Audi releases A3 saloon concept sketches

Audi has released a set of sketches of a new A3 saloon which it is set to reveal at next week's Geneva motor show.

The surprise new model is set to be a performance variant, powered by a 2.5-litre, 408bhp, turbocharged five-cylinder engine and a seven-speed S tronic automatic gearbox.
The concept is described as "a glimpse of the future expansion of the A3 family" and is based on the successor to the current A3, which is due to arrive in 2012.

The four-door model would be an addition to the range, joining the current three and five-door hatchbacks and the cabriolet.

As well as the large, powerful engine, which is the same powerplant Audi put in the Quattro concept at the 2010 Paris motor show, the A3 saloon is set to come with Audi's all-wheel-drive system.

The saloon is designed to appeal to markets such as North America, China and Russia, where four-door variants are more popular than their hatchback equivalents.

As the new model is currently only a show car, there are no firm plans to bring it to the UK just yet.

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