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The Audi Plug-In Hybrid: A3 e-tron

Sections: Fuel Economy

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I am fascinated by plug-in hybrid technology.  It would seem to suit most people’s lifestyles well.  You can go approximately 20 miles on your public ultility’s power before switching over to Gulf juice.  Range anxiety is nearly eliminated.  The drawbacks?  The complexity of two discrete powertrains that have to work together in unison.  Perfectly.  Or, to paraphrase,  go clunk whenever the gas engine kicks in.  This sentence from the release is interesting, and we are hoping from Audi, trouble-free: “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.”

The new Audi A3 is supposed to arrive on our shores as a small sedan, not the Euro hot hatch version.  But hopefully the US will see the Audi A3 e-tron.  No official word on US availability or specifications yet, but we got what we got below.  Somehow I don’t think there will be a Euro plug adaptor for a Tesla supercharger included in the package:

The Audi A3 e-tron

• Highly efficient plug-in hybrid with 150 kW (204 hp) system power and 350 Nm (258.15 lb-ft) system torque • From 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 7.6 seconds • 1.5 liters of fuel per 100 km (156.81 US mpg)

Audi is working intently to electrify the drivetrain using plug-in hybrid technology. The brand with the four rings is showing the Audi A3 e-tron at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. With 150 kW (204 hp) of system power and 350 Nm (258.15 lb-ft) of system torque, sporty performance is guaranteed.
The Audi A3 e-tron is a true Audi. It 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, which corresponds to CO2 emissions of 35 grams per km. 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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