The Audi A3 is a small family car (C-segment in Europe) produced by the German automaker Audi since 1996. The first two generations of A3 were based on the Volkswagen Group A platform, which they share with several other models such as the Audi TT, Volkswagen Golf, Volkswagen Caddy and Volkswagen Touran as well as SEAT Len, SEAT Toledo and koda Octavia. The third-generation A3 uses the Volkswagen Group MQB platform. The original A3 (or Typ 8L) was introduced in the European market in 1996, marking Audi's return to the production of smaller cars following the demise of the Audi 50. This was the first Volkswagen Group model to use the 'PQ34' or 'A4' platform, bearing a natural close resemblance to its contemporary, the Volkswagen Golf Mk4. The car was initially available only with a three-door hatchback body, in order to present a more sporty image than the Golf, in both front- and four-wheel drive.
Contributions by Pc13, Letdorf, and Teutonic Tamer.