In an interview with automotive journalists, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler described the A3 e-tron as being the “perfect electric vehicle for every day driving.” He justified his answer by saying that 80% of daily commutes in Europe are less than 50 km which represents the maximum electric range of the model. When a greater range is necessary, the 150 bhp 1.4 TFSI turbo combustion engine kicks in and allows the car to travel for an additional 890 km, thus providing the A3 e-tron with a combined total range of 940 km.
Compared to a regular A3 Sportback, the e-tron variant is 335 kg heavier, with 148 kg being represented by the batteries, 70 kg by the electric motor and the rest for the other auxiliary components part of the hybrid system. When driven in hybrid mode, the car will do the 0-100 km/h run in 7.6 seconds while in electric mode the 0-60 km/h sprint takes 4.9 seconds.
With a combined output of 204 bhp and 350 Nm, the Audi A3 e-tron offers some pretty decent performances and offers several driving modes: EV (Electric Vehicle); S (Sporty) and Hybrid Hold to save battery power for later usage. It takes 3 hours and 45 minutes to fully charge the 8.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack from a 220-volt source while with a 380-volt socket the time is reduced to 2 hours and 15 minutes. In hybrid mode it has a fuel consumption of 1.5 liters / 100 km which equates to 35 g/km of CO2, thus making it Audi’s most frugal model on sale today.
So far this year Audi has produced 3,569 units of the A3 e-tron, with each carrying a starting price in Germany of €37,900. It set to go on sale in United States and China in the second half of 2015, with IHS Automotive estimating sales next year reaching 17,411 cars.