Audi’s rugged division recently got updated with the refreshed A4 Allroad and the A1 Citycarver, which got a new name (see the related links below). The A1 Allstreet is now the smallest member of the brand’s non-SUV family of high-riding vehicles and it seems that the Ingolstadt-based firm is working on yet another member positioned slightly above the entry-level model. We have new spy photos showing a lifted A3 prototype lapping the Nurburgring.
This trial car has camouflage covering both the front and rear fascias but that’s probably not the most interesting part. The machine seems to be sitting slightly higher above the ground compared to a regular A3 hatchback. It’s not that common for high-riding vehicles to go chasing lap records, though Audi probably wants to make sure the suspension setup provides the perfect balance between solid road behaviour and good off-road ability.
Gallery: Audi A3 Allstreet spy photos
This new A3 addition was tentatively known as the A3 Allroad but with Audi’s recent move to rename the lifted A1 to A1 Allstreet it makes sense for the larger hatchback to receive the same moniker. Alternatively, the German automaker could decide to leave the Allstreet suffix to models not available with an all-wheel drive and give all rugged models with Quattro the Allroad name.
Speaking of Audi’s AWD system, this prototype doesn’t seem to be fitted with the Quattro tech and is most likely powered by a traditional combustion engine without any sort of electrification. All previous test cars had a charging port on the front left wing/fender hinting at a plug-in hybrid powertrain under the bonnet. There are reports that all-wheel drive could be optionally available.
Whatever it is called, this new high-riding A3 will most likely debut later this year. The amount of camouflage on this prototype is not huge, which probably means the development and testing are nearly completed.