176mpg Audi A3 to cost £35,000
A3 e-tron boasts 31-mile electric range and a 137mph top speed
The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron will be the first plug-in hybrid in Audi’s range when order books open next month. The car is priced at £34,950 and will be delivered to customers from January 2015.
The petrol-electric plug-in hybrid is eligible for the government’s electric car grant, which means buyers can choose the A3 Sportback e-tron for £29,950.
Audi claims the car is capable of up to 176.6mpg and emits 37g/km of CO2, making it free to tax. These figures have been made possible by combining a 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol engine with a 75kw electric motor. Unlike traditional hybrids, the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron can be charged from a mains electricity supply to deliver an electric-only range of 31 miles at speeds of up to 81mph.
The car can also be powered by its petrol engine only. In its hybrid mode, both power sources work together to deliver 201bhp for a 0-62mph time of 7.6 seconds and a 137mph top speed. Additionally, the engine can work as a generator in order to charge the batteries to reduce running costs further.
It takes four hours to fully charge the battery from a domestic socket, or two hours and 15 minutes to charge from a wallbox or public charge point.
Audi says boot space isn’t significantly impaired due to the positioning of the car’s battery packs, and the car is still capable of carrying five people.
The A3 Sportback e-tron is fitted with a specially-adapted version of Audi’s S tronic automatic gearbox and features bespoke body styling. Other standard-fit equipment includes LED headlights, sat-nav with internet connectivity, and rear parking sensors. Two charging leads are supplied; one for domestic use and the other for use at public charging points, with interchangeable connectors to allow charging at higher voltage industrial sockets.
The charge status can be monitored from a smartphone app or an e-tron website.