|Audi A3 e-tron concept. Click to enlarge.|
Audi is set to unveil the A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid concept in Shanghai. The A3 e-tron concept is propelled by two power units—a 155 kW (211 hp) 1.4 TFSI four-cylinder engine with turbocharging and gasoline direct injection and an electric motor with an output of 20 kW (27 hp).
The system provides a combined output of 175 kW (238 hp). Working together, the gasoline engine and electric motor accelerate the notchback to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 6.8 seconds, then on to 231 km/h (143.54 mph). A regulated oil pump, the intelligent Audi thermal management system, a start-stop system and an energy recovery system—technologies from the brand’s modular efficiency platform—all contribute to this high efficiency.
The 12 kWh Li-ion battery pack is located behind the rear seats, supporting a range of up to 54 km (34 miles) on electric power alone. The batteries are charged by the standard energy recovery system when the car is in motion or directly from a household power socket when it is parked. This means that in most cases, the car is entirely emission-free in city driving.
A compact seven-speed S tronic serves as the transmission for the compact plug-in hybrid. It comprises two transmission structures, which are operated by two clutches. Gears are alternately shifted by the two clutches.
The driver can operate the seven-speed S tronic in one automatic mode and one manual mode, using the paddles on the steering wheel to shift gears manually. Touch control buttons alongside the handrest on the center tunnel console are used to select drive positions R, N and D. These are backlit in red when it gets dark. Drive position P is automatically engaged when the electric parking brake is applied. The launch control system manages acceleration from a dead stop, furnishing turbo power with minimal tire slip.
The Audi drive select dynamic handling system gives the driver five modes from which to select the characteristics of the engine, power steering and seven-speed S tronic. The modes are comfort, auto, dynamic, individual and efficiency, the last of which is designed for maximum economy.
The Audi A3 e-tron concept measures 4.44 meters (14.57 ft) long and 1.84 meters (6.04 ft) wide, but just 1.39 meters (4.56 ft) high.
Advanced components, design methods and joining techniques keep the body weight low. One example of this are the custom tailored blanks (panels of various thicknesses) in the floor area. The doors, engine hood and tailgate are made of aluminum. With its high levels of rigidity, the body provides the basis for the sedan’s handling, vibrational comfort and low weight—the Audi A3 e-tron concept weighs 1,720 kilograms (3,792 lb).