Audi could be prepping a crossover-styled version of the new-generation A3 Sportback called the 'Cityhopper’ – according to a new report out of the UK.
Autocar claims the four-ringed marque is subjecting the all-new A3 to an Allroad-style treatment that should see the premium hatchback get a raised ride height, along with SUV-like bumpers and cladding, according to “a senior company source”.
However, the new A3 variant will not wear the ‘Allroad’ moniker as it isn’t expected to be offered with quattro all-wheel drive, reportedly to keep CO2 emissions down – similar in concept to the recently-launched Ford Focus Active.
It should also give Audi a niche offering at the lower end of the premium market, given BMW and Mercedes-Benz don’t have crossover versions of the 1 Series and A-Class in the wings, if you discount the X1 and GLA.
Like the wider A3 range, the Cityhopper will ride on a version of the updated MQB platform employed by various models across the Volkswagen Group.
The revised architecture, unofficially known as MQB Evo, will allow for the wider rollout of electrification technologies, mainly in the form of hybridisation. It’s believed the new A3 will follow its Mk8 Golf cousin’s lead in offering a range of petrol and diesel engines augmented by 48V mild-hybrid systems.
However, it’s unclear whether these powertrains will be available in Australia with the new Audi, given Volkswagen has ruled out these engines due to our sulphur-rich petrol’s incompatibility with petrol particulate filters.
Above: Audi Q2
Beyond the wider rollout of electrified engines, the MQB Evo platform should allow for enhanced driver assist technologies, connected infotainment systems, and more space for passengers and luggage.
The all-new Audi A3 is believed to be scheduled for a Frankfurt motor show debut in September, though we may not see the ‘Cityhopper’ version until some months after – Autocar reckons it won’t even be available in Europe until 2022.
Stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest.