COVID-19-related delays continue to interfere with new car launches, with the Audi A3 the latest vehicle to be affected.

    Audi Australia has confirmed the fourth-generation A3’s local launch has blown out to the second half of next year, alongside the previously announced launch of the hotter S3 variant.

    When it was revealed earlier this year, the A3 Sedan was set for a launch in the first half of next year.

    The A3 Sportback was set to arrive even earlier, with a launch initially scheduled for the end of this year.

    When the A3 arrives here, it’ll feature a turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine mated to an eight-speed torque-converter automatic instead of a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission like the current 35 TFSI.

    That’s despite the European introduction of a new turbocharged 1.5-litre mill with 48V mild-hybrid technology, mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

    Audi Australia says new powertrains will come later in the car’s lifecycle.

    The current A3 35 TFSI produces 110kW of power and 250Nm of torque from its 1.4-litre turbo, though outputs haven’t been confirmed for the new Australian-market powertrain.

    While the dual-clutch will disappear from that variant, it’ll continue in the next S3.

    The hotter S3 features all-wheel drive as standard plus a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine producing 228kW of power and 400Nm of torque.

    Additionally, we expect there to continue to be an engine bridging the gap between the 35 TFSI and the S3.

    The current 40 TFSI produces 140kW of power and 320Nm of torque from its turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine.

    The new A3’s design is more evolutionary than revolutionary, though there’s a more aggressive grille and more sculpted sides.

    Inside, there’s a fresh new look for the dashboard, in which there’s a 10.1-inch touchscreen mounted that’s running the latest MIB3 infotainment software. It includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and an integrated Wi-Fi hotspot.

    The Audi A3 isn’t the only Volkswagen Group product to shift away from dual-clutch automatics.

    The base Skoda Karoq also uses a torque-converter auto and an older engine than its European counterpart, while the Volkswagen Golf Mk8 will also drop its dual-clutch transmissions except in performance variants.

    So far this year, the A3 is Audi’s best-selling passenger car and its second best-seller overall including hatchback, sedan and convertible body styles.

    Audi has sold 2720 examples of the A3 range, nine more than the Q5 range.

    Both are behind the Q3, of which Audi has sold 3430. The A3 is also outsold considerably by the hot-selling Mercedes-Benz A-Class, sitting at 5524 sales year-to-date.

    MORE: Audi A3 news and reviews
    MORE: Audi news and reviews

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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