Today we have a small but very revealing set of spy shots for the next-generation Audi A3. By that, we mean this particular pre-production car was caught testing in Africa completely free of any camouflage. Save for some bits obscuring portions of the front and rear lights, you’re looking at the new A3 before Audi wants you to see it.

If you think this looks like the current model, we wouldn’t blame you. Audi is certainly taking an evolutionary approach to the next A3, with exterior lines and dimensions that are nearly a dead match for the present-day hatchback. The obvious difference lies with the wider grille that is now standard-issue across Audi’s lineup, flanked with new pentagon-shaped air intakes down low and edgy headlights higher up.

Gallery: Audi A3 revealing spy photos

Along the sides, we can see the sculpting on the doors is a bit deeper, and the roof tapers a bit more as well. The beltline and window designs appear identical, and while this test car sports chrome trim front-to-back, we don’t think it will be production-spec. It does intersect neatly with trim across the redesigned liftgate, however, and full-length trim spanning the taillights is a popular design trend among automakers these days. Speaking of taillights, they are considerably narrower to better meld with the shorter liftgate design.

Inside, we expect to find similar proportions to the current greenhouse, but there are several changes in store. These photos don’t clue us into details, but previous spy shots reveal a new dash that incorporates the touchscreen within it. We haven’t yet heard specifics on powertrain changes, but a bit more power across the range is a safe bet, not to mention hybrid offerings.

We thought Audi might make use of the Frankfurt Motor Show to reveal the next A3, but that event has come and gone. However, finding this test vehicle running camo-free in public suggests a reveal is imminent – possibly just weeks away at this point.