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by Tim Beissmann

An image purporting to be the all-new Audi A3 has appeared online less than three weeks out from the car’s unveiling at the 2012 Geneva motor show.

The image – first published by Czech website AutoForum – looks legitimate, although Audi has not claimed responsibility for it at this stage. Audi Australia’s Shaun Cleary would neither confirm nor deny the authenticity of the image, seemingly reducing the likelihood that it is a fake.

The car in the image is almost identical to the digital exterior image that was inadvertently revealed during a presentation of the new A3’s interior and in-car entertainment system in January.

There are few surprises in the fresh styling, with the new model adopting the prominent hexagonal family grille, LED-infused headlights, aggressive air intakes and subtly sculpted bonnet.

The third-generation Audi A3 will go on sale across Europe following its Geneva debut. Audi Australia has not yet finalised timing for arrival of the new model, although it is likely to land here either late this year or early in 2013.

Pictured here in three-door hatchback form, the new A3 will also be offered from launch in five-door from. Sedan and cabriolet body styles are also on the way, but may arrive further down the track.

A familiar range of direct-injection and turbocharged petrol and diesel engines will be available, while Audi is also expected add an electric version closer to the middle of the decade. Power figures for the petrol engines are tipped to span from 77kW to 155kW, while the diesels are likely to produce between 77kW and 132kW.

Expect more details on the all-new Audi A3 to be revealed in the lead-up to the Geneva show, which kicks off on March 6.




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