Audi’s fourth-generation A3 will push upmarket and feature 48-volt electric tech when it goes on sale in the UK in 2019.

BMW’s new 1 Series is on the horizon for late 2018, but Audi will also have a fresh challenger ready to take it on in the form of the latest A3. The popular hatch will debut in hatchback, saloon and, eventually, coupe form.

The A3 is one of the best-selling premium models in the UK thanks to its range of bodystyles, trim levels and powertrains covering all the bases. So don’t expect the formula to radically change for the fourth-generation car, with evolutionary styling to bring it into line with the latest A4 as our exclusive images show.

Like the forthcoming Volkswagen Golf Mk8, the next A3 will use the VW Group's updated MQB platform, but it’s also set to grow slightly to allow for increased space inside. Don’t expect the same weight-saving from generation-to-generation as the A4 as a result, but there could still be a few kilos shaved off as Audi’s engineers work their magic.

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Audi A3 set to raise its game on quality and tech in 2019