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Audi A3 e-Tron
Plug-In Hybrid

The 2015 Audi A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid has certainly caused some waves thanks to its compact hatchback design, fuel efficiency and it's the first plug-in hybrid built by Audi. Previously available in the US only as a four-door hatchback, this vehicle did not make much of an impact when it was first introduced. However, it did generate a relatively small, but loyal following thanks to its almost luxury feel for a compact vehicle.

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Audi A3 eTron Plug-in Hybrid

The new 2015 A3 model promises several upgrades in an effort to attract more customers. The new A3 will be available in a sedan version for the first time in the US. Plus, a high performance S3 and diesel convertible version will be available as well.

The effect is carrying over to Mercedes which also is launching a compact CLA sedan version. Both the Audi and Mercedes plug-in hybrids will cost roughly $30,000 to help bring in the younger crowd that will not be off-put by higher priced hybrids.

The Sportback e-tron version will hit the dealerships in early 2015 and will be offered in a hatchback version only. The plug-in A3 offers a 1.4L turbocharged four cylinder engine that cranks out 150 hp and is paired with an electric motor that creates a combined 204 hp for the road. In addition, the A3 S-tronic version will offer a six speed dual-clutch transmission allowing the vehicle to go from 0 to 60 mph is a mere 7.6 seconds.

Because the relatively lightweight 8.8kWh lithium-ion battery-pack it tucked under the rear seats, the cargo room is not compromised. In fact, the rear seats actually fold down for even more room as well. In addition, the low weight of the vehicle overall contributes to better handling and overall performance. The total range of the vehicle is estimated to be roughly 584 miles.

When the A3 is started, it uses the electric motor at first that can propel the vehicle to 81 mph is needed. Once the battery runs down, the gas engine then kicks in and recharges the battery. The full draining of the battery before recharging helps it keep its overall charge. Plus, the vehicle itself is rather peppy with an ability to go fast when needed which makes it the perfect highway car.

Arguably the best aspect of the A3 is just how seamlessly it transfers between the battery and gas engine. It's overall power and performance are not quite that of a sports car, but it does have that pep and feel of a light hatchback that can get you to where you need to go. The cabin itself is tightly bolted and the overall production value of the interior and exterior meet the standards expected for an Audi vehicle.

The success of the vehicle will probably rely on the overall price that Audi decides to choose. If it stays to the rumored $30,000 or so, then it will have a great chance to reach a younger audience who has stayed away from the more expensive brands. However, if it instead is priced much like the Honda Accord plug-in hybrid at around $40,000, it may not be able to reach it goals.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


 

 

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