Audi has begun the roll-out of it's electric range, with the introduction of its A3 Sportback e-tron, arriving in dealers this week.
The e-tron moniker will be applied to a range of future Audi vehicles that feature either a full electric, or plug-in hybrid drivetrain.
In the case of the A3 e-tron, a plug-in hybrid system is used to deliver up to 50km of electric driving range before relying on a 1.4 litre turbo petrol engine for charge and propulsion.
Priced from $62,490, plus on-road costs, the e-tron sits at the higher end of the A3 pricing scale, but delivers strong equipment and technical innovation to help balance the ledger.
Below the bonnet of the A3 Sportback e-tron is a 1.4 TFSI engine with 110kW, a 75 kW electric motor and a six-speed S tronic DSG automatic transmission, specially developed for the e-tron.
Total combined output measures 150kW, with maximum torque of 350Nm. Battery capacity is 8.8 kWh, able to be fully charged it can be fully charged in approximately 2.5 hours with Audi's 16 amp charger.
With a boost from both petrol and electric engines, the A3 e-tron can sprint from 0-100km/h in 7.6 seconds and run on to a top speed of 222km/h.
In EV mode, the e-tron's default setting, it can accelerate to 60km/h in 4.9 seconds. Operated in full-electric mode, the A3 e-tron has a range of 50 kilometres.
For most commuters, that is enough to get them to work and back home again each day without using a single drop of fuel.
Fill the tank, and charge up the battery, and the A3 e-tron has a range of 920km, enough for a weekend away or an interstate run, without touching a powerpoint, or visiting a service station.
Fuel consumption is just 1.6 l/100km.
And, for those who worry about ‘dirty power’ from a dirty coal-burning electricity grid, Audi Australia has partnered with Origin Energy to purchase accredited renewable energy displacements as part of the GreenPower program (for the first 10,000km) with each vehicle sold.
But also standard with the e-tron is a home installation package that includes the fitting of a dedicated 230-volt, high-output 16-amp single-phase power outlet (for rapid battery charging).
The A3 Sportback e-tron sits at the upper end of the A3 range and is specified accordingly.
Standard features include:
- Proximity key with push-button start
- Audi Parking system plus; front and rear parking sensors with rear view camera and park assist
- Audi ‘drive select’
- Leather-appointed sports seats
- Multi-function steering wheel with paddle-shift
- Dual-zone climate control
- Audi Music Interface
- Bluetooth with audio streaming, digital radio (DAB+)
- MMI Navigation plus with MMI touch (7.0-inch retractable WVGA screen, DVD player, 2 x SDHC memory card readers, voice control, 20 GB HDD storage)
- LED headlights and DRLs
Pricing (excludes on-road costs)
- 2015 A3 Sportback e-tron: $62,490