Audi’s new TV channel – Audi MediaTV – will be first to reveal its latest model next Wednesday, 27th March.

The A3 Saloon, based on a elongated A3 platform, will compete against the Mercedes-Benz CLA and forthcoming BMW 2 Series.

Judging by the sneak peak shown in the video, an S3 version seems on the cards from launch – built on the longer wheelbase Sportback platform.

  • Audi-S3-Saloon_launch
  • Mercedes-CLA-production

We first saw it as the 402bhp A3 Concept, shown at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. The Concept was around 100mm shorter than a Volkswagen Jetta at 4,440mm, but 1,840mm wide fitted with 20-inch alloy wheels. Expect the production car to mirror the A3 Sportback’s wheelbase, but be around 100mm longer and 30mm lower.

It’s the first time Audi has offered a four-door A3 in the UK, coming as it does just a few months after Mercedes’ CLA, which was designed primarily for the hatchback-averse markets of the U.S. and China.

BMW’s 2 Series saloon should appear by the Frankfurt motor show, offering plenty of choice for buyers downsizing from the ever-growing D-segment cars.

We’ll have further news in the run-up to next Wednesday’s launch.