One of the rumors we heard over the last few months was that the A3 E-Tron was not ready for the US because of poor cold-weather performance. From what we've heard, under a certain temperature limit, the engine needs to kick in at all times, no matter what the battery state of charge is, and some European A3 E-Tron owners are disappointed that their EV sometimes isn't all that electric. Audi's solution needs to take into consideration how to balance utilization of battery power in less-than-optimal temperature ranges with passenger comfort and how any excess battery use impacts longevity.
Brad Stertz, the corporate communications manager for Audi of America, told AutoblogGreen that, "Audi is taking a fairly conservative position to ensure the long-term credibility of the E-Tron platform and plug-in technology, while still creating the best experience for our drivers in each region. Overall, I think it is safe to say low temps affect performance in all vehicles to some degree, but that plug-ins face unique challenges that we will continue to work through with the A3 e-tron and other plug-in models to follow."
Audi's "fairly conservative" position will "ensure the long-term credibility of the E-Tron platform and plug-in technology." - Brad Stertz
Stertz also said in April that the US configuration for the A3 E-Tron was still being fine-tuned. For example, there were some software differences under consideration to meet US driving preferences. Looks like we only have four more months to wait and see.