Audi seems to still be invested in alternative fuel outside of battery tech. While pure battery-electric vehicles (BEV) are the future, and Audi is heavily invested in its e-tron line of cars, the folks in Ingolstadt haven’t given up on other alternative fuels, such as compressed natural gas (CNG). The newest CNG car from the brand is the all-new Audi A3 g-tron and it look more impressive than you might think.
Much like the standard Audi A3 30, the A3 30 g-tron uses a 1.5 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and front-wheel drive. That four-cylinder is interesting in this case, though, as it can run on both CNG and gasoline.
There are two CNG tanks under the trunk floor and another one ahead of the 2.4 gallon gasoline reserve tank ahead of the rear axle. Those three CNG tanks provide the Audi A3 g-tron with approximately 495 kilometres of range (307 miles) on the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle). However, the WLTP rating is 445 kilometres (276 miles). So expect it to realistically get closer to the WLTP-rated range.
Under normal circumstances, the engine runs on CNG and starts using CNG by default. If the CNG tanks get too low, the engine switches over to gasoline. Audi claims that this switch is imperceptible to the driver.
The CNG tanks are mounted safely underneath the car and are made from multiple layers of composite material, to prevent rupture. The car was obviously
crash tested, so there’s no explosion risk to worry about.
Compressed natural gas along with hydrogen, is an interesting new technology, as if offers a ton of range, emits up to 20-percent fewer CO2 emissions than a traditional gasoline car and is much faster to refuel than an electric car. In Germany, there are also tax incentives for running a car on CNG. So there are some interesting advantages to owning a the Audi A3 g-tron.
It’s obviously not for everyone, as there aren’t anywhere near as many CNG refueling stations as there are gas stations in Germany. But for the right customer it’s an interesting alternative to gasoline, diesel or even electric vehicles. It’s also good to see Audi invested in all types of alternative fuel.