2015 Audi A3 Etron First Drive on Edmunds com

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Audi e-tron

2015 Audi A3 e-tron

A Hybrid Hatchback That Disappoint

Published: 09/20/2013 by Richard Bremner. Correspondent

be able to use kickdown when gone round this says Alex Pesch, to an on-ramp on the navigation screen of our 2015 Audi A3 E-tron.

is the A3 program’s project leader, and riding shotgun as we negotiate side roads in and around Germany. We’re doing so in total silence, as the electric in this Audi plug-in is pulling us along as quietly as a on a river.

The car starts itself in EV which makes sense unlike typical hybrids, car will accelerate swiftly on power alone all the way to 80 mph. And it do so without the gasoline engine in seconds after you plant the If you can resist driving it that in EV mode, Audi says it deliver 31 miles from the 276-pound battery pack, not to another 520 miles on gasoline.

When it comes to range, A3 has it in spades.

A Hybrid That 138 MPH?

The on-ramp soon the Autobahn we’re merging is clear and we stamp the throttle hard enough to ensure the kickdown button is triggered. The level rises slightly as the engine fires to life. We forward with impressive and a crisply subtle growl the direct-injection 1.4-liter four-cylinder the hood.

Rated at 150 horsepower, the engine is coupled with an motor rated to produce 99 hp. The motor, which also as the starter, is sandwiched between the and the gas engine. Audi says the combination in the A3 is good for a 0-62-mph of 7.6 seconds and a top speed of 138 mph.

A DSG automatic sends the power to the wheels. Its wide ratio enables the electric motor to through a narrower rev range, an that allows for more motor design, explains It provides the same features you get in a auto-shift car, including a paddle-shift mode, a creep and a gear indicator.

The adapted DSG transmission also an additional clutch that the motors to allow coasting, is a more efficient use of kinetic than recuperation. Or it is, provided the driver anticipates the road well enough to make use of the unfettered momentum.

Cleverly Charge Port

The 2015 E-tron’s 8.8-kWh battery under the rear seat, the repositioned gas tank sits a slightly raised trunk Despite the tank’s proximity to the back end, Audi this car can absorb a 50-mph impact without the plastic rupturing.

Adding a battery and shifting the gas tank rearward this A3 a very favorable front/rear weight distribution, to the advantage of its handling. The E-tron out to be the best-balanced, sweetest-handling A3 in the range, makes for a pretty satisfying It rides well, too, there’s still some calibration work to be carried

Hopefully that won’t things up significantly.

At the other end of A3 E-tron, neatly hidden the four rings on its grille, is the socket for the charging cable. times vary depending on power source, of course, but says you’re looking at 3 and 45 minutes using a 220-volt household socket. So an overnight which you can time via switches the Audi’s socket, is more enough to replenish the battery.

Audi e-tron

An powered heating and air-conditioning also allows you to warm or the car before you get in it.

The E-tron’s 31 miles are to be enough to allow for most trips without resorting to the gas this practice encouraged by the automatic defaulting to EV mode on The gasoline engine can instantly be via the kickdown button, however, or by a center console-mounted rocker

The Stealth Hybrid

Much the hidden charge port on the the interior of the 2015 Audi A3 masks its identity as a hybrid. The obvious indicator is the main instrument gauge that has turned from a rev counter a power meter. It indicates via regenerative braking, the most power range for the gas engine to in and, toward the end of the needle’s a boost zone when the engine and the electric motor in tandem.

You can also select an flow readout on the infotainment Depending on the car’s range, a and green bar graph indicating its potential with gas and electric is displayed. Other than there’s little inside car to indicate its dual-motor, plug-in although the trunk floor is higher owing to the presence of the gas beneath it.

The A3’s exterior looks the same as a stock A3, too, to the hidden socket and lack of aerodynamic aids. It does low-rolling-resistance tires, however, compound biased toward elimination rather than noise suppression. And because so quiet, the hum of pavement rolling you is more easily heard in a conventional A3.

The Advantage of a Dual

The 2015 Audi A3 E-tron is a car that has the potential to be very to run, besides providing strong performance and well-balanced to go with it. The E-tron’s fuel- and potential are best realized if daily slog to work within its 31-mile electric in which case the cost of commute will tumble

And because this is a hybrid, you the convenience of a 550-mile range both onboard energy True, this E-tron likely to be cheap when it on sale in the U.S. in early but it’ll have lower costs than your econobox while delivering performance, excellent handling and technical intrigue.

Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored to which selected members of the were invited, to facilitate report.

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