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by Brett Davis

Audi has been spotted testing a 2012 Audi A3 prototype in Argentina. The test car is covered in plenty of cladding, particularly at the front end, and is seen in three-door hatch form.

It’s a bit hard to tell exactly what the next-generation Audi A3 front end will look like judging by this test car, but elements of Audi’s new design language are already evident. These include new style headlights, also seen on the new Audi A6 and A7, complimented by LED daytime running lights and a large front grille fascia.

From the side it’s usual Audi A3 fare, sporting that slab-like Audi tradition with a single curved contour and no excess lines or cuts to the panel design.

We also get a bit of a sneak peek into the interior, and by the looks of it, and according to reports, the next Audi A3 will step up a level in terms of interior quality, fit and finish. By the looks of it the new model will get new door trims with aluminium accents and an optional luxurious cream leather upholstery.

Audi hasn’t released any concrete details about powertrain specifics yet, but the new A3 is likely to feature a range of small turbocharged petrol and diesel four-cylinder engines. A hybrid version is also said to be in the pipeline.

The new Audi A3 is expected to go on sale sometime in 2012, possibly after a 2012 Geneva Motor Show debut in March. It will be available in three- and five-door hatch form, as well as a new sedan layout.