Audi is readying a family-friendly MPV version of the A3 Sportback, but don’t expect frumpy styling and stodgy handling – it will be a true Audi in all respects. And our exclusive image shows how the more practical A3 will look.
Speaking to us recently, Audi’s R&D boss, Wolfgang Durheimer, told us: “I think there is definitely room for rational cars or family cars in the Audi line-up. But they have to be stylish, like any Audi.”
Audi’s original plan was to build a seven-seater ‘Superavant’ version of the next A4 to cater for more pragmatic customers, but that’s been shelved in favour of a smaller five-seater MPV.
It won’t have the market to itself, though. Premium compact MPVs are a growing trend in the industry, as demonstrated by the new Mercedes B-Class and the 2012 BMW Concept Active Tourer, which will spawn a production car in early 2014 – BMW’s first front-wheel-drive model.
The Audi will be based on a stretched version of the VW Group’s MQB platform – which underpins the rest of the A3 range – with a wheelbase about 200mm longer than the A3 Sportback’s.