Audi’s exciting new five-door A3 Sportback is expected to make landfall in 2005, but can local fans look forward to an extra bit of sunshine?

Audi’s exciting new five-door A3 Sportback is expected to make landfall in 2005, but can local fans look forward to an extra bit of sunshine?

Ingolstadt’s sporty-yet-sophisticated A3, traditionally only available locally in three-door guise, will from mid-2005 be available as a five-door as well. The bigger Sportback (length 4 286 mm, width 1 765 mm and height 1 423 mm) will come with a full range of engines, though the 2,0-litre FSI is expected to be the first model launched here.

With front-wheel drive (quattro is reserved for the range-topping 3,2-litre six-cylinder), the car will be offered with a choice of six-speed manual or tiptronic transmissions, while the Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) will be optional on certain models.

Suspension consists of a McPherson struts with triangular wishbones in front, and a four-link rear axle.

The standard equipment list is expected to be extensive, but the most fun feature is sure to be the optional panorama glass sunroof.

Following the current trend towards light-filled, airy cabins, the Sportback’s divided glass panel will allow as much light into the car as the occupants desire.

Covering more than half a square metre, the glazed roof is constructed using toughened glass, with an additional steel cross-member between the sections above the front and rear seats for added safety.

The roof is fitted with two individual roller blinds for use when the sunlight becomes too scorching. Colour-coded to match the interior, the roller blinds can also be used when the roof is completely open.

The individual glass panels are pre-programmable to lift or partially open at the touch of a button. Apparently, this panoramic roof lets about twice as much daylight into the cabin as a conventional sunroof.