The Audi A3 e-tron first officially made its debut at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. A variant of the popular A3 hatchback, the German automaker swapped out the standard internal combustion engine of the A3 and replaced it with a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor powertrain. Audi has now officially announced it not only plans to bring the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) five-door into production, but to sell it here in the states as well.
Audi released the news earlier this week at the 2013 New York Auto show. The Audi A3 e-tron will be part of the all-new A3s to go on sale next year as 2015 models. It will be the fifth engine offering for the luxury sports car, which includes three powerful four-cylinder engines and a diesel motor. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard on all A3s.
Currently, the A3 e-tron’s engine generates a combined 204 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. A3s equipped with the 1.8-liter engine get 170 horsepower while those gunning the 2.0-liter diesel receive 150 ponies but lots of low-end acceleration (torque). The automaker has not released figures on the 2.0-liter gasoline engine at this time. Other engine specs, like the e-tron batteries‘ recharge rate or pricing information, have yet to be released as well.
The new A3 will ride on a new base, or platform, and will offer more interior space than its predecessor. Inside, Audi revamps the hatch’s center stack, infotainment system, and dashboad. Base model and trims will be well-equipped with features like rain-sensing windshield wipers and panoramic sunroof. Leather seats are standard. New features include customizable “drive select” suspension and optional high-end audio stereo. Wi-fi is even available for the upcoming A3 thanks to its built-in 4G LTE. Audi enhances the latter with its unique “phone box” system which increases cell-phone range and connectivity.
States Audi of America president Scott Keogh, “The Audi A3 will set the new benchmark among entry-level luxury sedans. This A3 line-up redefines the standards of its class in dynamics, efficiency, technology, craftsmanship and performance.”