German car magazine Auto Motor und Sport is reporting that Audi will pull the covers off of the all-new MQB-based Audi A3 at the Geneva Motor Show next spring (found via Automobile Magazine) and arrive in Europe by the spring of 2012.
From the sounds of it, A, M und S's source was Audi Design boss Stefan Sielaff who hinted that the Audi board has approved an aggressive infotainment/AudiConnect strategy for the car that will see plenty of high-end MMI functionality, a larger screen placed higher on the dash, voice control, wifi and more. Some of this was already assumed since Audi showed off a mystery "future" MMI system at CES last year featuring the new NVIDIA Tegra 2 chip that Audi AG boss Rupert Stadler later revealed was that of the A3.
Of course Europe will have more body styles, beginning with a 3-door and followed by a 5-door Sportback, sedan and sedan-based 2-door convertible.
You may remember that Audi of America boss Johan de Nysschen stated a while back that the sedan was bound for America and that the convertible was being considered. He also stated at the time, during a visit to the Fourtitude forums , that the Sportback would not return to the USA.
More recent intel suggests this may not be as final as de Nysschen's statement may have sounded. We're hearing now that while the Sportback may not launch with the sedan in the USA, it's not entirely out. Audi certainly hears the outcry of Avant/Sportback fans in the USA and is reconsidering it. Still, this decision revolves heavily around volume of the new car and whether or not there's a business case. We're not saying Sportback is back in the American strategy yet... but there's a good chance it could be.
In the meantime, check out the Automobile intel piece. We've summarized a bit but it's more in depth with some great detail you won't want to miss.
Full Story - Automobile