2014 Audi A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid
It's confirmed: Audi will offer its A3 Sportback e-Tron plug-in hybrid in the U.S.
The German automaker has confirmed the news (via Motor Authority) at the New York Auto Show, just a month after the production model was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show.
Externally similar to the regular A3 Sportback, it's under the skin where the e-Tron differs most from other A3s.
The company has sought to maximize both performance and fuel efficiency. Unusually for an ultra-economical model from the Volkswagen group, the A3 e-Tron relies on gasoline power as its main motive source, in the form of a 1.4-liter TSI turbocharged four-cylinder.
Matched up to a 75-kilowatt electric motor, the two power units produce a combined 204 horsepower and 258 pounds-feet of torque, sent through a six-speed 'e-S Tronic' transmission.
Peak torque is available from zero to 2,000 rpm with the electric motor, allowing the gasoline engine to come on strong between 1,750 and 4,000 rpm. The company claims a 0-62 mph sprint of just 7.6 seconds, and a maximum speed of 138 mph.
As an e-Tron model, the real benefits are to be found in fuel economy.
A 31-mile all-electric range, electric assistance and a de-coupled 'gliding' mode all facilitate combined economy of over 150 mpg--albeit on the more optimistic European fuel cycle. An EPA figure in the low hundreds is more likely.
Audi hasn't yet confirmed an exact date for e-Tron sales, but early 2014 is expected. The model will go on sale alongside the A3 Sedan, also unveiled at New York.
For more launches and news from the New York Auto Show, head over to our dedicated show page.