Audi has released the first pictures and details of the A3 e-tron, a plug-in hybrid concept due to be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show.
Despite its concept label, Audi has already expressed an interest in having an e-tron badged model in every segment and has said that the A3 e-tron provides "a realistic glimpse in to the future of mobility as Audi is planning it".
Power comes from a combination of 1.4-litre TFSI engine and electric motor. Together, the two power sources produce 201bhp and 350Nm of torque. Those figures are good enough to make the A3 e-tron the most powerful model in the line-up.
All drive is delivered through a six-speed e-S tronic gearbox to the front wheels, allowing for a 0-62mph time of 7.6 seconds and a top speed of 138mph. The extra weight of the battery pack and electric motor means that despite being the most powerful A3 in the current range, it’s actually half-a-second slower from 0-62mph than the 1.8 TFSI car.
But the A3 e-tron really stands out for its efficiency; Audi claims that the A3 e-tron is capable of 188.3mpg and emits just 35g/km of CO2, which is far better than the next most efficient model – the 74.3mpg 1.6 TDI.
Drivers can select between three different driving modes: the engine alone, the electric motor alone or a combination of the two. In electric-only mode, the e-tron can be driven at speeds of up to 81mph and has a maximum range of 31 miles.
A production version of the A3 e-tron is expected late in 2014.