NY Auto Show preview: Audi teases A3 sedan before Big Apple debut

Audi A3 sedan teaseWe’ve been anticipating the unveiling of the 2014 Audi A3 sedan at the New York Auto Show, but before Audi could pull the cover off its latest compact luxury car, it had to put a cover on a different model.

A short video on Audi’s YouTube channel encourages people to watch the car’s online unveiling on March 27 (actually the evening of March 26 if you’re on the East Coast). Until then, we’re left guessing.

Based on what we can see through the sheet, the A3 appears to have the same lines as the larger A4 and A6. Audi has some of the best looking luxury cars on the road right now, so a family resemblance to the other sedans wouldn’t be a bad thing.

We also expect the 2014 A3 sedan to acquire the same shield-like grille and angrily squinting headlights as the recently-unveiled A3 hatchback.

Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive will almost certainly be standard. The engines will probably all be variants of the brand’s 2.0-liter inline-four, with the diesel A3 TDI possibly making a comeback.

At the recent Geneva Motor Show, Audi unveiled a sporty S3 hatchback, with a 300 horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. It also showed an e-tron plug-in hybrid and a g-tron natural gas variant. We’ll have to wait and see if any of these models make it to the U.S.

Why make such a fuss about yet another A3 variant? The sedan will probably help increase the A3’s appeal in the U.S., where “luxury hatchback” is an oxymoron. The trauma left over from the Ford Pinto, AMC Gremlin, and Geo Metro have made it hard to convince Americans that a car like the A3 can be a truly premium product.

When Audi finally pulls the cover off the 2014 A3 sedan in New York, we’ll be there to get all of the details.