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Plug-in Premiere: 2014 Audi A3 e-tron Reveals Specs

Sportback Sparkles with +30-mile EV Driving Range

Charles Krome
by Charles Krome
September 11, 2013

If you like the concept behind the Chevy Volt but wish the Bowtie brand offered an SS model, Audi may have just what you're looking for: The 2014 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron. Like the Volt, the four-rings brand's first plug-in hybrid combines a fairly significant all-electric driving range of more than 30 miles with the ability for hundreds of more miles of travel using a gas-power hybrid powertrain.

But while the Volt has a lead in the former, with an EPA-certified 38-mile all-electric driving range to the 31 miles of the 2014 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron, the A3 boasts a massive advantage in terms of overall range. And it's not just over the Volt, either. Thanks to a turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine with the automaker's TSFI technology, as well as its lightweight construction, the 2014 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron can provide more than 550 extra miles of range at the equivalent of 157 mpg--in European testing anyway.

Needless to say, drivers shouldn't expect triple-digit EPA grades from the car's gas engine, but they can expect some relatively brisk performance. Consider: The 2014 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron weighs under 3,500 lbs., but it combines a 150-hp engine and a 75-kW electric motor for total system outputs of 204 hp and some 258 lb.-ft. of torque. As a result, the 2014 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron will be able to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (about 62 mph) in 7.6 seconds and reach a terminal velocity of almost 138 mph.

Oh, and its 8.8-kWh battery pack can be recharged in fewer than 2.5 hours using a European "16 A" electrical outlet.

Just note that all that performance comes with a price, and in this case with a European MSRP that will exceed $49,000. The 2014 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron will no doubt be eligible for a slew of federal tax credits when it arrives here some time next year, but that's still about $15,000 more than the Volt.


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