• Apr 19, 2011
Audi A3 e-tron Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Audi rolled out yet another e-tron concept alongside the new Q3 in Shanghai, and what it lacks in power, it makes up for with efficiency, fuel economy... and weight.

The original A3 sedan concept that bowed in Geneva came packing a modified version of the TT RS' turbocharged five-cylinder, outputting over 400 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque. This etron variant – based on the RS3 hatch – ditches the five-pot in favor of a turbo'd and direct-injected 1.4-liter four-cylinder that brings 211 horsepower to the party, and combined with another 27 ponies pulled from the 20kW electric motor, can propel the A3 etron to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds before topping out at 143 mph.

A seven-speed dual-clutch S-tronic transmission is the only drivetrain component carried over from the concept's RS3 roots, but combined with lithium-ion battery pack stored in the trunk, Audi claims the e-tron can putt along for up to 34 miles on electric power alone thanks to the plug-in hybrid drivetrain.

The suspension carries over, with a MacPherson design up front and a four-link independent rear end, along with 20-inch wheels wrapped in 245/30 R20 rubber at all four corners. The square setup would indicate that the e-tron is all-wheel-drive, but Audi doesn't give any specifics on how power finds its way to the ground.

The exterior is a dead-ringer for the original A3 concept, albeit e-tronified with a new grille and bumper framed by a carbon fiber-reinforced frame, aluminum hood, trunk and doors. However, the weight savings is largely nullified by the battery weight in the boot, increasing the curb weight to 3,792 – nearly 400 pounds more than the original.

Inside, it's typical concept car flare partnered with Audi's next-generation MMI system complete with a UMTS module to provide wireless internet, WLAN hotspot functionality and Google mapping and POI search.

A toned-down version of the A3 sedan is due to hit the market late next year, and if Audi intends to stick to its electrified roadmap, we could see an e-tron variant arrive by 2013 at the earliest. Full details in the press blast below the fold.



[Source: Audi]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      Will
      • 3 Years Ago
      Im happy that Audi has toned down cars for production. They are the only manufacturer that I think truly takes the great parts of the concept and carries them to the production models, leaving out the gaudy grills and blingy rims
      Lachmund
      • 3 Years Ago
      100% sure this isn't based on the RS3 hatch..
        zamafir
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Lachmund
        yup. considering the RS3 hatch is based on the MkV platform and the 2012 A3 is based on the MQB platform, yeah... i'm a little surprised.
      HollyWood Hogan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Can anyone tell the difference between an A1, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7,A8? Damn they look the same. I can't even tell if this is new or a B5 or a older Audi sedan. They need an imagination
        Hek!
        • 3 Years Ago
        @HollyWood Hogan
        Oh yes, it's easy enough if you have eyes and use them. The differences are subtle yet but very much present. It's called brand identity.
      Andrew
      • 3 Years Ago
      That A4 is smoking ho- wait, I mean, a6? Wait, no, a7?
      zamafir
      • 3 Years Ago
      So Audi pulls a plug in hybrid out of thin air with an electric range not that far off from the volt, dimensions on par with the volt, much better performance and handling, much more luxurious interior, and we're accusing it of being heavy as its... within a fraction of the same weight as the volt? Is there a dearth of plug in hybrids on sale that weight considerably less?
      murciered
      • 3 Years Ago
      Cool concept car. I can't wait to see the toned-down production version. A RS3 Sedan would be so much fun.
      quuppa70
      • 3 Years Ago
      could they fit any bigger grille perhaps
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      RudyH
      • 3 Years Ago
      Can't wait to get my gas powered S3 / RS3 - granted it will have the I5 turbo. Can't see it coming as an A3
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Harry
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow! That's stunning! Well done Audi! Although I still like the Hatchback better. Even more so if it had those wheels! :)
      joyryderr28
      • 3 Years Ago
      that grill is so huge i dont even know why they even putting metal at the bottom, if that got rid of that they could even make the grill even bigger!!!!!!
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