Report – Audi considering A3 based ‘Vario’ MPV
Nithyanandh K, As a toddler, those wheeled machinery fascinated me even before I knew what they’re called as! So here I'm, petrolhead by birth, Mechanical engineer by qualification and automotive reporter by profession!
Audi is reportedly exploring the possibilities of a crossover based on the A3 called the Vario, which could have three rows of seats.
The Vario will be having a smaller footprint than the A4 Avant (station wagon) but is expected to offer as much cabin space, and a boot space of 650 litres which is larger than any of the Audi Avant models.
Speculations suggest that an extended wheelbase version could also be considered to accommodate third row. The Audi A3 can be the direct rival to the Mercedes B Class, the only compact ‘Sports Tourer’ in that segment and the production version of the BMW Concept Active Tourer.
The Vario if produced, will share most of its components with the Audi A3 and could be costlier than the hatchback sibling by £2,000 (around 2 lakhs) making it a more practical and value for money choice.
The car will obviously sit on the MQB Platform and there are wide range of engine options that could be made available in the Vario. A new 2.0 litre TSI producing 211 bhp and a 2.0 litre diesel generating 180 bhp are viable candidates.
A high performance S3 version with 280 bhp could not be ruled out either. The hybrid powertrain with 1.4 litre 110 bhp petrol engine with 30 miles pure electric range is also a possibility in the future.
The Audi A3 Vario is expected to see the light of the day by 2016 and will be positioned between the A3 and A4.