“Four-door coupe.” The exasperating designation won’t go away, despite the best efforts from automakers to endow all sedans and five-doors with coupe-like rooflines. Did we forget to mention crossovers and SUVs? Yes, those can be four-door coupes, too.
In traditional use, a four-door coupe designates a sedan with a different roofline and an extra dose of luxury, though the dose is often mental, not physical. Not one to let an opportunity to pick up a few extra sales pass by, Audi is gearing up to bring the four-door coupe lifestyle to customers at the bottom of its product ladder.
Think of it as climbing an extra rung, but without paying for it.
According to Auto Express, Audi will offer the next-generation A3 in just such a configuration, slotted alongside a sedan and five-door Sportback. The automaker apparently wants to target premium-minded A3 buyers who don’t want to (or can’t) pay much more to look the part. However, those aren’t the only customers Audi has in its sights.
The automaker’s top German rival, Mercedes-Benz, soaks up a fair number of sales in the premium compact German sedan segment with its CLA. Consider the A3 four-door coupe as a direct rival. (Mercedes, of course, hopped on the four-door coupe bandwagon early on with its swoopy CLS-Class)
The redesigned Sportback is expected to be the first of the next-generation A3s, bowing in 2019. Riding on the same MQB platform as before, the model should grow slightly in length. Its sedan sibling should see evolutionary design changes. As the the four-door coupe, we shouldn’t be surprised that Audi choose to insert such a variant near the bottom of its lineup. The automaker premiered a similar concept — the TT Sportback (seen above) — in 2014, and has stated its goal of fielding 60 models by 2020.
Expect the upcoming model to bear a close resemblance to that earlier concept.