Audi has taken their E-tron concept a step forward with the unveiling of the E-tron A3 concept - a compact car featuring a powerful electric motor and a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery. Although the concept looks almost identical to the production A3, there are a few elements that will help distinguish it. The concept has received a revised instrument cluster, leather Alcantara seats, a heated windshield, and an optimized air conditioning system.
The most important difference between the two concepts can be found in the powertrain. As a hybrid concept, Audi decided to use a different engine than the one found in the A3 Sedan Concept. Instead of the 2.5-liter turbocharged engine of the A3 concept, the E-tron version has a slightly less powerful 1.4-liter TFSI turbocharged gas engine that doesn’t come close to the output the former has.
Of course, being a hybrid concept, performance takes a back seat to fuel efficiency and that’s where the E-tron A3 Concept has the upper hand over the gasoline-powered A3 Concept.
Details on the Audi E-tron A3 after the jump.
The Audi e-Tron A3 Concept looks remarkably similar to the A3 Concept and there’s a reason for that. For the most part, Audi only made some minor styling adjustments to the A3 e-tron Concept, more specifically the car’s E-tron-looking front grille, the more pronounced set of alloy wheels, and a revised instrument cluster, leather Alcantara seats, a heated windshield, and an optimized air conditioning system on the interior.
Outside the car, the E-tron A3 comes with the same LED headlights with the beveled upper corners and broader lines underneath giving off the look that they are suspended in air. The concept’s front spoiler, which has its own splitter, also gets a full-length CFRP air intake just above it and is framed by a metal clasp.
The interior of both concepts are pretty much similar so you can expect the same center console with four round air vents that can be adjusted by simply pulling and pushing on the center axis. Among the items also included is the MMI touch pad, which makes an already quick operation even more intuitive. This particular technology will eventually end up as part of the brand’s future production models.
The biggest difference between the two A3 concepts can be found under the car’s respective hoods. In place of the 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-five engine of the A3 Sedan Concept, Audi put a hybrid powertrain that’s made up of a 1.4-liter TFSI turbocharged gas engine with direct injection and an electric motor with an output of 27 horsepower. Add that to the TFSI engine’s output of 211 horsepower, and you have a total number of 238 ponies mated to a seven-speed S-tronic dual clutch transmission. When both power sources are working together, the E-Tron A3 can hit 0-62 mph in 6.8 seconds with a top speed of 144 mph.
No word yet on the pricing since its a concept, but we’ll be sure to keep you on the loop if and when Audi green-lights this baby for production.
While we’re still waiting for BMW to release a hybrid version of the 3-Series, the Bavarian automaker nevertheless has a Plug-in Hybrid Sedan Concept for the 5-Series in store for the Shanghai Auto Show.
Despite not being in the same segment, the 5-Series Hybrid and the E-Tron A3 does have comparable numbers when matched against each other.
Whereas we already know what the latter has, the former is powered by a parallel hybrid drive set-up that combines a 214 horsepower combustion engine featuring BMW TwinPower Turbo technology with an electrical motor that adds another 93 horsepower for a total of 307 horsepower. The electrical motor takes its power from a special battery technology which includes the possibility of charging from a mains power supply.
All of Audi’s E-tron concepts look awesome
Clean and lavishly designed interior
Still a concept
No timetable for production