Audi has taken the covers off its new A3 hatchback.

The fourth generation of the model features a ‘sporty and sophisticated design’, according to the manufacturer, that builds upon its predecessor’s styling – rather than completely change it.

Inside, the A3 Sportback has been thoroughly updated. As standard, it gets a 10.1-inch touch display integrated into the centre of the instrument panel. Audi’s virtual cockpit that replaces traditional dials can also be fitted, measuring 12.3 inches in the plus version.

It can show the driver useful information such as a large display of the navigation map. In plus form, it offers three different views, including ‘graphics with a sporty look’.

The model receives a new, third generation modular infotainment platform – the computing power of which is said to be ten times higher than that of its predecessor. Some tech offered within the cabin include an integrated Wi-Fi hotspot and DAB+ digital radio, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The new A3 will be launched in Europe with a choice of three engine options – a 148bhp 1.5 petrol, as well as a 114bhp and 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel. A six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic is available.

Order books for the new Audi A3 Sportback open in March with first deliveries set for May.