Audi officially unveiled the A3 Sportback E-Tron at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. While not a production model, the plug-in hybrid gives us a good glimpse at what the German automaker has in store for future products. The five-door gets around thanks to parallel hybrid drivetrain comprised of a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a small electric motor integrated into the vehicle's six-speed dual-clutch transmission. While the four-cylinder churns up 150 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, the motor contributes 100 horsepower and 242 lb-ft of twist. All told, the design allows the E-Tron to serve up its full power from just 1,750 rpm.

An 8.8-kWh lithium-ion battery sits under the floor beneath the rear seat, complete with a liquid cooling system designed to keep the pack in its optimum temperature range. The A3 Sportback E-Tron can be charged in as little as 2.5 hours with a 3.6-kW charger, yielding an EV range of up to 31 miles. The machine can also travel using the electric motor, ICE or a combination of the two for a total range of 584 miles. Check out the full press release below.
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The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

A driving range of about 50 kilometers (31.07 miles) in electric mode

Total range of 940 kilometers

System power 150 kW (204 hp); top speed 222 km/h (137.94 mph)


Audi is working intently to electrify the drivetrain using plug-in hybrid technology. The brand with the four rings is showing the Audi A3 Sportback 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 A3 Sportback 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 (156.81 US mpg), which corresponds to CO2 emissions of 35 grams per km (56.33 g/mile). In purely electric mode, the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron achieves a top speed of 130 km/h (80.78 mph) with a range of up to 50 km (31.07 miles).

The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron uses the highly efficient concept of a parallel hybrid. The combustion engine is a modified 1.4 TFSI, which develops 110 kW (150 hp) and 250 Nm (184.39 lb-ft) of torque. The TFSI operates in tandem with an electric motor that generates 75 kW and 330 Nm (243.40 lb-ft) of power.

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 each other. The electric motor develops peak torque from start to around 2,000 rpm, and the TFSI's maximum pulling power is available in a range from1,750 to 4,000 rpm.

The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron's energy store is a lithium-ion battery system installed in a space-efficient, crash-protected location in the floor, beneath the rear bench seat. The high-voltage battery, inside a housing made mainly from aluminum, has a capacity of 8.8 kWh. It comprises eight modules with a total of 96 cells.

A liquid cooling system with its own low-temperature circuit keeps the battery in the optimum temperature range. This sophisticated technology is key to the power and stamina of the electric drive unit, which remains available at low ambient temperatures.

The power electronics are housed in the engine compartment of the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron. These convert the direct current from the battery into alternating current to power the motor. The compact unit, with integral DC-DC converter to supply the 12V electrical system shares the same cooling circuit as the battery and charging device.

The charging connection is located behind the four rings in the radiator grille; the charging socket, like the TFSI engine, sports an e-tron badge. The high-voltage battery can be fully charged in around two and a half hours with a 3.6 kW charger. All relevant components within the high-voltage network of the A3 Sportback e-tron have no conductive connections to other parts of the vehicle. In the event of the belt tensioners or airbags being activated in an accident, the system is immediately disconnected from the power supply. The air conditioning compressor has a high-voltage electric drive; an electric auxiliary heater supports the heating function for the interior.

Energy recovery during braking: electrified brake servo
The vacuum brake servo has an additional supply connection served by an electric vacuum pump. The hybrid management is tuned responsively with the electric motor. Up to moderate braking forces the powerful electric motor, now operating as an alternator, supplies most of the retardation and recovers much of the energy expended so that it can be channeled back into the high-voltage battery. The wheel brakes only become active if the driver presses the pedal more forcefully.

The Audi A3 Sportback 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, engine braking torque is eliminated and efficiency increases.

Three driving programs are selected using the EV button and the e-tron's selector lever. The EV characteristic map covers the electric mode; the D program makes the A3 Sportback e-tron run especially efficiently, and in the S plane it is notably sporty.

The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron display concept supplies precise information of the drivetrain status. The powermeter in the instrument cluster replaces the conventional rev counter and shows overall system power. The instrument cluster also includes a charge status display for the battery. The driver information system's color display and the MMI navigation monitor indicate the power flows in the drivetrain, the operating ranges and the consumption figures for electricity and gasoline.

Audi is planning a whole portfolio of new online services for its electrified vehicles under its Audi connect umbrella policy. These will enable the driver to activate and monitor a whole raft of functions such as charging processes and pre-conditioning of the interior climate conveniently from their smart phone.

Sporty elegance: the interior
The ergonomic interior of the A3 Sportback e-tron has an uncompromisingly high-quality finish. The interior is finished in Cloudy Gray, with contrasting stitching highlighting the S sport seats. The door sill trims are in aluminum and display e-tron logos; there are also e-tron badges on the gear knob and steering wheel. The trunk capacity is 280 liters (9.89 cubic ft); folding down the rear seats increases this to around 1,000 liters (35.31 cubic ft).

With its Misano Red paint finish, the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron declares its sporty character at the very first glance. Its wheels have the characteristic e-tron design, with a 15-spoke look that evokes turbine blades. The chrome horizontal struts in the single-frame grille and air intake grilles have three-dimensional undulating profiles – another e-tron feature. The rear apron with new diffuser is also specific to the e-tron.

The A3 Sportback e-tron demonstrates its full sporting potential when accelerating, sprinting and cornering at high speed. Its on-road performance is based on its sophisticated chassis, coupled with a low weight for a plug-in hybrid, despite its full range of equipment. Standard features include xenon plus headlights, convenient access, a panoramic tilting sunroof, a lighting package, the driving dynamics system Audi drive select, and MMI radio with extending monitor.

At the Geneva Motor Show, the Audi A3 Sportback 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 defining role in the strategy of the brand.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      KAG
      • 1 Year Ago
      Nice, but the total range is the same as the TDI.
        VL00
        • 1 Year Ago
        @KAG
        The range is unlimited in both via refueling, who cares? You shop for cars based on single-tank range??
        Chris M
        • 1 Year Ago
        @KAG
        Yes, but the fuel economy is much better. That's the nature of plug-in hybrids.
      Jon
      • 1 Year Ago
      Soo they are getting 31 miles our of a pack half the size of the volt's? Meaning they are beating the crap out of that battery and it wont last..
        DaveMart
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jon
        Nope. For a start this is on the European cycle, not the EPA, so the comparable EV range is probably less. But mainly, battery chemistries vary a lot in their durability, and that in the Volt, lithium manganese spinel, is not long lasting and so GM had to specify a big battery. Other chemistries have much better cycle life even to a high rate of charge depletion, and so can manage with smaller batteries and still have good life. Things have moved on since the Volt was designed.
      The Wasp
      • 1 Year Ago
      I know Audi doesn't have much going on in the style department but didn't the auto industry already try large gaudy decals for green vehicles? Maybe that was just GM. Not classy.
        1STH
        • 1 Year Ago
        @The Wasp
        you must be completely delusional. Audi is probably THE most imitated company these days when it comes to style....exterior and interior. They also easily make some of the most stylish, aesthetically pleasing, mass produced cars around. The decals are for the show....duh.
      paulwesterberg
      • 1 Year Ago
      Dual-clutch transmission erev? Sounds like the voltec II platform has some competition. I bet GM wins on price and software while Audi wins by getting higher mileage when running on gas. Does this require premium gas?
        Luc K
        • 1 Year Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        One thing to add: if we are to believe autobild that the tank size is 39l then in theory fuel consumption is about 4.4l/100km. That translates to 54 mpg ECE and probably would end up around 42 mpg highway. The range also would end up around 22 mpg on EPA cycle. So more like Ford Energi's models range.
          Luc K
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Luc K
          Meant to say 22 miles range (not mpg).
        Luc K
        • 1 Year Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        Yes like all German cars I think this will require premium gas (just like Jetta hybrid). But if your trip is within the electric range of course it doesn't come into play. I think reason for premium for German carmakers is lack of a lower grade than 91 in Europe. It would be difficult to test otherwise for German carmakers. Autobild.de seems to think this would be released in March (Golf e-motion in April). And pricing would be around 38K Euro's. Not sure how accurate that info is yet.
        DaveMart
        • 1 Year Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        Price competition to the Volt is to be provided by the Golf and Passat variants, whilst Audi as ever goes for the premium market.
        danwat1234
        • 1 Year Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        The Volt doesn't require premium gas, it'll dial back the spark and possibly cam phasing to compensate by listening to the knock sensor. Of course MPG and engine HP will go down. But the Audi engine is turbocharged so it really might not be able to cope with regular gas.
      danwat1234
      • 1 Year Ago
      I concern I have is extended range real world MPG. The Volt gets highs 30s, maybe 40MPG. Also, at what temperature will the engine be forced to cycle on at? With 2013+(and some 2012s) Volts it is 15 degrees Fahrenheit. With 2011/most 2012 Volts it is 25 degrees. It is just to assist with helping to heat the cabin with engine heat, not to help heat the battery, so pointless. With the C-max plugin hybrid I've heard it is 39 degrees F but not confirmed. What about the Audi? It would be highly annoying to have the engine running when going a few miles to the grocery store with a full battery pack on a winter day. I've heard from another article that it has only a 8.8KWh battery pack for 31 miles of EV range. Whereas the Volt has a 16.5KWh battery (~10.5KWh used) to go 38 miles. So I have concerns about long term reliability of the Audi battery pack since it will be used with wider SOC ranges than the Volt pack. Though the Audi has less powerful electric motor (55HP(from another article) not 100HP, and a 7 speed DSG not 6 speed) instead of 150HP). Note the Volt, Hacked, can do 0-60 in about 6.5 seconds by locking the engine to the e-CVT at lower speeds than the OEM software would, so it's faster than the Audi! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hA4fLSuvkk8
      ga
      • 1 Year Ago
      People with PHEVs generally run them on electricity. This Audi is probably going to be like $60k. For that I'd like a real battery, maybe 12+kwh.
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