The 2017 Audi A3 sedan and convertible get several styling and technology updates that will likely be applied to the A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrid model as well.

The current-generation A3 debuted in Europe in 2012, although it didn't go on sale in the U.S. until the 2015 model year (there was no 2014 A3).

Nonetheless, the model is now about halfway through its life cycle, prompting Audi to issue a refresh.

DON'T MISS: Updated Audi A3 debuts with new engine, tweaked styling

Visually, the updated 2017 A3 is distinguished by slightly-different headlights and taillights, a more pronounced and horizontal grille, and other small tweaks.

Only someone familiar with the previous model will be able to spot the differences.

No changes are expected to the powertrain of the plug-in hybrid, which includes a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and six-speed dual-clutch transmission, working with an electric motor and 8.8-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack.

2017 Audi A3 e-tron Sportback

2017 Audi A3 e-tron Sportback

Its total system output should remain the same, at 204 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.

And the 2017 A3 e-tron should also achieve the same EPA-rated 83 MPGe combined and 16 miles of all-electric range as the 2016 model.

(Miles Per Gallon Equivalent, or MPGe, measures the distance a car can travel electrically on the same amount of energy as that in 1 gallon of gasoline).

ALSO SEE: 2016 Audi A3 e-Tron Sportback: First Drive Of Audi's Plug-In Hybrid (Nov 2015)

More substantial changes are expected on the inside, though.

Other A3 models will get Audi's "Virtual Cockpit" digital instrument cluster, so it's likely that will carry over to the e-tron as well.

Already available on the A4 sedan, Q7 SUV, and TT and R8 sports cars, the display replaces traditional analog gauges with a configurable setup, putting information normally displayed on the center-stack screen closer to the driver's line of sight.

2017 Audi A3 e-tron Sportback

2017 Audi A3 e-tron Sportback

The A3 also gets an updated version of the MMI infotainment system, with available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity.

As with most new luxury cars, Audi offers a slew of driver-assistance features as well, including lane-departure warning, cross-traffic warning, and automatic emergency braking.

MORE: Two more electric cars to follow Audi Q6 e-tron by 2020, maker says

Full details on updates specific to the A3 e-tron will be announced at a later date, along with pricing.

The entire A3 lineup goes on sale in the U.S. later this year.


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