At the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, Audi officially unveiled the A3 E-tron sportback. During the press conference, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler confirmed that the A3 E-tron will be sold in the United States.
In addition to test programs across Europe, Audi had offered fleets prototypes of the A3 E-tron for evaluation in North America, so it isn’t a total surprise Audi is bringing the production version to North America.
The 5 door A3 E-tron uses a parallel hybrid drivetrain comprised of a turbocharged 4 cylinder engine and a small electric motor rated at 100 horsepower integrated into the transmission.
The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron can be driven with just the combustion engine, just the electric drive or in hybrid mode. Three driving programs are selected using the EV button and the e-tron’s selector lever. The EV characteristic map covers the electric mode; the D program makes the A3 Sportback e-tron run especially efficiently, and in the S plane it is notably sporty.
There is an 8.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack underneath the rear seat that has a liquid cooling system to keep it in the optimum temperature range. Using the onboard 3.6kW charger, the A3 E-tron can be charged in as little as 2.5 hours.
Pure electric range is somewhere around 31 miles, and total combined range is 584 miles.
Pricing and timing for the Audi A3 E-tron was not announced for the US, but it will follow the European version that is set to go on sale in 2014.
Audi has also committed to building their plug-in hybrid segment in a big way. Heinz Hollerweger, Audi AG’s head of technical development, says “battery-only vehicles give up too much in range” and in regards to plug-in hybrid vehicles, Audi will “add one more per year.”