We put the ergonomics of our A7 to the test
Geneva 2013: Audi reveals 188mpg A3 e-tron
Audi will reveal a new plug-in hybrid concept version of the A3 Sportback five-door at the Geneva Motor Show 2013, boasting a remarkable claimed economy figure of 188mpg.
The new A3 e-tron, which looks suspiciously production-ready to us, can also travel for up to 31 miles under electric power alone – and Audi is even claiming an 80mph top speed in EV guise (though we suspect you won’t get both at the same time).
The new A3 e-tron achieves such remarkable figures through pairing a 150hp 1.4-litre TFSI petrol engine with a 100hp electric motor, via a clutch.
The car can be driven in pure electric or pure combustion engine mode, or a combination of both. The latter ‘boosting’ mode delivers impressive performance – 0-62mph in 7.6 seconds and a top speed of 138mph.
There’s also a ‘gliding’ mode when the driver lifts off the accelerator: both petrol and electric motors are deactivated, reducing drag from the drivetrain and maximising the car’s momentum.
The debut of the concept is the latest stage in Audi’s pursuit of an electric drive strategy. The firm believes electrification will play ‘a deciding role in the strategy of the brand’ and it has, for several years, been working out what form this will take.
The five-door Audi A3 e-tron concept that’ll be shown at Geneva 2013 uses technology very similar to the Audi A3 saloon concept we saw at the 2011 Shanghai Motor Show.
After also showing a pure electric A3 e-tron test car last year, it seems Audi’s decided such plug-in hybrid technology will form the bulk of its medium-term electric drive cars: Audi clearly feels the compromises of pure EVs are simply too severe at the moment.
That’s all well and good, but we want to know when we’ll actually be able to buy this 204hp, 188mpg Audi A3. Come back to our coverage of the Geneva Motor Show 2013 next month to find out more…
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