Last summer, Volkswagen introduced the world to its new TwinDrive hybrid technology, which paired an electric motor connected to the rear wheels with a small turbodiesel engine that powered the front wheels. The all-wheel drive hybrid powertrain is currently being tested in VW's latest Golf model, and a new report from Autocar in the UK suggests that Audi is working on installing the fuel-saving bits in its next-gen A3 as well, with the goal of getting the car in fleet use by 2012.
The internal combustion engine portion of the drivetrain will consist of a 1.6L turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which will power the front wheels only while a 30kW electric motor will feed electrons provided by a 12 kWh lithium ion battery pack to the rear wheels. The car will feature plug-in capability, naturally, and a full charge will reportedly allow for an EV-only range of 31 miles. All told, average fuel consumption is pegged at over 113 miles per gallon equivalent, though that's likely on the EU combined cycle and can't be directly compared with U.S. EPA figures.