Back by popular demand, a 5-door hatchback is returning to the Audi A3 lineup. The new 2016 Audi A3 Sportback models will be available with a turbo-diesel 4-cylinder engine or a new plug-in hybrid variant dubbed “e-tron.” Yes, the lowercase letters are there on purpose. No, we don’t know why.
2016 Audi A3 Sportback Photo Gallery: The TDI Model
Virtually demanded by fans of the brand, the 2016 A3 TDI Sportback is equipped with a new turbocharged, 2.0-liter clean diesel 4-cylinder engine good for 150 horsepower and at least 236 lb.-ft. of torque. Audi’s 6-speed S-tronic automated manual transmission is standard. Gas mileage? Yeah, it’s good for that. Numbers aren’t available yet, though.
2016 Audi A3 Sportback Photo Gallery: The e-tron Model
Equipped with a turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, a 75-kW electric motor, a lithium-ion battery, and a 6-speed S-tronic transmission, the new Audi A3 e-tron Sportback is a plug-in hybrid that can travel a distance of up to 31 miles purely on electricity, and then switches to gas-electric operation until the driver can find an outlet and some time to wait for the battery to recharge. Total output measures 204 horsepower.
2016 Audi A3 Sportback Photo Gallery: Styling
Some might say that the A3 Sportback’s 5-door design is exactly as nature intended for this Audi model. While the new 4-door sedan is nice, there’s certainly something to be said about the added practicality offered by the A3 Sportback.
2016 Audi A3 Sportback Photo Gallery: Cargo Space
With folding rear seats, the new A3 Sportback models will offer greater cargo space than other A3 variants. Audi has not finalized official numbers, but let’s hope this hatchback swallows more than the 39 cu.-ft. than the previous model could.
2016 Audi A3 Sportback Photo Gallery: Features
When the 2016 A3 Sportback models go on sale, they’ll offer 4G LTE Internet connectivity, Facebook and Twitter alerts, and access to global radio stations that can be enjoyed over Bang & Olufsen audio components. The TDI Sportback will also be available in snazzy S-line trim, as indicated here.
Owners will also be able to navigate to a destination by photo, eliminating the need to know or input a physical address. First, subscribe to Audi Connect, which is about $16.50 per month. Then, get a photo of the place you want to go, one that contains embedded longitude and latitude data. Now, using a smartphone and the Audi Connect App, send that photo to the car and program the navigation system to find that destination based on the coordinates in the image data.
Or, you could just look up the address on your smartphone and use the MMI controller to input the address. Whatever.
2016 Audi A3 Sportback Photo Gallery: e-tron Plug-In
Audi deftly hides the A3 e-tron Sportback’s socket behind the quad-ringed chrome badge on the car’s grille. Slide it to the left, and the socket and related equipment is revealed. Audi says the car recharges in four hours using a 240-volt home charging station. Plug into the same socket you use for your smartphone and, well, it’s gonna take longer.
2016 Audi A3 Sportback Photo Gallery: Summing Up
Audi loyalists wanted the new 2016 A3 TDI Sportback, and they’re getting it. We’re sure the company will find an eager buyer for every single one of them. The A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid shown here, however, might prove to be a tougher sell.
2015 Audi A3 Sportback photos taken by Megan Green for Autobytel