Audi says production of its new, fourth-generation A3 Sportback has commenced in Ingolstadt.

Since its launch in 1996, the company has delivered more than five million units of the A3 family worldwide.

The Ingolstadt factory has built almost 3,8 million examples of the A3, with the nameplate also produced in Brussels from 2007 to 2009. The outgoing A3 Sedan is built in Ingolstadt and Győr, while the A3 Cabriolet is also produced by Audi Hungaria. The A3 Sportback and A3 Sedan additionally roll off the production line at the Chinese Foshan plant, while the A3 Sedan is also put together in Aurangabad in India and São José dos Pinhais in Brazil.

“The A3 is a success story for our location – we are proud to be able to continue this story in 2020 with the new generation,” said Achim Heinfling, plant manager at Audi Ingolstadt.

“We are well prepared at the location. For the production of the body, we have built a completely new body shop in the northern complex especially for this model. All other production areas have been comprehensively adapted for the new Audi A3. The production technologies were increasingly digitalised in the process,” he said.

The German firm says its new A3 Sportback offers “more space and functionality” compared with its predecessor. Measuring 4 340 mm long, the new five-door version has grown by a little more than three centimetres. Interestingly, though, its height of 1 430 mm and wheelbase of 2 640 mm remain unchanged.

In Europe, the new A3 Sportback will be launched with a choice of three engines: a 1,5-litre, four-cylinder TFSI unit with 110 kW and a 2,0-litre, four-cylinder TDI that delivers either 85 kW or 110 kW. Initially, only front-driven variants will be offered, although all-paw versions are also on the cards. Power will be transmitted via a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed S tronic.