First launched in 2012, the third-generation Audi A3 has been given a midlife makeover, with refreshed looks at both ends, upgraded technology in the cabin and new engines under the bonnet.
Depending on the region, the A3 range will continue to be available in four body styles - five-door Sportback, four-door sedan, three-door hatch and two-door cabriolet - although the Australian market will likely again go without the three-door option.
For the new model year, the A3 has been given new headlights inspired by its larger new A4 stablemate, along with a broader and more angular take on the familiar single-frame Audi grille.
Matrix LED headlights are added as an optional extra, while Xenon Plus units are equipped as standard.
Lightly restyled tail-lights are featured at the rear, with new LED internals and a subtly re-worked bumper standing out as the key changes at that end.
New-look wheel options round out the exterior changes, although S3 variants continue with the same five-split-spoke design worn by the current model.
An update to the only recently launched RS3 is still to be revealed.
In the cabin, the 2017 A3 range gets the option of Audi’s new Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster, replacing the traditional mechanical gauges with a broad 12.3-inch screen.
A 7.0-inch retractable display retains its place atop the centre of the dash. In the larger A4, Audi’s MMI infotainment system has been upgraded to offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but the car maker has yet to confirm the same for the A3.
On the safety front, there's a new predictive pedestrian-predicting autonomous emergency braking system, along with cross-traffic warning alerts at the rear. That system is also tied to an optional Emergency Assist package, which can brake the vehicle if a collision is deemed imminent.
Adaptive cruise control is also upgraded to work faster and more accurately, while lane-keeping assistance and pre-safe braking systems have also been upgraded.
Under the bonnet of entry-level models can be found a new turbocharged and direct-injected 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine offering 85kW and 200Nm of torque, the latter available from 2000rpm.
A 110kW/250Nm 1.4-litre turbocharged ‘cylinder-on-demand’ four-cylinder engine figures in the middle of the petrol range, while a brand-new 140kW/320Nm 2.0-litre turbo four is also featured at the top end of the line.
The S3 continues with its 2.0-litre turbocharged four, but outputs climb in the European-market model from 221kW and 380Nm to a new 228kW and 400Nm. How this bump will be mirrored in the tune of the local 210kW/380Nm S3, however, remains to be seen.
Audi says the S3 also picks up specific tweaks to the Electronic Stability Control system and multi-plate clutch, promising improved dynamics and safety.
On the diesel side, there’s an 81kW 1.6-litre four-cylinder unit at the entry end (torque still to be confirmed), followed by a 110kW/340Nm 2.0-litre unit and a 135kW/380Nm version of the same engine, although that third unit isn’t due to appear in the range for another six months or so.
Fuel consumption figures for the new range are still to be announced.
Depending on the specification, the 2017 A3 range will be offered with six-speed manual, seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch automatic and six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmissions. The seven-speed shifter is a new unit, featuring a wet clutch. This setup replaces the six-speed unit and dry clutch of the outgoing range.
Front- and quattro all-wheel drive systems will also be on offer.
The refreshed Audi A3 will arrive in Australia toward the end of this year, although exact timing, pricing and specifications are still to be confirmed.