Hatchbacks have their place in the U.S. but the term evokes a less-than-sporty image that sullies the sexy feel luxury manufacturers seek to embody.
That opinion is probably part of the reason why Audi is discontinuing the hatchback A3 for North America with the 2014 model year. Hatchbacks can make fantastic use of a relatively small space at an aesthetic cost to some. While the decision may be frustrating to certain consumers, it will be hard to argue with the distincly Audi and definitely sexy new A3.
We got our first look at the A3 sedan during last year's Geneva Auto Show, when the car was billed as a concept. At the time, Audi had a 408-hp turbocharged 5 cylinder shoehorned into the concept, which was actually about 6 inches longer than the A3 hatchback. It's unlikely that we'll see such a serious engine in the production model slated for North America, though our hopes still remain for an RS3 version.
Instead, a 2.0-liter 4 cylinder and a diesel option stand much better chances of shipping under the hood. The A3 is aimed directly at entry-level luxury consumers, young professionals who would be scared off by otherwise high luxury price tags. That means you can expect similar craftsmanship as other Audi interiors, albeit at a lower starting price of around $30,000.
More: Audi A3 Hatchback Getting the Axe, Sedan Only for North America