Audi spokesman Josef Schlossmacher told reporters that the German manufacturer expects “every second A3 customer will opt for the sedan in the future” at a ceremony marking the start of the compact four-door’s production in Gyor, Hungary.
The all-new third-generation A3 marks the first time Audi has offered a sedan body style in the nameplate’s 17-year history, and is a reflection of the brand’s desire to succeed in the world’s two largest markets, China and the US, both of which traditionally have a preference for sedans over hatchbacks.
The Audi A3 sedan will launch into those markets during the second quarter of next year, around the same time as it arrives in Australian showrooms, where it is still expected to play second fiddle to the five-door A3 Sportback.
Advance sales began in Germany earlier this month, with the first A3 sedans to hit European streets in the third quarter of this year.
The Audi A3 sedan is 170mm longer than the A3 Sportback on which it’s based, while a 62mm-longer wheelbase and 425-litre boot (up 55L over the hatch) promise to make it more accommodating for rear-seat passengers and their cargo.
The A3 sedan joins the A3 Cabriolet, RS3 Sportback and TT roadster and coupe on the assembly line in Gyor, following a 900 million euro ($1.3 billion) investment into the 20-year-old Hungarian facility’s infrastructure, buildings and production equipment.
Audi Hungaria has created 2100 new jobs as a result of the plant expansion, which will see annual production increase from 33,000 vehicles to 125,000.