Production delays caused by WLTP in Europe push Australian launch further back in the year.

Audi Australia has been forced to delay the release of its anticipated A1 hatchback and Q3 SUV until the fourth quarter of 2019, as head office continues to work through the backlog of of WLTP compliance in Europe.

Originally, the all-new A1 was meant to hit local showrooms during the second quarter, while the new-generation Q3 was slated to arrive around the middle of the year.

Speaking with CarAdvice, Audi's local corporate communications manager, Shaun Cleary, confirmed the delays are due to the WLTP regulations that came into force in Europe last year.

"Even though that doesn’t impact Australia directly, it means there are delays for smaller markets like ourselves," he said.

This latest news is another hit for the four-ringed luxury marque, having already pushed back the launch of its first all-electric model, the e-tron quattro SUV, until next year. Audi has also been first to halt production of its popular RS3 hot hatch and sedan until it can come up with a WLTP-compliant version.

So far this year the company's sales have been steadily slowing, down 25.8% year to date as of 31 March.

The company will be keen to get their hands on the new A1 and Q3, which are key volume sellers for the brand, both showing double-digit decline in recent months as dealers clear old stock.

Stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest.