The next generation of Audi’s A3 is set to make its debut at next month’s Geneva Motor Show. We bring you pictures and details of the car that will share its platform with the Golf V.

The next generation of Audi’s A3 is set to make its début at next month’s Geneva Motor Show. We bring you pictures and details of the car that will share its platform with the Golf V.

These are official pictures of the three-door, which will go on sale in Europe in the middle of the year. A five-door derivative of the Audi A3 will be seen later in the year.

The range, which was penned by Audi’s new design boss, Walter de'Silva, will comprise an all-new range of four and six-cylinder powerplants, including the new DSG semi-automatic gearbox. According to reports, Audi is aiming to set new standards in the competitive executive hatchback sector.

The A3 looks more purposeful and sporty than its predecessor... Its wheelbase is 65 mm longer, the body 30 mm wider, and the front and rear overhangs have been reduced. Shallower windows and a steeply raked C-pillar offer a coupé-like silhouette, and the headlamps and grille have been redesigned.

The A3’s driver's seat has been mounted lower than on the outgoing model and the rear legroom has been increased. Thanks to the wider bodywork, boot capacity is up to 350 litres, and the fuel tank has a capacity of 55 litres.

The entry-level powerplant is likely to be the 76 kW 1,6-litre petrol powerplant. There will likely be 112 kW two-litre FSI and 180 kW 3,2-litre V6 engines. Sources say a new 97 kW two-litre TDI and 78 kW 1,9-litre diesel engines will be added later.

The 3,2-litre V6 and two-litre TDI variants will be available with quattro four-wheel drive. A choice of either six-speed manual or six-speed semi-automatic transmission will be offered.

All the other models will have five-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive. According to , there will be three trim levels - attraction, ambition and ambiente - each featuring central locking, ESP traction control and what the report called “a full complement of airbags”.

An S3 edition will be also be launched next year, and an Allroad version in 2005.