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Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Audi A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid unveiled

Audi will preview a new 201bhp petrol-electric hybrid powered version of its third-generation Audi A3 at the Geneva motor show in early March.

The Audi A3 e-tron sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 7.6 seconds on its way to a top speed of 222 km/h (137.94 mph). According to the ECE standard for plug-in hybrid automobiles, the five-door model consumes on average just 1.5 liters of fuel per 100 km (156.81 US mpg), which corresponds to CO2 emissions of 35 grams per km (56.33 g/mile). In electric mode, the Audi A3 e-tron reaches a top speed of 130 km/h (80.78 mph) and has a maximum range of 50 km (31.07 miles).

The combustion engine is a modified 1.4 TFSI producing 110 kW (150 hp). A clutch links the TFSI to an electric motor with an output of 75 kW. The disc-shaped electric motor is integrated into a newly designed six-speed e-S tronic, which transfers the power to the front wheels. The two powerplants complement one another. The electric motor delivers its peak torque from start to around 2000 rpm, and the TFSI’s maximum pulling power is available in a range from 1,750 to 4,000 rpm.

The Audi A3 e-tron can be driven with just the combustion engine, just the electric drive or in hybrid mode. Even in electric mode it offers powerful acceleration without the need to engage the TFSI. The driver can choose to have both powerplants active at the same time (“boosting”). When the driver lets up on the accelerator, they both deactivate temporarily (“gliding”). In this way motor braking torque is eliminated and efficiency increases.

At the Geneva Motor Show, the Audi A3 e-tron will provide a realistic glimpse into the future of mobility as Audi is planning it. The electrification of the drivetrain, above all using plug-in technology, plays a deciding role in the strategy of the brand.

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