• Image Credit: Audi of America
  • Image Credit: Audi of America
  • Image Credit: Audi of America
  • Image Credit: Audi of America
  • Image Credit: Audi of America
  • Image Credit: Audi of America
  • Image Credit: Audi of America
  • Image Credit: Audi of America
  • Image Credit: Audi of America
  • Image Credit: Audi of America
  • Image Credit: Audi of America
  • Image Credit: Audi of America
  • Image Credit: Audi of America
  • Image Credit: Audi of America
  • Image Credit: Audi of America
  • Image Credit: Audi of America
  • Image Credit: Audi of America
Despite years of researching any number of standard ICE alternatives, it's becoming clear that different automakers are starting to throw their weight behind their advanced-powertrain technologies of choice. For instance, Toyota is gearing up for its first production hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle next year. Nissan continues to preach the gospel of the battery-electric engine. For Audi, plug-in hybrids appear to be the way to go.

The German automaker plans to have a plug-in hybrid version of every one of its models by the end of the decade, UK's Autocar reports, citing comments Audi research and development head Ulrich Hackenberg made at a recent launch event for the A3 Sportback E-Tron. Hackenberg spelled out two variants of the powertrain, including one front-wheel drive version that pairs an electric motor with a 1.4-liter gas engine (this is the version used in the A3), and another to be used for four-wheel-drive vehicles in which an electric motor drives the rear wheels. We couldn't get more information from Audi representatives here on the A3 Sportback E-Tron launch ourselves, and an Audi spokesperson said in an e-mail to AutoblogGreen that the company wasn't commenting further on its plans for plug-in hybrid powertrains in more models.

Audi has started pre-sales of the A3 Sportback E-Tron in Germany, pricing the car at about $51,000 with deliveries to start sometime this winter. The vehicle puts out 204 horsepower and can go as far as 31 miles on electric power alone. An exact date has not been set for importing that plug-in to the US, but it will happen some time next year.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 38 Comments
      Luc K
      • 4 Months Ago
      The article doesn't say entire line up so where does that come from: "Audi plans to have a plug-in hybrid variant of each of its key models by 2020" This means just their key models which will be A3, Q7 and A6L and A8. The A6L PHEV is only planned for Chinese Market so we're talking here about just 3 cars and the A8 is many years away. There's decent amount of info on A3 e-Tron since customers can order it now in Europe and there has been several test drives. Not sure if the FWD/AWD sentence before A3 e-tron is meant to be related but it's FWD only model. For US probably mid 2015 but very low volume and pricing around $39K most likely.
      Marco Polo
      • 4 Months Ago
      @ kinasi VW isn't the largest auto-maker in the world, that crown is disputed between Toyota and GM. However, VW is easily the most profitable manufacturer, and 30% of that profit comes from it's Audi division. The Volkswagen Group's before-tax profits leapt by $9.7bn to $43 bn in 2012 as sales of vehicles from its 12 brands – which include truck makers MAN and Scania – jumped by one million units to 9.3 million. Total VW Group 2012 revenue was $285bn, up 20.9 per cent on 2011. So, what do they care about the opinions of a handful of internet critic's, who probably can't afford to buy a new Audi PHEV when it eventually arrives.
      Koenigsegg
      • 4 Months Ago
      Should be called HAEV's (Half Ass Electric Vehicles)
      Marco Polo
      • 4 Months Ago
      @ kinasi VW isn't the largest auto-maker in the world, that crown is disputed between Toyota and GM. However, VW is easily the most profitable manufacturer, and 30% of that profit comes from it's Audi division.
      Joeviocoe
      • 4 Months Ago
      @ kinasi --"Do you know the slightest thing about VW?" I own a VW. Have for 7 years. I love the car. But when it comes to EVs or Plugins... both Audi and VW are kings of promise without delivery.
      Joeviocoe
      • 4 Months Ago
      VW / Audi getting ready for another line of media campaigns with a lot of empty promises.
        Naturenut99
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        While I fully agree that all they have done so far is talk about EV's promising they are going to release one and never have. Year after year. Their backs might be against the wall and have no choice now. To many others are making them with mostly good reception. So hopefully this isn't another yearly PR stunt. But also won't hold my breath either.
        kinasi
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        VW is the largest automaker in the world. What are you even talking about "empty promises". They have delivered year after year. Do you know the slightest thing about VW?
      • 4 Months Ago
      Electric car line could be more financially beneficial to auto makers than engine powered product. Electric cars have shorter life cycle due to: Battery Life, constant technology upgrades Stefan Amraly Lotus Energy Group
        XXXX
        • 4 Months Ago
        Yes, and no one is going to collect or covet electric cars like the Volt, Nissan and others, or even Hybrid cars like the Prius. They are boring, unexciting and really limit your lifestyle. Excessive heat and cold limit their range, re-charges take between 2-7 hours, Which is great in an emergency, you can't tow trailers with them, (so no camping), their battery packs are very expensive to replace, and you just cannot shop around for an alternative, they are dangerous to firefighters and rescue personal with hazardous chemicals, and a shock hazard, and try to find someone to work on them in the middle of Nebraska. And the worst thing is because they are very quiet many people are run down by them because you can't hear. them coming!
          Joeviocoe
          • 4 Months Ago
          @XXXX
          Tesla is already highly coveted.... As for the the rest of your rant, that is all bull which had been proven false again and again
        FordGo
        • 4 Months Ago
        "Electric cars have shorter life cycle due to: Battery Life, constant technology upgrades" If you believe this, I hope you're NOT in the Lotus Energy Group, or you'd better learn quick that Fox News or Fox Business is In No Way Capable of Teaching you the facts of Electric Vehicles.
      Levine Levine
      • 4 Months Ago
      Another Audi pronouncement for the sake of generating attention. As in the past Audi wants your attention but fails to deliver the goods. On a good day Audi will teaser you with fancy curvy sheet metal. On a bad day, Audi will promise you a good time in the seat of an Audi. Even after a couple of beers, upon closer inspection you'll notice Audi is a diseased attention *****.
        purrpullberra
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Levine Levine
        All true. With skyrocketing sales and a ton of Le Mans victories. Audi, she's a complex who-ah.
      FordGo
      • 4 Months Ago
      The A3 sport back is an exciting inviting offering. But, I can see this is going to be an Audi "Exclusiveness" product, with that pricing model.
        Trent
        • 4 Months Ago
        @FordGo
        I was excited when I saw this and wanted to add it to a list of cars we are going to test this weekend and buy next month. 31 miles? I removed it as quickly as I added it. At 100 miles Audi, it goes back on the list for me and many others.
        Koenigsegg
        • 4 Months Ago
        @FordGo
        Nah wouldn't spend a dime on it, would drive it but not worth its 50k price, would get a Volt over it no hesitation
      DaveMart
      • 4 Months Ago
      It is not the case that all the automakers are simply sticking to their guns in developing their favoured drive trains. As well as the FCEV, Toyota is heavily into hydridising every car model they do. Nissan/Renault have not got the sales for BEVs that they were expecting as quickly as they had planned, and are going to release PHEVs now. I would suggest that the PHEV format is the one that most automakers are leaning to.
        EVSUPERHERO
        • 4 Months Ago
        @DaveMart
        PHEV, will do little for Europe as, once again, they have no place to plug in due to living in flats and other muti family residences that have street parking." No PHEV for you!" says the hydrogen/petrol Nazis. ; )
          DaveMart
          • 4 Months Ago
          @EVSUPERHERO
          See comment below apologising for my irritability. On PHEVs, they will do a lot of Europeans fine, as plenty do have garages, but they can still use the cars on a long run. VW knows the European market well, and their choice is a good one for here.
      PeterScott
      • 4 Months Ago
      The are the kings of EV... EV vaporware. Audi must have done 20 announcements like this. Just deliver product.
      TurboFroggy
      • 4 Months Ago
      hAHAHAAAA!!! More complete and 100% Grade A Organic Free Range Marketing Bullshit from Audi.
        TurboFroggy
        • 4 Months Ago
        @TurboFroggy
        Lets see, how many plug-in Audi's are listed on Cars dot com? Hmm? How many?
          DaveMart
          • 4 Months Ago
          @TurboFroggy
          You do know what 'entering production' means? Perhaps you imagine that Audi have just thrown away a couple of hundred million or so to pretend to do so, not to mention the money for the new platforms? Your notion is utterly absurd. The Audi PHEVs are going into production, spearheaded by the A3, and you have been talking bilge. Deal with it.
        DaveMart
        • 4 Months Ago
        @TurboFroggy
        You do know that the A3 Etron is entering production right now? As the facts change, do you ever reassess what you are saying about them?
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 4 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          David Martin, Audi did lie about the etron tease, no matter what, that was all greenwash by Audi. I am glad they are producing the phev. I think the people in Europe are daft! If cars like the Leaf make dollar sense over here where gas prices are half of what they are there, and things are closer together over there, yet relatively speaking, their are little sales of EV's. Make no sense at all except that you folks across the pond are preposterously obstinate. Wonder what the per ca-pita adoption rate of EV's are when comparing Europe to the US? Of course Norway will skew the numbers. You know Mr Martin, we had Star Trek in 1967 in color. England had Dr Who in black and white in 67, Preposterous!
          DaveMart
          • 4 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          In addition to Audi already having the first PHEV in production, as Autocar says: 'He revealed that Audi is developing two plug-in hybrid powertrain families. Future models based on the MQB platform would be offered with a plug-in hybrid powertrain mirroring that of the A3 e-tron. This features an electric motor sited between a transversely mounted 1.4 TFSI petrol engine and a specially developed six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, which sends drive to the front wheels. He added that four-wheel-drive versions of MQB-based models might also be offered using the petrol-electric set-up to drive the front wheels and an electric motor mounted on the rear axle. Larger Audi models mounted on the new MLB-Evo platform and with longitudinal engines would use a similar system, with the electric motor mounted between the engine and gearbox. Hackenberg said quattro versions of these plug-in hybrids were also possible, using either a mechanically or electrically driven rear axle. ' You think that they have done that amount of engineering to throw it away? There is certainly BS being talked, but it is not by Audi. Some folks have formed their opinion, and they are not going to let changing facts alter it.
          DaveMart
          • 4 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          My haemorrhoids must be playing up more than usual! It wasn't really your comment, but accumulated irritation at comments by loads of people here and elsewhere who seem to assume that they know what is best for everyone else, and much better than all the people who actually run car companies.
          DaveMart
          • 4 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          I should add that the golden child of BEVs of the major manufacturers, Nissan/Renault, have missed every sales target and have spent a fortune predicated on much higher sales. Rumblings out of Renault indicate that they are not happy. The group still have massive expenditure ahead to redesign and consolidate their platforms, which the VW group has already done. Being one of the first to introduce electric cars may be exciting for outsiders, but the steady VW group has saved a lot of money which they have used effectively to put themselves in my view in the strongest position of the major manufacturers from both a financial and engineering view to rapidly expand electrification. No Blue Oval style kludge of sticking batteries into an existing body. Ford may have appeared to be ahead, but there is no way they are, and it is doubtful that Nissan/Renault are very far ahead.
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 4 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          Wow, David Martin, that comment about Startrek vs Dr Who really stung, sorry. We have a African American here named Musk and he is solving that problem by installing supercharge stations in major cities in Europe. OMG, people really use the tax thing as a excuse, "I would buy a EV but the government will find a way to tax it". OR is it, "I would buy a EV but I have a patriotic responsibility to pay the fuel tax". LOL! Where does Britain get it's electricity? Perhaps they import it? That could be another problem. (quick search indicates circa 2005, Nuc 20 percent, NG 38, Coal 35, Oil 1.2, and Hydro 1.4 percent. With resources falling fast.) Some natural gas comes from Ukraine, perhaps Russia just annexed it. I admire your countries tax on fuel but it does nothing to swing drivers to alternate fuel, "ie" EV transportation in Europe and by your own estimates it never will. Really quite sad old chap. There is no hope for Europe because they are stuffed so close to each other. Really? I guess it is up to us in America to adopt EV's and sell our petrol fuel to Europe. Using Norway's example. We can also ship you over lots of NG that you can waste a third of converting it to hydrogen as oppose to charging a EV because electricity is so hard to work with.. There is no way the charging in the street problem can ever be solved, I suppose all the real brainyaxe are to busy readying hydrogen cars and infrastructure instead. Wouldn't want to upset the collection of taxes, who cares if you have to import fuel to run you fossil fuel cells. Poor Europe, they are destine to always kiss the ring of other nations with more resources. The electrical thing is to hard to figure out, it is a wonder they were able to install electricity in the existing houses when it became available. One argument could have been, " Well. they will just find a way to tax us on this new electricity so let just keep the lights on with oil lamps." On the contrary, I have been on the Autobahn, reached a 150 mph, the fastest I have ever gone legally or illegally. Even in Germany, I stayed in a multi residential building. Amsterdam was a real crowded nightmare, it took me a while to learn how to walk on the side walk in rush hour it was so crowded. Carry on old bean! I am actually joking a bit with you and have enjoyed reading comments from you over the years. I find your comments fairly balance and enjoy the British twist. I admit, I will never be as well spoken, for that I apologize. Comment system still blows on ABG!
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 4 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          Wow, David Martin, that comment about Startrek vs Dr Who really stung, sorry. We have a African American here named Musk and he is solving that problem by installing supercharge stations in major cities in Europe. OMG, people really use the tax thing as a excuse, "I would buy a EV but the government will find a way to tax it". OR is it, "I would buy a EV but I have a patriotic responsibility to pay the fuel tax". LOL! Where does Britain get it's electricity? Perhaps they import it? That could be another problem. (quick search indicates circa 2005, Nuc 20 percent, NG 38, Coal 35, Oil 1.2, and Hydro 1.4 percent. With resources falling fast.) Some natural gas comes from Ukraine, perhaps Russia just annexed it. I admire your countries tax on fuel but it does nothing to swing drivers to alternate fuel, "ie" EV transportation in Europe and by your own estimates it never will. Really quite sad old chap. There is no hope for Europe because they are stuffed so close to each other. Really? I guess it is up to us in America to adopt EV's and sell our petrol fuel to Europe. Using Norway's example. We can also ship you over lots of NG that you can waste a third of converting it to hydrogen as oppose to charging a EV because electricity is so hard to work with.. There is no way the charging in the street problem can ever be solved, I suppose all the real brainyaxe are to busy readying hydrogen cars and infrastructure instead. Wouldn't want to upset the collection of taxes, who cares if you have to import fuel to run you fossil fuel cells. Poor Europe, they are destine to always kiss the ring of other nations with more resources. The electrical thing is to hard to figure out, it is a wonder they were able to install electricity in the existing houses when it became available. One argument could have been, " Well. they will just find a way to tax us on this new electricity so let just keep the lights on with oil lamps." On the contrary, I have been on the Autobahn, reached a 150 mph, the fastest I have ever gone legally or illegally. Even in Germany, I stayed in a multi residential building. Amsterdam was a real crowded nightmare, it took me a while to learn how to walk on the side walk in rush hour it was so crowded. Carry on old bean! I am actually joking a bit with you and have enjoyed reading comments from you over the years. I find your comments fairly balance and enjoy the British twist. I admit, I will never be as well spoken, for that I apologize.
          purrpullberra
          • 4 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          DaveMart: You have to admit Audi have called off all E-tron production plans (twice that I remember). At first it was all electric R8-like EV's. Then baby versions. Then part hybrid versions. Then cancellation. Then R8 EV again. Then no. Then Yes. Now we have hell Yes, maybe we'll do a bunch but only if it's super safe to do so. That last bit may be the smartest thinking yet involved under the E-tron umbrella and I don't fault them for that bit of it. But Audi have been ready to throw away E-tron tech plenty.
          DaveMart
          • 4 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          Audi messed around a lot, and their PR department want shooting. Underneath that though there has been a fairly clear engineering drive for years, which is now coming to fruition. I say 'fairly' as Audi tried out one pure electric, the A1, and could not get the results they wanted at the price they wanted, and had on again off again about their other pure electric, the R8(?) because they tried it, did not think it would work with the batteries they had available, but now think that in a couple of years time they will have batteries with around 80% better specific energy, up to around the same level as the Panasonic's in the Tesla S, and so the latest is that they think that they can make it work. Meanwhile the VW group has been steadily working on 5 new platforms which can take any drivetrain, which cost them perhaps $5 billion, and which the likes of Nissan are now working hard to catch up with. They and VW never intended mass production of electric and PHEV cars until their platforms were ready, ie now, and weren't sure if they would emphasise PHEV or BEV until they knew what batteries they would have available. Now they have the platforms and have decided to go PHEV big time, although they are also offering some BEV options and the mix may change in future. It is perfectly daft to say that Audi is not going to build the cars when they have the A3 PHEV going into production now, and many of the people who are insisting that Audi will not produce more models are the same as those who said that Audi would never build any at all. Well, they have in the A3, so they were flat out wrong then as they are now, as any reasonable person who considers the investment they have made in new drive train indifferent platforms realises. The problem is that these bloggers reckon that they are far better at running a car company than the folks in the VW group, the most profitable major manufacturer in the world, and are miffed because they did not build BEVs and PHEVs when they thought they ought to, but waited until they had all the engineering in place to do so profitably. Yep, the folk in Audi PR are buffoons. But many of those who claim to know that Audi will not produce a line of PHEVs are none too clever either, whatever they may fancy.
          DaveMart
          • 4 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          EV: You get a better idea of reality if you start by assuming that other people know their own situation best, rather than that you are the very man to put them straight. I take it from your comment that you have never been to Europe, let alone the UK, but still know best not only how things work here, but how they should work. FYI the distinction between city cars and motorway cruisers is sharper here, and yes, I have spent some time in the States. If you routinely travel long distances you don't want a BEV, and second cars in the family are less common than in the States, as are garages to charge cars in. So you have city dwellers, who mainly use cars in the city. They have the problem I mentioned of charging, for instance in my own flat we have no dedicated parking space, and a small petrol driven town car, which can also do long distances when needed, costs £10,000 less than a BEV. On top of that the difference in petrol prices here and in the States is due to the 60% tax on fuel. How long do you think that Government would forgo that revenue if battery cars caught on? People here are well aware of that too. So what you imagine as people here not knowing what they are doing is a product of your own ignorance, not unmixed with arrogance in fancying that you are the man who knows it all.
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