Audi has pulled the veil off of its reworked A3 E-Tron concept which will represent the brand’s latest entry in its long line of E-Tron concept vehicles when it makes its official debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show in March.
Largely based on the standard A3 Sportback, this concept is also similar to the original A3 E-Tron concept that preceded it. However for this latest iteration of the A3 E-Tron, Audi engineers have shelved that car’s radical all electric power train in favor of a more conventional but still efficient plug-in hybrid layout. Providing the power of this setup is a heavily-modified and reworked 1.4 liter TFSI engine which teams up with a 75 kilowatt electric motor to produce a combined 204 horsepower and a stout 258 lb ft of torque when both systems are working together.
All of this efficiency and power is routed to the front wheels through a new six speed “e-S tronic automatic gearbox which allows the concept to make the sprint to 60 mph in a reasonable 7.6 seconds before reaching a final top speed of 137 mph. The driver can also adapt the car to different driving situations by selecting to either have the gasoline engine do all the motivation, all electric mode which has a 31 mile range before a recharge is needed, or a third mode which uses both systems. Audi claims that when the vehicle is driven in a gentle and efficient manner, the A3 E-Tron is capable of achieving an impressive 156 mpg in European mixed cycle driving while only releasing a minuscule 35 grams of C02 per kilometer.
While the A3 E-Tron will most likely not get the green light for production as a stand alone model offering, look for some of the technology used in the A3 E-Tron concept to gradually funnel its way down to future Audi production models which should help the company achieve its goal of greener motoring and being an innovator of alternative fuel technology.