• 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

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    In simplistic terms, the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrid will go real far when it needs to go and stop when it needs to stop. The PHEV has now been certified to protect its occupants when they need to be protected. So there's not much more that you can ask from a vehicle.

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    Audi has put a price tag on the A3 Sportback E-Tron plug-in hybrid, for which presales begin this month in Germany. To get your hands on one of these little guys, Audi is asking for €37,900, or about $51,537 according to current exchange rates. Of course, the base MSRP doesn't include any incentives, but in Germany, those savings would come from certain annual tax exemptions that apply to PHEVs. Buyers in other countries might have more luck in getting into an A3 E-Tron for less.

    Audi is proving that the fresh water flowing through the European Alps isn't just for bottling and drinking anymore. The German automaker struck a deal with Hamburg-based LichtBlick to offer buyers of the Audi A3 Sportback E-Tron a chance to get their electrical juice from all renewable-energy sources. That means all the power going into charging stations can come from hydroelectric power from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

    Audi could be getting even more diverse with its powertrains for the A6, A8 and Q7, moving beyond offering just gas- and diesel-powered models and adding plug-in hybrid variants of the three luxury vehicles. The report comes from Indian Autos Blog, which spoke to Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi's research and design chief, who confirmed the PHVs.

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    Technical Innovation And A 585-mile Range

    A little more than a year ago, I drove an Audi A3 E-Tron prototype – an early concept electric vehicle built on the outgoing second-generation A3 platform. While I was impressed with the technology, its 3,800-pound weight, 10-second 0-60 time and 90-mile range will likely put it only mid-pack, at best, among its future competitive set. But Audi promised bigger and better things would come.

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