mated to a standard six-speed manual, while Audi offers its S tronic dual-clutch transmission and Quattro all-wheel-drive system on certain models. In addition to growing an extra pair of doors, the Sportback also adopts a sloping tailgate akin to Audi's Q models, while the S-Line package incorporates different bumpers, spoilers and bigger wheels. Otherwise trim levels ape that of the three-door A3.
The cabin boasts a glut of technology, including Audi's latest MMI system available with a 5.8- or 7-inch display and an optional Bang & Olufsen 14-speaker sound system. In 2013, the range will be expanded with an S3 performance variant and a special model dubbed "TCNG" with a 109-hp engine that consumes "Audi e-gas", a new type of fuel which Audi claims "produces itself in a sustainable manner." An A3 Sportback e-tron will follow in 2014. Germany will be the first country to get the A3 Sportback where it will go on sale early next year with a base price of 22,500 Euros.