What if luxury and power came hand in hand with good fuel efficiency numbers? Would you buy the all new Audi A3 Sportback e-tron if it promises about 283 kilometres to a gallon? No, you are not daydreaming.
The 2014 World Car of the Year adds the potential for zero emissions motoring to its catalogue from next month as the new A3 Sportback e-tron becomes the first plug-in hybrid to join the Audi range. This spacious five-door compact hatchback combines a conventional 1.4-litre TFSI petrol engine with an electric motor to deliver performance along with fuel efficiency and, equally crucially, complete freedom from range limitation. UK ordering will be possible from early August while the deliveries will commence in early 2015.
The re-tuned 1.4-litre TFSI unit features a peak power output of 150PS and is linked by a clutch to a 75kw electric motor, which is integrated into a specially developed six-speed S tronic transmission sending power to the front wheels. The combined power of the two units is 204PS and 350Nm of system torque which propels the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron from a standstill to 100 kph in 7.6 seconds with a top speed of 220 kph. Not at all bad for a car that delivers such good fuel efficiency figures.
According to the ECE standard for plug-in hybrid cars, the A3 Sportback-based e-tron is capable of covering up to 283 kilometres to a gallon (which works out to about 62 kpl) with CO2 emissions of just 37g/km. With the combination of electric motor and combustion engine, an overall operating range of up to 584 miles (940 kilometres) is possible.
The driver has several ways of actively managing the vehicle’s response. Altogether, four key settings are available – the EV mode gives priority to electric drive, the hybrid auto mode is useful for long journeys as it engages the electric motor wherever possible, the hybrid hold mode preserves the electrical energy stored in the battery for later use and the hybrid charge mode uses the combustion engine as a generator to charge the battery.
The equipment list on the A3 Sportback e-tron comprises of features such as e-tron exterior styling, LED headlights and daytime running lights, special ‘turbine design’ 17-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, light and rain sensors, MMI navigation plus with hard drive-based mapping and Audi connect online services bringing in-car internet access.
While on the domestic socket, A3 Sportback e-tron takes four hours to fully charge the battery, a wallbox or a public charge point reduces the fully charging time to two hours and fifteen minutes.
With rising fuel costs, the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron is an ideal option for Indian roads. The price tag at which it is launched in UK (34,950 British pound sterling = Rs 35.66 lakh) does not seem hefty given that you will save loads of money on fuel.
Would you buy the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron if you had the option? Share your thoughts through comments below.