Launches of fourth-generation small cars pushed back by six to 12 months, due to COVID-related delays.
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The 2021 Audi A3 hatch and sedan won't arrive in Australia for up to 12 months, the company has announced.

Audi Australia confirmed to CarAdvice the new-generation A3 hatch and sedan won't touch down on Australian shores until the second half of 2021 – some 12 months after the hatch was initially due to arrive late in the second half of 2020, and six months after the sedan's initial scheduled arrival date of the first half of 2021.

The brand has confirmed the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is to blame for the A3 duo's delayed launches, with Australian production of the model now scheduled to commence "a little later than anticipated", an Audi Australia spokesperson told CarAdvice.

It's expected the standard A3 will touch down at a similar time to the performance-focused, all-wheel-drive S3 hot hatch and sedan, previously confirmed for a local launch in the second half of 2021.

Unveiled in Sportback hatch form in March and sedan guise in April, the fourth generation of Audi's popular small car brings an evolutionary – though notably more aggressive, with bold 'Quattro blister' wheel arches – new look, an overhauled cabin, larger dimensions and an array of advanced safety technologies.

While European models offer a range of petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid powertrain choices, it's likely (though yet to be officially confirmed) the new A3 will launch Down Under with a similar engine line-up to its predecessor, which offered a choice of 110kW/250Nm 1.4-litre and 140kW/320Nm 2.0-litre petrol drivetrains, mated to dual-clutch automatic transmissions.

Should the 1.4-litre carry over for the new-generation model, there's a chance its dual-clutch auto could be replaced by the same eight-speed torque-converter transmission as used by the new A3's twin under the skin, the new Volkswagen Golf and, as government documents reveal, its Skoda Octavia relative.

While local pricing and specifications have yet to be confirmed, a modest price rise is expected, given the additional safety and connectivity technology on offer.

Stay tuned to CarAdvice for more details of the 2021 Audi A3 hatch and sedan as the small-car twins near their Australian arrivals in the second half of next year.