First details on Audi's ActiveE-fighting A3 e-tron

Audi A3 e-tron – Click above for high-res image gallery

Audi is ready to take its e-tron vehicle strategy on the road, and one of its first all-electric offerings will come in the form of the A3.

Based on Audi's entry-level hatchback, the A3 e-tron packs an electric motor under the hood which sends power from the rear- and mid-mounted battery packs to the front wheels. Output is rated at 100 kW (just over 130 horsepower) and 199 pound-feet of torque, with the 26.5 kWh lithium-ion batteries providing a range of around 90 miles. The electric A3's performance figures to be far from enthralling, requiring 11 seconds to hit 60 mph and topping out at just 90 mph, but with a 400-volt rapid charger, getting juiced up can take as little as four hours – or as long as nine with a standard 110-volt outlet.

Other modifications include a new gauge cluster, a low consumption HVAC system and a heated windshield, but when the A3 e-tron is set to hit the market is still up in the air. The R8-based flaghip will supposedly go on sale sometime in 2013, but if Audi wants to get in on the EV action sooner – much like BMW is doing with its ActiveE 1 Series – the A3 could be a worthy stop-gap until in the interim.

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