Audi A3 Vario will compete with Mercedes B-Class

Audi A3 Vario
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Audi plans a sporty compact van based on Audi A3 for the end of 2016 , named Audi A3 Vario.

Mercedes-Benz has already sold more than 380,000 units from the new B-Class launched at the end of 2011 and this success brought the attention of the competition. BMW launched the sporty van 2 Series Active Tourer and Audi also plans for the end of 2016 a sporty compact van based on A3.

Like BMW, Audi also avoids the word “van” and the rumours are that the car will be named A3 Vario.

The base for the A3 Vario will be MQB platform already used for many models within the VW Group. A3 Vario will be slightly bigger than Mercedes-Benz B-Class with a length of around 4,50 meters.

The source of inspiration for A3 Vario is the Roadjet concept that was presented in 2006 at Detroit Motorshow. The Roadjet concept was received very well by the public and represents a combination between Avant and Sportback. But Audi did not industrialize the concept and prefered to launch the Audi Q5 at that time– which is 70 mm shorter and 100 mm higher than Roadjet.

With Vario, Audi also tries to avoid the idea of a van. In the Audi understanding, Vario represents versatility and efficiency, sportivity and day by day use.

A3 Vario will benefit from the large engine range offer from Audi A3. The powerful versions with 1.8 liter petrol turbo/180 HP and 2.0 liter turbodiesel/184 HP will also be available in conjunction with Quattro and dual clutch gearboxes.

It seems that Audi also plans a top sporty model S3 Vario which will use the new 2.0 liter turbo with 300 HP from the S3. It would be the most powerful premium compact van due to the fact that 225i Active Tourer offers a maximum 231 HP, while Mercedes B 250 has 211 HP.

All engines will fulfill the EU6 Norm.

The A3 Vario model range will also have two alternative propulsion versions:

  • A natural gas G-Tron version powered by a 1.4 liter 110 HP with natural gas
  • A Plug-In Hybrid E-Tron version which will combine a 1.4 liter TFSI with 150 HP and 250 Nm with an electric motor placed between the gearbox and the Otto engine which delivers 101 HP and 330 Nm. The power of the complete hybrid system will be 204 HP and 350 Nm, while the 8.8 kwh battery will offer a range in electric mode of up to 50 km.

Illustration: Automedia