Audi of America just announced that the new Audi A3 TDI Sportback will making its debut at the 2014 New York International Auto Show and will be coming to the United States in the summer of 2015 as a 2016 model year. That in itself is a bit surprising since their initial onslaught on to the market has been the A3 sedan and the Sportback had been seemingly relegated to e-tron plug-in hybrid duties.
That said, from the standpoint of an Audi enthusiast and brand evangelist, the quote from Scott Keogh, President of Audi of America, is the most important bit of the press release:
The A3 TDI Sportback has an incredibly passionate and loyal fan base, this new version has been one of our most requested models since the announcement of the new A3 family
There has been quite a lot of complaints, gripes and moans from the Audi enthusiasts regarding the lack of the new Sportback coming to the United States. The fact that the Mr. Keogh stated and acknowledged that is welcoming.
Having said that, there will continue to be wishes, gripes and moans of the lack of quattro and/or a manual gearbox option in the new A3 TDI Sportback, or the lack of a manual in any of the new A3 models.
Based on a few conversations that I’ve had, TDI and quattro looks like it’s more of an engineering issue due to the EPA requirements of urea injection and fitting that into the rather compact confines of the A3 Sportback. Why would that be an issue in the A3 Sportback and not in the recently announced MQB platform mate Golf TDI Sportwagen with 4Motion? As mentioned, the A3 Sportback is a pretty compact package compared to the Sportwagen formerly known as the Jetta Sportwagen. Remember, the MQB platform allows for some customization of the platform, but certain components and “modules” are fixed.
The other piece of the press release that made me smile was this bit towards the beginning:
The A3 TDI Sportback is a premium, compact hatchback that pairs fuel efficiency and coupe-like looks with the utility of a crossover.
See, you don’t need a bloated crossover to get the utility of a crossover. ;)