Audi’s newly-revamped A3 will begin hitting European showrooms late this year, with U.S. deliveries set to begin in early 2013.

In addition to a new A3 sedan model, so far shown only as a "Concept," Audi is branching out with new drivetrain options for A3 buyers.

In Europe, consumers will get a new 1.6-liter turbodiesel engine option that’s said to produce just 99 g/km of carbon dioxide, but it’s not likely that engine will make it to this side of the pond.

Instead, U.S. diesel buyers are expected to get an updated version of the existing 2.0-liter TDI diesel engine with a revised cylinder head and new fuel injection system.

The new turbodiesel A3 model will make more horsepower, and will likely deliver improved fuel economy.

Audi’s A3 is often cited as a counter-argument to the claim from automakers that “American’s won’t buy diesels.”

Last year, 55-percent of A3 models sold in the U.S. were TDI variants, which sounds impressive until you factor those 3.608 sales against Audi's total sales of 117,561 units. In other words, the A3 TDI made up just 3 percent of Audi's U.S. sales last year.

Wards Auto says that European A3 buyers will get a compressed natural gas (CNG) version of the A3 in 2013, followed by a hybrid variant in 2014. Audi says that U.S. sales of the CNG version “are being considered,” presumably to offer an upscale alternative to the 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas.

To further boost fuel economy across the A3 range, all models will benefit for a weight reduction of some 176 pounds, thanks to the use of aluminum in components such as the fenders and hood.

Look for specific fuel economy numbers to be published closer to the car’s launch.


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