First Times Drive 2015 Audi A3 etron plugin hybrid latimes com

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Audi e-tron

First Times Drive: Audi A3 e-tron plug-in

By David Undercoffler

February 10, 8:45 a.m.

Same hatchback flavor. Now with fuel!

That’s the theme Audi’s forthcoming 2015 A3 e-tron, a compact hatchback due in 2015 that will be the ever plug-in hybrid the German automaker.

Audi A3 will tell you that model range is about to hit a growth spurt. Previously, it was available in the U.S. as a four-door with either a turbocharged or a turbocharged-diesel engine. The car was a relatively player in Audi’s lineup but a loyal following of drivers who the premium feel in a compact

PHOTOS: Audi A3 e-tron drive

For 2015, Audi has big things for the A3 lineup. Because the A4 has grown in size and price over the it’s opened up room at the of Audi’s lineup for a new entry-level Thus, the 2015 A3 will in sedan form in the U.S. for the time.

A diesel, convertible and S3 version are also planned.

changes are happening over at with the brand recently its compact CLA sedan to widespread with buyers. Starting at a over $30,000, both the CLA and A3 seek to lure in a younger and those who might not have the brands to be within their range.

Audi will much of 2014 rolling out the versions of the A3. But things get electric in 2015, when the Sportback version will hit showrooms. on the same platform as the sedan, version will only as a hatchback, making it somewhat of a successor to the outgoing diesel A3.

This plug-in A3 is powered by two A 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder makes 150 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of This is paired with an motor for a total output of 204 and 258 pound-feet of torque.

Audi’s six-speed, dual-clutch transmission this power to the front and the car will scoot from to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds.

The 8.8 kWh lithium-ion battery that powers this is wedged under the rear so there’s no noticeable penalty in of the A3’s cargo room. the seats still fold for bonus room. The weight of the has been kept to a minimum, the A3 e-tron weigh in at a very 3,483 pounds.

In addition to better handling, relatively low curb weight for a hybrid also helps the efficiency. Just how green the A3 will be has yet to be determined; Audi completed final testing for the It does expect a final of above 100 MPGe and said the range will be 31 miles.

Audi e-tron

The total range is 584 miles.

The A3 to electric-only driving when you it up. Quiet and crisp, the electric is plenty for city driving and can take the car up to 81 mph.

Once the battery is drained, the gas takes over while the battery at the same time. In mode, the car felt plenty and drivers in a particular hurry only to press hard on the gas to engage both systems for power.

What was most about the dual-power sourcing was how the A3 would switch between the While this A3’s isn’t outright sporty, it much like the outgoing it’s replacing. The pre-production we spent half a day in could use suspension tuning, but with a year to go before this car the market, count on Audi to out the kinks.

Otherwise, there was to indicate that this didn’t roll out of an Audi Inside, the cabin was tightly together and previewed the updated all A3s will have. A slick rises out of the center of the dashboard a sleek row of (dual) climate buttons arranged below it.

The switchgear is kept to a minimum to the A3’s reliance on a rotary on the center console just aft of the The overall effect is minimalism with 21st century in a way that can appeal to anybody.

The factor on this A3 e-tron’s will likely be what of price Audi slaps on the The A3 has never been cheap: the generation started at around With the extra tech into this e-tron that starting price likely rise above

At that point, it’s a purchase, considering the going for something like a Honda plug-in hybrid is around There’s a great balance of practicality, tech and refinement in A3. But if the asking price creeps past that point, the A3 risks demanding too much to go green.

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